Pregnant women tend to make many sacrifices, aiming for the best possible outcomes for their pregnancies. One brunch menu many try to avoid is bacon. The breakfast favorite might be out of favor with some women during the months of pregnancy, as there is little to recommend it health-wise.
If you don’t think you can go nine long months without the taste, however, that is nothing to worry about! When properly prepared and well cooked, enjoying some bacon while pregnant should be okay. There are two main potential hazards associated with bacon, but simple steps ensure neither is a big concern.
No thanks to the Nitrates
Sodium nitrates, often used in the curing process of bacon and processed meats are best avoided always, and especially during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are ‘nitrate free’ bacon choices available, which should deliver the same taste and nutritional benefits (more about that soon!), so this problem is easily navigated.
Leave out the Listeria
It is important to be aware that bacon can carry listeria, a potentially harmful bacteria. This bacteria can be particularly harmful to developing fetuses, as well as make pregnant women feel very sick. Flu-like symptoms are common, unpleasant, and can quickly become dangerous. Listeria is also found in other products such as ham, soft cheese and pate.
To avoid listeria infection, proper food handling and thorough cooking of the bacon is required. Keeping meat separate from fresh produce is recommended.
Benefits of Bacon
If you are looking to the bright side, there is a mineral called choline found in bacon, that is reportedly beneficial for the brain development of unborn babies.
As a source of protein, however, most meats provided higher quality without the high salt and fat contained in bacon. That being said, occasionally eating moderate amounts of bacon during pregnancy is not likely to do your baby any harm.