Brie Cheese During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?
Pregnancy comes with a set of ordeals or sacrifices regarding the food you may love. Many pregnant women, including first-time mothers, may receive several conflicting pieces of advice about what is and isn’t safe to eat. Generally, a healthy diet needs to be followed to ensure good health for the mother and her baby. Women often worry, “is brie safe during pregnancy?” as this cheese is not just deliciously soft, but many of its varieties are made worldwide. So, it is best to analyze what is best for pregnant ladies to relish the delicious Brie cheese dishes after weighing their pros and cons.
What Is Brie Cheese?
Brie is a soft cheese prepared from cow’s milk used to produce pasta. Originally named after the brie Brie region of France, it has a pale color with a slightly greyish tinge to it at times. Brie contains a minimal amount of lactose, a natural milk sugar. It has a white mold crust, and the rind can be consumed. Its flavor largely depends upon the ingredients used and its manufacturing environment. Brie may be produced from whole or semi-skimmed milk. The enzyme Rennet is added to raw milk, salt, and bacteria known as cheese cultures. The curd is then warmed to a maximum temperature of 37 °C. Next, the cheese is cast into molds, sometimes with a traditional perforated ladle called a Pelle à brie. During the ripening process, white mold forms the rind of the cheese. Unlike other molds growing on food, this is not spoilt and is perfectly safe to eat. Among the different varieties of Brie made either with whole or partly skimmed milk, ripened for varying durations, and added with herbs and spices, its exact flavor, taste, and texture depends on the ingredients used for that specific type as well as the environment where it has been ripened or manufactured.
Benefits of Having Brie Cheese During Pregnancy
Cheese is a healthy, balanced diet, considering its health benefits. Here are some reasons why eating Brie Cheese during pregnancy is not bad after all.
Brie cheese contains vitamins like vitamin B 12, riboflavin, folate, and niacin that are good for your overall health. Vitamin A found in Brie can keep the immune system healthy and works well for maintaining shining hair and glowing skin, and vitamin D boosts bone health. Vitamins also help break down the various carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body that can be used as energy for various activities.
2. Proteins and Fats
Brie is a rich source of proteins and fat, including saturated fat. Full-fat dairy is associated with healthier body weight and minimizes your risk of cardiac illnesses. The protein in Brie contains amino acids that take care of your overall health. In contrast, the unsaturated fatty acids found in Brie contain trans-palmitoleic acid helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Brie contains several essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and manganese that can help in tissue formation in your bones. The zinc in Brie helps support the functioning of enzymes in the cells, while its selenium content is a good antioxidant.
4. Carbohydrates and Calories
5. Low in Lactose
As Brie cheese is low in lactose, it will not cause any side effects or health risks to those suffering from lactose intolerance.
6. Linoleic Acid
The ripening process of Brie results in the formation of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a highly anti-inflammatory compound that may exert anticancer effects in consumers.
Can I Eat Brie Cheese While Pregnant?
Among the foodborne illness in the United States, Listeria is one of the primary causes of death for the common population. It isn’t like other bacteria that get killed by refrigeration or freezing. Moreover, pregnant women are 10 times more vulnerable to listeria infection others. Soft cheeses like Brie are the ideal breeding ground for Listeria, the bacteria that causes Listeriosis. There is a possibility of Listeriosis getting into the cheese through unpasteurized milk or unsanitary packaging. Listeriosis will come with flu-like symptoms in healthy people, like vomiting or fever. As the immune system is mostly suppressed during pregnancy, pregnant women are more likely to get Listeriosis after eating dairy products containing Listeria. Thus, consuming Brie when pregnant may result in miscarriage or even stillbirth.
How Much Brie Can I Eat When Pregnant?
Even if eating pasteurized Brie during pregnancy is mostly considered safe, it is important not to overeat it. If eaten in moderation, Brie can promote fullness and help control your appetite, aiding in weight loss.
Delicious Recipes With Brie Cheese for Pregnant Ladies
In case you’re a lover of Brie Cheese, and your doctor has given you a green signal for satiating your appetite, here are some of the most delicious recipes to try out for pregnant ladies:
1. Brie-stuffed Mushrooms
Brie stuffed mushrooms make tasty little gems for any occasion that even non-mushrooms lovers cannot resist. Easy to make, you can assemble this snack ahead of time!
- Baby Bella mushrooms-12
- A small wedge of Brie cheese-1
- Panko bread crumbs-1/3cup
- Pecorino cheese-1/4cup
- Parmesan cheese-1/4cup
- Fresh thyme chopped-1tsp
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Olive oil-4tbsp
How To Prepare
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Remove the stems after cleaning the mushrooms well. Place the bottom side up on a baking dish and drizzle them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of Brie cheese into each of the mushroom cavities.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Take a small scoop of the bread crumb mixture and fill it into the mushroom cavity.
- Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the mushrooms become tender and the cheese gets melted.
- Take out the baking sheet from the oven and serve immediately.
2. Glazed Brie Cheese With Sugar and Nuts
When the glazed nuts with brown sugar perfectly coat the skin of the cheese, this delectable recipe is sure to win over the most brie-shy guest.
- Brown Sugar-2tbsp
- Coarsely chopped almonds-2tbsp
- Brandy-1 and 1/2tsp
- Firm ripe whole brie cheese-1
- Golden apple slices
How To Prepare
- Mix the brown sugar, brandy, and chopped almonds.
- Place cheese in a slightly larger baking dish and bake in a preheated oven set at 425°F just until the cheese softens in the center for around 6 minutes.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the cheese—Bake for 3 to 5 minutes longer.
- Until the sugar melts and cheese is melted in the center.
- Before serving, use a spoon to scoop out the warm cheese and spread it on the crackers and apple slices.
3. Fettuccini With Brie and Basil
- Dry fettuccini pasta-12 ounces
- Large tomatoes, seeded and chopped-4
- Minced garlic cloves-2
- Cubed brie cheese-1 and 1/2cup
- Chopped fresh basil- 3/4thcup
- Olive oil-1/2cup
- Red wine vinegar-1tbsp.
- Ground black pepper-1/2tsp
- Grated brie cheese-2tbsp
How To Prepare
- Mix chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, Brie, chopped basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Cover and let it marinate at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
- Heat a pot of water and add a little salt. Once warm, add the pasta and cook it for 12 minutes over high heat.
- Drain out excess water from pasta and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with grated Brie cheese and serve.
4. Blooming Brie Bread
- Olive oil-2tbsp
- Garlic powder-1/2tsp
- Italian seasoning-1/2tsp
- Wheel brie, top rind removed-12 Oz
- Shredded Mozzarella-3/4cup
How To Prepare
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together oil, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.
- Slice off the top quarter of bread and place the wheel of Brie over the bread and trace around it using a tearing knife. Scoop out the inner circle of bread and brush it with oil mixture on the inside of the bread. Cut down around the edges of the bread to create slices that you can tear off after baking.
- Sprinkle about 1/2 cup mozzarella, place Brie on top, followed by the rest of the mozzarella. Place bread on top of the cheese and bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese melts and the bread becomes toasty. Serve warm.
On average, 1,600 cases of Listeriosis occur per year in the United States. With only about 200 cases of pregnant women contracting Listeriosis among around 4 million cases of pregnancies per year, the odds of you contracting Listeria are rather slim. However, it’s worth considering that pregnant women don’t get unwell after contracting Listeriosis. Make sure to store your Brie in airtight packaging or plastic wrap in the refrigerator as it’s particularly prone to spoilage or bacterial contamination if left outside of the fridge. Most manufacturers recommend consuming the entire package by the expiration date. Finally, it’s best to consult your health professional and enjoy the Brie cheese delicacies that you crave during the memorable journey of pregnancy to motherhood.
1. Can I Eat Unpasteurized Brie When Pregnant?
Unpasteurized soft cheeses may sometimes contain dangerous bacteria, including those that can cause fatal tuberculosis or Listeria. This bacteria has a chance of crossing over into the placenta that leads to food poisoning. While vomiting, diarrhea, and fever are some of the common effects of listeriosis infection, other flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches and fatigue are also common among women. In worse cases, it can even lead to blood poisoning in the baby, stillbirth, premature birth, or even miscarriage.
2. Is Pasteurized Brie Safe During Pregnancy?
As it’s tough to give up your favorite cheese once you’re expecting, in reality, you don’t have to at all times. Choosing pasteurized cheese, buying from trusted sources, and enjoying it in moderation can reduce your risk of contracting a foodborne illness. Thus, while only steaming hot or cooked Brie when pregnant might be safe, cold Brie can be eaten only when it is made with pasteurized milk. Pasteurization is the process of heat-treating milk to destroy potentially harmful pathogens, such as Salmonella, present in the milk. When Brie is cooked or heated to around 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 C), any dangerous bacteria in the food gets killed, and the cheese can be considered safe to eat. Logically, one may follow the advice of the national government and health department as they have good knowledge of food industry standards applicable in their country. After all, one needs to make an independent and informed choice with full knowledge of the risks of eating Brie.