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Sausage tastes delicious and can enhance the taste of soups and sandwiches. Many women crave for it during pregnancy and it is safe to include in a pregnancy diet as long as it is cooked thoroughly and consumed in moderate amounts. That said, it can also lead to certain unwanted pregnancy complications. So should you include it in your pregnancy diet or not? Read on to know the benefits and side effects of eating sausage in pregnancy and make an informed decision.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Sausage?
Yes, sausage is safe to consume during pregnancy. But as with any other meat, it is necessary that you cook it at the right temperature, for the right time, so that it is cooked to the core with no juices inside. However, as mentioned before, it is safe to eat but not the healthiest choice as it can lead to some unnecessary pregnancy complications. Hence, it is suggested that you consult your doctor before including it in your pregnancy diet.
Types of Sausages – Safe and Unsafe
Here are some of the common types of sausages. Some of them are safe to include in a pregnancy diet while others aren’t. Read on to find out which ones you can include in your diet. However, eat it in moderate amounts.
1. Dry or Semi-Dry Sausage
Dry or semi-dry sausage is usually mixed with meat (either chopped or ground), cultured well, then preserved by adding sodium nitrite and salt. Sausage casings are then used to enclose the filling, where it is allowed to ferment then dried. Many popular sausages such as bologna or pepperoni fall under the category of dry or semi-dry sausage.
In most of the procedures that involve preparing these sausages such as fermentation and drying, the removal of moisture results in termination of any bacteria that can cause illnesses. But some of them can still remain. Therefore, it’s best to not have dry sausages while pregnant.
2. Cooked or Smoked Sausage
Sausage made from ground meat or chopped meat that is seasoned well, cooked and smoked is enjoyed by all. A wide variety of sausages such as cooked bratwurst, salami, bologna, hot dogs, and the likes are either cooked or smoked.
The process of cooking is what rids these sausages of any bacteria. So if they are not cooked well and are not hot, avoid eating them.
3. Fresh Sausage
Fresh sausage is made from chopped pieces of meat, which have been cured properly beforehand and seasoned well, to be prepared fresh. Most of the sausages that are made from pork, beef, or the other variety of sausages that are great for breakfasts and hail from the Italian cuisine, are usually fresh sausages.
These sausages are quite safe for consumption during pregnancy. However, it is necessary to ensure that they are refrigerated properly when stored and cooked in a thorough manner before eating.
Benefits of Eating Sausage During Pregnancy
Sausage is known to contain amino acids, which contain high-quality protein, making it a healthy option overall. It is also a rich source of vitamins, especially Vitamin B12. Another key element present in substantial levels in sausage is iron. This further complements in keeping the haemoglobin levels of the blood to an optimal level, which prevents the onset of anaemia.
Side Effects of Consuming Sausage While Pregnant
Following are some side effects of consuming sausages during pregnancy.
1. Premature Delivery or Miscarriage
Eating sausage in pregnancy can lead to the risk of listeria. Listeria is a specific bacteria that can affect the pregnancy, leading to consequences such as premature delivery, miscarriages, and in the worst scenario, stillbirth.
2. A Higher Chance of Contracting Other Diseases
Symptoms of being infected with salmonella are severe. Nausea, intense stomach ache, followed by diarrhoea, vomiting, and frequent dehydration are also some complications that may arise if you eat sausage while pregnant and get infected with salmonella bacteria. This may be further compounded by high fever and body pain. Another parasite causing toxoplasmosis can lead to premature delivery, jaundice, and convulsions in the mother.
Having a lot of spicy sausages can cause heartburn, and you may have trouble sleeping.
4. Pregnancy Complications
There is always a high chance of any microbe being alive in the meat, which can lead to unwanted pregnancy complications. So it is suggested that you cook it properly before including it in your pregnancy diet and avoid any complications.
5. An Increased Amount of Sodium and Fat in the Body
Nearly 27% of sausage is made up of fat, 10% of which consists of saturated fats. Similarly, 1.2% of the sausage is made up of sodium. Eating too much sausage can increase sodium and fat content in your body and result in unwanted complications.
Tips for Eating Sausages Safely in Pregnancy
If you do want to eat sausages during pregnancy, here are some tips that you should keep in mind.
