Are you craving for your favorite breakfast meal of bacon and eggs? You do love the crunchiness and crispiness of bacon, but are you worried if the processed meat could harm your little one?
Well, then this post is the apt one for you. Here we clear off all your doubts you have about eating bacon during pregnancy. Would you like to know more? Please keep reading.
What Is Bacon And How Is It Made?
You could find a variety of bacon in the market, but depending upon the manufacturer, the final product may differ. Traditionally, bacon was made from pig meat, but you may find bacon made from other animal’s meat like that of turkey as well.
Bacon is a processed meat, where meat undergoes a process called curing; meat undergoes a treatment with salts, spices, nitrites and sometimes with sugar also. The use of salt preserves the meat and spices act as a flavoring agent. (1)
[ Read: Turkey During Pregnancy ]
Nutritional Value Of Bacon:
If we look at a serving made of 13 gm bacon, we could come to a conclusion that it’s not a healthy food. Loaded with high content of sodium, fat, and cholesterol, the only good thing it offers is a protein value of 4gms. (2)
Is Bacon Safe During Pregnancy?
We are well aware to avoid certain food items completely, but stuff like bacon falls under the gray area; that is, you got to eat it with caution. To be on the safer side, it is always best to consult your gynaecologist during pregnancy.
The main cause of worry, however, while enjoying a bacon meal is the risk involved in consuming the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which resides on uncooked bacon. This bacterium is a natural microbe that is present in the soil, animals, plants, and also in ground water. (3) A pregnant woman is at risk if she ingests this bacterium as it could infect the fetus and increase the chances of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infection.
But the good part is that this bacterium dies while cooking bacon evenly. So, if you are willing to enjoy your bacon meal during pregnancy, make sure to cook it until its crisp as a wafer and is proper red in color. Make sure you turn the bacon to find any uncooked part or cold spots and ensure to heat it again.
With some precaution, you can definitely enjoy bacon during your pregnancy.
[ Read: Deli Meats During Pregnancy ]
Benefits Of Eating Bacon During Pregnancy
This is some good news for all the pregnant women out there. Yes, eating bacon while pregnant does have benefits, and the most important one of them is its aid in brain development. Bacon has a mineral called choline that helps in the brain development of the fetus. (4)
Symptoms To Look For In Case You Had Raw Bacon During Pregnancy:
If you have consumed raw bacon and are not sure if you are infected, you can look out for these symptoms:
- Stomach Upset
The above symptoms mirror the generic pregnancy symptoms. Hence, the best thing is to call your gynaecologist and ask for her advice
[ Read: Lamb During Pregnancy ]
Picking The Right Bacon For Good Health During Pregnancy:
If you are concerned about your health, and more importantly about the health of your baby, knowing to pick the right kind of bacon is something you must do.
- You can get the best bacon from pigs those are fed with pastures.
- Try and get bacon from farmers who still use the traditional method of processing.
- You can also spend a few extra bucks and go for nitrate-free bacon. Lastly, you can make your own bacon at home.
A Few Safe Practices:
There might be situations when even if you are not eating bacon, you might be cooking for someone in your family. In such cases, there are a few safe practices that are advisable to follow.
- Keep the uncooked bacon away from other vegetables, ready-to-eat items, fruits, etc.
- Make sure to wash your hands before and after touching bacon, so that the bacteria from your hands do not pass onto it.
- Make sure to cook bacon at 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.
Storing Bacon In Your Home:
The best place to store bacon is in a refrigerator or freezer. Ideally, you can store bacon in a refrigerator for about 7 days at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you are storing bacon in a freezer, you can do so for a month at a temperature of 0 degree Fahrenheit. (5)
[ Read: Hot Dogs During Pregnancy ]
Quick Yummy Recipe:
Pasta With Spinach And Bacon:
- Olive oil – one tablespoon
- Minced garlic – one teaspoon
- Spinach, frozen, thawed, and chopped – 3/4 cup, drained
- Sodium chicken or beef broth – 1 cup reduced (you could use vegetable broth also)
- Whole-wheat spaghetti – 8 ounces, cooked and drained
- Ground pepper
- Grated smoked cheese – 2/3 cups
- Turkey bacon – approximately five strips, cooked until crunchy
- To start with, heat olive oil in a pan. Sauté garlic over medium heat for a minute or two.
- Mix in the spinach and keep on sautéing for a minute. Empty in the broth and continue cooking it with the spinach mixture, until the broth almost disappears (2-3 minutes).
- Mix in noodles and continue cooking the mixture for a minute or more. Put off the heat, add pepper as per your taste, and then dust cheese and bacon crumbs over the top. It’s ready to be served.
- Could serve for four
The most important part of pregnancy is eating a healthy diet, and it isn’t something complex or difficult. We hope this post clears your doubts and apprehensions about eating bacon while pregnant. Do let us know in the comments section your thoughts and opinions.
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