One of the things that concerns most pregnant women is knowing which foods are safe to eat and which ones to avoid. Most women already assume that they will need to cut back on, or avoid altogether, things like alcohol, tobacco, and various medications. One food that has led to many questions about its safety during pregnancy is bacon. There is quite a list of foods that need to be cut back on or avoided altogether; so many women would like to know if they need to avoid bacon when pregnant.
So, should you avoid bacon when pregnant? While most health-care practitioners would caution against overconsumption of any one food, they would also likewise counsel that moderation is generally the best course of action. Bacon is actually one of a long list of foods that pregnant women need to approach with some caution. For instance, fish and seafood are generally considered to be healthy foods, but pregnant women need to exercise some caution when consuming seafood because some types contain high levels of mercury, which could be harmful to a fetus.
Women who are wondering if they should eat bacon when pregnant need to bear in mind the following: cured foods like ham and bacon contain sodium nitrate, a substance which may cause cancer. Just because sodium nitrate is present does not necessarily mean you need to avoid bacon when pregnant, however. Most health care professionals would agree that the presence of sodium nitrate in a serving of bacon is generally small enough to not cause any adverse health effects. This could change if you consume large quantities of bacon or other cured meats frequently over the course of your pregnancy. Again, moderation is key.
One thing to consider if you eat bacon when pregnant is the high sodium content. Bacon is one of the more high-sodium foods out there, and if you eat even a little, you might find yourself retaining water to an uncomfortable degree. This is often a problem for pregnant women in particular, since some experience a great deal of discomfort from swelling in her extremities. If this is a problem for you, you may wish to avoid bacon when pregnant in addition to any other high-sodium foods.
Another food-related issue you may wish to consider during your pregnancy is handling and cooking. While it is always important to practice good hygiene in food preparation, this is far more important when you are pregnant, since any illness you might contract as a result of contaminated food could have severe consequences for your baby. So, make sure that food is always handled as cleanly as possible, and that all meats and eggs are properly and thoroughly cooked.
It’s up to you if you wish to avoid bacon when pregnant, but be aware, that it, like many other foods that require caution during a pregnancy doesn’t have to be bad for you. The key is to exercise moderation. It’s fine to eat bacon when pregnant; just don’t eat large quantities of it every day.
You can find helpful information about avoid bacon when pregnant and everything you need to know about bacon when pregnant at Aha! Baby.