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Is It Safe To Eat Pizza When Pregnant?

Pizza is one of the most loved foods worldwide, and it comes as no surprise that many women crave it during pregnancy. However, as an expectant mother, you may wonder is it safe to eat pizza when pregnant?

While pizza can be a part of a healthy and balanced diet, it’s important to make informed decisions about what toppings to choose and how often to indulge. We will explore the best types of pizza for pregnant women and how to make healthier choices while still enjoying this delicious food.

is it safe to eat pizza when pregnant

Thoroughly Cook Your Pizza When Pregnant

First and foremost, it’s important to note that pizza is generally safe to eat during pregnancy as long as it’s cooked thoroughly. The main concern with consuming pizza during pregnancy is the risk of foodborne illness, such as Listeriosis, caused by bacteria that can be present in certain foods. 

To reduce this risk, pregnant women should always ensure that their pizza is cooked at a temperature of 165°F or higher, as this will kill harmful bacteria.

Selecting Pizza Toppings during Pregnancy

When it comes to toppings, several options are safe and nutritious for pregnant women. Opting for vegetable toppings such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, and peppers can add a variety of vitamins and minerals to your diet, including folate, which is essential for fetal development. 

Other healthy toppings for pizza include chicken, shrimp, and lean meats like turkey or ham. These proteins are an excellent source of iron, which is essential for pregnant women to maintain healthy blood levels.

Cheese on pizza when pregnant

While cheese is a popular pizza topping, choosing the right type of cheese is important to avoid the risk of Listeriosis. Soft cheeses like feta, brie, and goat cheese should be avoided during pregnancy as they may contain harmful bacteria. 

Instead, go for hard cheeses such as cheddar or mozzarella, as these are safe to consume if made from pasteurised milk.

Pizza Portion Size and Calories

In addition to the type of toppings, it’s also important to consider the size of the pizza portion. Consuming large amounts of pizza on a regular basis can lead to excessive weight gain and other health concerns, such as gestational diabetes. Therefore, it’s recommended that pregnant women consume pizza in moderation and choose smaller portions to avoid overindulging. 

Alternatively, consider sharing a pizza with friends or family to enjoy the food without overeating.

Pizza Dough - Pizza When Pregnant

Pizza Crusts

Another consideration for pizza when pregnant is the type of crust. Pizza crusts are made from various ingredients, including white, whole wheat, and gluten-free flour. Whole wheat flour is healthier as it contains more fibre and nutrients than white flour. 

Gluten-free crusts are also suitable for women with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. However, it’s important to ensure that the gluten-free crust is not made from rice flour, as high levels of arsenic are present in some types of rice.

Keep an Eye on Levels of Salt on Pizza when Pregnant

In addition to making healthy choices regarding pizza toppings and crust, pregnant women should also be aware of the sodium content in their pizzas. Sodium can contribute to excessive fluid retention and high blood pressure, which can be dangerous for the mother and the baby. 

Opt for pizzas with less sodium or choose toppings that are naturally low in sodium, such as vegetables and lean proteins. Alternatively, consider making your pizza at home, using whole wheat crust, low-sodium sauce, and a variety of healthy toppings.

Eating Pizza Before Bed

pizza when pregnant in bed

Lastly, it’s important to consider the timing of pizza consumption during pregnancy. Eating a large, heavy meal close to bedtime can contribute to heartburn and indigestion, common during pregnancy. Instead, consider eating pizza earlier in the day or in smaller portions to avoid these discomforts. 

Additionally, consuming pizza with vegetables or salad can help balance the meal and provide additional nutrients.

Conclusion: Is pizza bad for pregnancy?

Pizza can be safe and enjoyable for pregnant women if they make informed choices about toppings, crust, portion size, and sodium content. Choosing vegetable toppings, lean proteins, and hard cheeses made from pasteurised milk can add essential nutrients to the diet. 

Avoiding soft cheeses and excessive sodium can reduce the risk of foodborne illness and other health concerns. Additionally, consuming pizza in moderation and earlier in the day can help avoid discomfort and promote better digestion.

It’s always important to remember that every pregnancy is different, and what may work for one woman may not work for another. Therefore, it’s good to consult a healthcare provider about specific dietary needs and concerns during pregnancy.

With some planning and mindful choices, pizza can be a tasty and healthy addition to a pregnant women’s diet.

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