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Pizza is a popular snack, enjoyed by almost all age groups. But, is it safe to have pizza during pregnancy? Owing to cravings that pregnant women experience during this crucial period, this question makes sense. A delicious, hot, sizzling pizza can always be tempting. But when thinking of eating that slice of pizza, understand its effect on your health, because now it’s just not you; your baby’s health matters too.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Pizza?
The question that can genuinely bother a pregnant woman who adores pizza is – “Is pizza safe during pregnancy?” Well, pizza falls under the category of junk food, which is not at all a recommended diet option for pregnant women, keeping in mind the calories and the harmful effects of wheat flour that can affect your health and your foetus’ growth. But in case the pizza is bought from a good pizza brand, that has some well-maintained quality standards, then it is safe to consume on an occasional basis.
There is also a belief that eating pizza can enhance people’s moods and even has the capability to make them happier. But if you’re eating pizza during pregnancy, prefer to customize your pizza toppings with more vegetables and less cheese. This will not only help you serve your temptations well but also help you consume the required nutrients. Also, it’s best to eat pizza during the pregnancy’s first trimester only as after that, you’ll need nutrient-rich food in place of junk food.
Are There Any Benefits of Pizza in Pregnancy?
Talking about the benefits of pizza during pregnancy, we have listed out some that you need to consider:
- Pizza is classified as a comfort food item, which can directly or indirectly cheer you up.
- Pizza can provide some of the required nutrients and vitamins when you top it with fresh vegetables or salads.
- It can help soothe your cravings and may not even harm you if the pizza is freshly made and is served hot.
- Top your pizza with high-quality sauces which contains vitamins A and C. Tomato sauces contain the antioxidant lycopene, which in turn helps mitigate the chances of suffering from cancer.
- Selecting a thin crust pizza base, which is high in fibre can prove to be beneficial.
- Prefer topping your pizza with part-skim mozzarella cheese as it has the capability to provide bone-building calcium and some protein as well.
What Are the Harmful Effects of Eating Pizza While Pregnant?
Pizza has more of harmful effects rather than benefits. Here are some harmful effects a slice of pizza, carries:
- Certain cheese contains mold–ripened bacteria, like Danish Blue, camembert or brie, which contains listeria. These bacteria can cause a rare illness with symptoms similar to flu.
- Topping your pizza with a lot of cheese can lead to high consumption of calories which would, in turn, would lead to weight gain.
- Eating pizza can also cause heartburn or issues with the digestive system.
- Topping your pizza with pepperoni can be harmful as it contains saturated fats. Such fats are not good for heart health and when consumed in excess, it can also cause gestational diabetes.
- If your pizza is raw, not properly cooked or heated, which is generally in case of raw meat toppings such as salami, chorizo or pepperoni, it may lead to an infectious disease called toxoplasmosis.
How to Eat Pizza Safely When Pregnant?
Eating pizza safely while pregnant is important to secure the health of you and your baby.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked and heated pizza, as the heat helps kill most of the bacteria certain toppings may carry.
- Try and order pizza only from reputed brands, as they provide good quality and healthy pizza.
- Eat the pizza fresh, as when left to be eaten later it leads to reformation of bacteria.
- In case you like your pizza topped with meat or shellfish, make sure it is cooked well.
- Prefer topping your pizza with vegetables, as they contain essential nutrients a pregnant woman needs.
- Eating pizza during pregnancy’s second trimester should be avoided to an extent.
- Eating only one or two slices of pizza is recommended as it a balanced option than eating an entire one.
- Refrain from eating pizza topped with cold cured meats.
- Refrain from eating pizza topped with mould-ripened cheese such as brie, camembert or Danish Blue as they contain listeria bacteria.
- It is best to top your pizza with parmesan or cheddar cheese. These are hard cheese options which contains less water, thus lead to fewer chances of a microbial formation.
We realize that pizza is a tempting food item, but it should be avoided to an extent during pregnancy. However, if you are pizza lover and can’t control your cravings, there is no much harm in eating a sizzling hot pizza on an occasional basis. Do consider to consume your slice of pizza keeping in mind the mentioned safer ways. Happy Eating!
Also Read: Eating Garlic during Pregnancy