Always consume the sausage when it is piping hot. If it is not, always reheat it to the appropriate temperature, and then consume.
Avoid eating sausages that are not cooked well.
Store sausages in the fridge for not more than two days. While consuming them after the specified duration, make sure they are heated fully again and cooked until hot.
Make sure that any raw meat is not placed close to the sausage you want to eat. The juices of the meat could enter the sausage and cause bacteria to thrive.
Some sausages are uncooked, others are ready-to-eat. Make sure you cook both at the right temperature before consuming them.
Always opt for sausages that are less spicy and contain substantially low amounts of sodium.
Delicious Sausage Recipes You Can Try
If you would like to enjoy some delicious sausage dishes, here are a few recipes you can try.
1. Baked Sausages With Butterbeans
Baked sausages with butterbeans taste delicious. Here is how you can make them.
- Sausages – 4-5
- Drained butterbeans – 2 cups
- Brown onion (chopped) – 1
- Coriander leaves
- Tomatoes (chopped) – 1
- Garlic cloves – 2-3
- Capsicums chopped – 2
How to Prepare
- Preheat the oven to 180°C for about 20-25 minutes.
- In a baking tray, place the onions and capsicums, and then sausages on top. Keep the tray in the oven and cook for about 18-20 minutes.
- Once cooked, add the butterbeans, garlic, and tomatoes to them, and mix well.
- Add some water until the mix is juicy.
- Follow it up with sausages and cover it with a foil. Place the tray in the oven and cook it for the same duration.
- Remove it and garnish with coriander before serving.
2. Sausage Casserole
Sausage casserole tastes delicious plus it is filling too. Here’s the recipe for sausage casserole.
- Sausages – 6-7
- Boiled potatoes – 2
- Cheddar cheese – 1 cup
- Tomato puree – 1 cup
- Curry powder – 1 tsp
- Chicken stock
- Sunflower oil – 1-2 tbsp
- Drained beans – 1 cup
- Bean sauce – 1 cup
- Carrots – 1/2 cup
- Chopped onion (medium-sized) – 1
How to Prepare
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Heat some oil in a pan and fry the sausages in it. Transfer them to a plate then fry the onions and carrots in it.
- Add the beans, tomato puree, curry powder, and chicken stock to the mix, and let it cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes.
- Mash the boiled potatoes in a separate bowl.
- Take a casserole dish and place a few sausages in it. Add the bean sauce and potato mash to it, then add the bean-tomato curry mixture, followed by some more sausages.
- Bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes then enjoy.
3. Honey Glazed Sausages
Want to eat something sweet and spicy? Make honey glazed sausages. Check out the recipe below –
- Sausages – 4
- Honey – 3 tbsp
- Vinegar – 1 tsp
- Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Brown sugar – 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
- Oil for cooking
How to Prepare
- Take some oil in a pan and cook the sausages for about 20 minutes.
- In another pan, take some honey and sugar and let it boil.
- Remove the fat from the sausage pan and cook on medium flame again.
- Add the vinegar and honey and sugar mixture in the pan with sausages. Stir continuously to prevent sausages from sticking.
- Once fully cooked, pair them with mashed potatoes and serve.
1. Is It Safe to Eat Chorizo During Pregnancy?
Since it is a pork sausage, it should be consumed in moderate amounts. However, it is best avoided.
2. Can I Eat Hot Sausage While Pregnant?
Hot sausage tastes delicious but eating them in large quantities may lead to heartburn. So it is best avoided in pregnancy. If you do want to enjoy hot sausages, consume them only once in a while.
3. Can Pregnant Women Eat Vienna Sausage?
Vienna sausage is made from pre-cooked sausage that could have bacteria, and they also consist of elevated levels of nitrites and sodium nitrate. So they are best avoided in pregnancy.
4. Is It Safe to Consume Italian Sausages?
Occasional consumption is not harmful since it has a lot of fat and calories.
Sausages can be consumed during pregnancy but cooking them properly is extremely essential to prevent any harm to the baby. By keeping their consumption occasional and maintaining all precautions, you can gorge on your favourite food items and have a healthy pregnancy.