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Pregnancy is a time when your hunger can sometimes get the better of you and you may want to eat something that is usually not considered really healthy for a pregnant woman or for anyone. There are many everyday food items that taste delicious but can have a bad effect on the health of your baby. One such food that you might crave for during pregnancy is a burger. Burgers and other junk food items though taste delicious, you may have to quit eating them (or eat them in limited amounts) during pregnancy for your baby’s good health.
Can You Eat Burgers During Pregnancy?
Nutritionists usually advise pregnant women to refrain from consuming junk and processed foods during pregnancy as they are unhealthy and offer zero nutritional value to the baby. So if you are wondering if you can eat a burger from your favourite eatery, the answer is a firm ‘no‘, but don’t be disappointed. You can enjoy a homemade burger once in a while. As long as you choose the right filling for your homemade burger, you can eat it!
Are There Any Health Benefits of Eating Burgers While Pregnant?
There are no benefits of eating a store-bought burger. Even if the restaurant or food-chain where you usually eat burgers from claim that they use whole wheat buns or make their burgers from ‘fresh produce only’, you should avoid eating them as they may not be healthy.
Harmful Effects of Eating Burgers During Pregnancy
If you ever have the temptation to go for a take-out burger from a burger joint, resist the temptation. Why? Because eating burgers can be harmful to your baby’s health. Here are some of the harmful effects of eating burgers when pregnant:
- In case your burger comprises of high-fat meat and fattening toppings you may be consuming excess calories which can lead to unnecessary weight gain and even cardiovascular problems.
- Sometimes the meat used to make the burger patties may be stale or undercooked which can increase the risk of food poisoning during pregnancy. If the meat you use is unhygienic, it can lead to food poisoning. Sometimes, meat can also contain hormones, which can be dangerous for you during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy is the time when you may like to go in for a healthy and wholesome diet. Eating ‘junk food’-concentrated diet during pregnancy can result in negative health effects. So, avoid making burgers a part of your routine diet while pregnant.
How to Make a Healthy Burger at Home
If you are craving for a burger, you don’t have to order one from a store. You can fix yourself a healthy burger at home. Here’s how you can make one!
- Go in for finely ground fresh lean meat or chicken patty as it contains less saturated fat. Lean meat is considered a healthier form of protein which may positively affect the development of foetal tissue.
- Add a lot of vegetables like chopped carrots, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes to your burger as it can provide the much-needed dose of potassium, phosphorus, calcium and vitamins A, C, B1 required for the wellness of pregnancy.
- Make patties using black beans, quinoa, and lentils as they are a good source of protein, fibre, and micronutrients. These ingredients will help you tackle one of the most difficult pregnancy symptom constipation.
- Spice your burger with herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, and sage as they are rich in antioxidants and do not pose any side effects.
Burgers or other junk foods don’t offer any nutritional value to a pregnant woman or her baby. If you crave a burger or any other unhealthy food, just remember that it won’t do any good to your baby – this thought will keep you from reaching for unhealthy foods during pregnancy. However, if you still want to enjoy it once in a while, you can make a healthy burger using cheese, paneer, soya chunks, or lean chicken. Add colourful veggies and healthy fats like egg yolk, coconut oil, or olive oil. Better yet, consult your doctor before including any unhealthy food in your pregnancy diet.
Also Read: Is It Safe to Eat Chicken During Pregnancy?