Is It Safe to Consume Cake During Pregnancy?

Is it Safe to Eat Cake During Pregnancy?

Medically Reviewed By
Anindita Bhattacharya (Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian)
View more Diabetologist/Nutritionist/Dietitian Our Panel of Experts

Most women have unusual food cravings during pregnancy. These cravings can range from certain spicy foods to some inedible items to irresistible sweets too. If you are craving sweets, then at some point you will be tempted to eat cakes or pastries. It’s hard to say no to cakes, but should you eat them during pregnancy? Read this article to find out!

Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Cake?

You can eat a piece of cake once in a while during pregnancy as eating in moderation won’t harm you or your baby. But you must avoid binge eating cakes or any other food item during pregnancy as it might affect your health.

While pregnant, eat healthy foods as a well-balanced diet will ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients required for his growth. The bouts of morning sickness can also take a toll on your body, so you must eat nutritious foods and drink a lot of water. Having cake once in a while is fine, but don’t overconsume. Cakes offer zero nutritional value and satisfy the hunger for a short period of time. They contain empty calories, refined sugar, and saturated fats and increase the risk of gestational diabetes. So they are best avoided!

Why Should You Not Eat Cakes During Pregnancy?

Eating cake can pose a risk to your health. Here is why you should avoid eating cakes during pregnancy.

1. Cakes May Contain Bacteria

While pregnant, your immune system will be weak, so you must avoid eating anything that may lead to an infection. Even if the cake is a homemade one, there is a high chance that it might contain bacteria like salmonella, E.coli, Toxoplasma and many more. If any of these bacteria enter your body, it can lead to severe complications. The batter can sometimes form a breeding ground for bacteria. Hence, you must avoid eating cake during pregnancy.

2. Eating Cakes May Lead to Unhealthy Weight Gain

Yes, you need to gain weight during pregnancy but that weight gain should happen from healthy and nutritious foods. Eating cakes, pastries, or other junk food will offer you empty calories which will result in unhealthy and excessive weight gain during pregnancy, and make your pregnancy journey difficult, so they are best avoided. You can enjoy a piece of chocolate-walnut cake served at your baby shower, but resist the temptation to reach for the second piece. Also, avoid cakes that have saccharin in them as it can cross the placenta and affect the foetus. Stick to a healthy diet – eat foods that contribute to healthy weight gain and promote your baby’s growth.

3. Cakes May Contain Alcohol

Some cakes may contain alcohol such as rum in them that may not be safe for the health of your baby. Even though it is believed that cooking neutralises any alcohol content in the cake, but it is not entirely true. Alcohol enhances the flavour of cakes, but it can cross the placenta and lead to complications in the baby. It could result in premature delivery and birth defects, so if you are planning to eat a piece of cake that has alcohol in it, think about your baby and do not give in to your temptation.

4. Cakes May Contain Unhealthy Supplements

Instant cake mix available in the market and store-bought cakes may contain unhealthy supplements in the form of added flavour or taste enhancers, which might harm your baby.

Cakes That You Can Try During Pregnancy

If you have a sweet tooth and you love eating cakes, then you can enjoy them once in a while. However, we suggest that you opt for healthier versions and consume them in limited amounts too. Mentioned below are some cakes that you can try during pregnancy.

1. Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake

Angel food cakes have no fat content in them and can satisfy your sweet cravings. This cake is made with stiffly beaten egg whites instead of butter. It has a light, fluffy texture, so there is no harm in eating it in moderation. However, if you add sweet, it may prove to be harmful. Note: Avoid this cake if you have gestational diabetes.

2. Dark Chocolate Cake

Dark Chocolate Cake

Dark chocolates and unsweetened cocoa contain antioxidants, which can prove to be beneficial for your health during pregnancy. So you can eat a piece or two of this cake while pregnant. However, make sure that the cake you buy or make has no alcohol content in it.

3. Yoghurt Cake

Yoghurt Cake

Yoghurt is an essential part of the diet of a pregnant woman since it contains dietary calcium, protein and good bacteria which can help in better digestion. You can make a cake using yoghurt, but make sure that it is consumed quickly as yoghurt cake may get spoiled soon and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, avoid if you have gestational diabetes (GDM).

Things to Remember While Eating Cakes During Pregnancy

Here are some things regarding the consumption of cakes you should take into consideration during pregnancy.

  • Many people think eating cakes with eggs in them can harm the baby, but that is not true. Eggs are not harmful to the baby, so you can consume a cake that has eggs in it. However, do check that there are no added preservatives in it apart from the eggs, as they could prove to be harmful to the baby.
  • If you do want to indulge in cakes, we suggest that you eat homemade cake, instead of eating store-bought cake.
  • If you do not want to make one at home and plan to buy the cake from a bakery, ask about the nutritional composition and general ingredients used in the cake.

Consuming cakes in small quantities will not harm you or your baby, but you should make sure that you do not exceed the quantity. Better yet, consult your nutritionist or a doctor before eating it and stay safe!

Also Read: Eating Ice-cream while Pregnant

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