When you are pregnant, you have to give a lot of thought to what you are eating. After all, when you are pregnant, you are all of a sudden eating for two people instead of just for yourself. You have to think carefully about what kind of foods will benefit your baby. Also, you have to consider what kind of foods will harm your baby so that you can avoid them. Eating healthy is an important step for a healthy pregnancy and many women turn to eggs to get some of the nutrients they need. However, there are some safety concerns to consider when pregnant women eat eggs. Here is a look at everything you need to know about eating eggs while you are pregnant.
Benefits of Eating Eggs While Pregnant
First, let’s look at all the ways that eggs can improve the health of your unborn baby. Eggs contain high levels of choline, which has been shown to reduce the risk of children developing certain stress-related conditions and illnesses later in life. Also, eggs are high in protein, iron and folic acid. These are all substances that are necessary for the healthy growth of a baby in utero. The folic acid will also help reduce the risk of birth defects. Eggs also contain a number of vitamins and minerals that help to maintain a healthy pregnancy. In particular, lutein is found in high levels in eggs, and it is a micro-nutrient that is crucial for the healthy development of the baby.
Risks of Eating Eggs
As you can see, there are many benefits of eating eggs for pregnant women. However, as healthy as they can be, there can also be dangers associated with eating eggs during pregnancy. The main problem is that raw eggs can sometimes carry salmonella bacteria, which can be very harmful to the baby. While the salmonella does not directly affect the baby, it can cause food poisoning in the mother. This can cause her to lose a lot of fluids, which can harm the fetus and cause it stress. Also, women with high cholesterol need to consult with their doctors before adding eggs to their diets.
How to Mitigate the Risks of Eating Eggs During Pregnancy
While salmonella poisoning is a scary prospect for pregnant women, the benefits of eating eggs during pregnancy far outweigh the risks. You can take steps to decrease the risk of getting salmonella from eating eggs. The number one thing you should do is to always cook your eggs thoroughly. Runny eggs during pregnancy are much more likely to still contain salmonella than fully cooked eggs. Other things you can do to make eating eggs safer include:
- Never leave cooked eggs unrefrigerated for more than two hours, including hard-boiled eggs.
- When eating out, try to avoid eggs and egg-containing substances like mayonnaise, ice cream and meringue.
- Do not use eggs that have damaged shells. Salmonella can easily get inside the egg if the shell is damaged.
- Be careful when handling raw eggs to avoid contaminating surfaces in your kitchen.