You love pizza and wondering whether it is safe to consume pizza with mozzarella cheese as the toping, because now you are pregnant. It is definitely normal when you are cautious of what foods may be consumed without endangering your unborn baby. A lot of people found cheese is delicious and with pregnant women, it is often able to get rid of their sense of nausea. Still, you might wonder, is it safe for the baby if you eat cheese during pregnancy?
How is Cheese Made?
There are several kinds of cheese from the milk of cows, goats, sheep, camels, or reindeer. Cheese are made by keeping the milk in containers to acidify it. When the milk is acidified, bacteria is produced. It will ferment the natural sugar in the milk into lactic acid. After that, coagulant is added. When we talk about soft cheese, the process ends here. However, some other kinds of cheese are produced by heating the milk curd. After shaped, salt is added in order to inhibit any enzyme activity and slow down bacteria growth. Cheese then stored in certain temperature and humidity to complete the process.
What are the differences between Pasteurized and Raw Cheese?
When cheese is made from pasteurized milk, it has the step of heating the milk in certain high temperature. The purpose is clearly to eliminate the possible pathogenic bacteria contained in the milk. We have heard various bacteria found in the cheese-making process, such as Salmonella and E. coliwhich can be found in the milk because the animals consumed contaminated foods or water. Another bacteria which is not originated from the animals but found in the cheese-making process is Listeria. These bacteria might cause problem on your stomach and digestive system that may lead to death. On the contrary, raw cheese is not undergone the heating process. Raw cheese is produced from raw milk added with certain coagulant to acidify the milk. Despite the importance of the heating process and the bigger chance for raw cheese to catch pathogenic bacteria, some cheese makers still prefer producing cheese with raw milk because pasteurization process, besides eliminating the “bad” bacteria, can also eliminate the “good” bacteria. Hence, raw cheese might be more nutritious than the pasteurized ones. It is not that pasteurized cheese is not nutritious—they are. However, raw cheese may contain more various nutrients than pasteurized ones.
Can I eat Pasteurized Cheese while Pregnant?
With pregnancy, you have to choose your diets carefully. Cheese is nutritious and might be beneficial for your baby’s growth. It is loaded with calcium and is a good source of protein. However, it can also contain high saturated fat. When you are not pregnant, it is a matter of your personal preference of choosing to eat either raw or pasteurized milk. Yet, pasteurized cheese is more advised to be consumed when you are carrying your little thing in your belly. It might contain less nutrients than the raw cheese, but it has undergone the heating process that eliminate the “bad” bacteria, so that it will be safe for your pregnancy. It is does not mean that raw cheese always contains “bad” bacteria, it is just that when you are pregnant, your immune system may decrease so that your body might not be able to fight harmful bacteria the way before you are pregnant. Thus, during these 9 hilarious months, you should eat more cheddar, cottage, mozzarella, and cream cheese rather than those of blue cheese, ricotta, blue-vein, Mexican-style, and feta. The cheese produced from goat milk has the chance of being contaminated by Toxoplasmosis bacteria. This will be very dangerous for your baby. This is also the way how you will eat cheese while breastfeeding the newborn. Raw milk in general might be infected with Listeria that can lead to miscarriage or baby death. Therefore, pasteurized milk is really advised taken during pregnancy, since it has bigger chance of keeping you away from Salmonella,E. coli, and Listeria bacteria.
Getting pregnant does not mean keeping you away from cheese. It is a very good choice of diets, since it contains calcium, protein, and mineral that are beneficial for your pregnancy health.