Is It Safe To Eat Bratwurst During Pregnancy?

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Bratwurst is a German sausage that is usually cooked in beer. You may be skeptical about consuming Bratwurst during pregnancy despite its nutritional value. Meat, if undercooked, is a source of infection-causing bacteria that may be harmful, especially during pregnancy. However, if properly cooked, they may serve to provide for the increased nutritional demands of the body during this time. In this post, we tell you whether or not it is safe for pregnant women to eat Bratwurst, its health benefits and side effects.

What Is Bratwurst?

Bratwurst is a traditional German cuisine. The meat sausage comprises pork, veal, and beef. Typically, it is cooked in broth or beer. Bratwurst offers several nutritional benefits, but it has a high-calorie and high-fat content, so you should eat it in moderation (1).

Is It Safe To Eat Bratwurst While Pregnant?

Yes! It is safe to eat bratwurst during pregnancy. However, you need to cook it thoroughly, and avoid cooking it in beer. You need to heat to a temperature of at least 165°F. Raw or undercooked brat sausage may contain harmful bacteria like Listeria, which can cause serious complications during pregnancy. Listeria leads to muscle aches, nausea, fever, and headaches. So, you should avoid raw or undercooked bratwurst. Cooking the sausage at high temperature rids it of bacteria. Also, have a word with your doctor before you eat bratwurst during pregnancy (2).

Health Benefits Of Eating Bratwurst During Pregnancy

Here are some of the health benefits of eating bratwurst while pregnant:

1. Boosts Immunity:

Bratwurst is a rich source of the mineral selenium. A healthy selenium intake will boost your immunity during pregnancy. Eating bratwurst can also improve thyroid function and protect your cells from disease-inducing free radicals. This property makes bratwurst and effective cancer inhibitor (3).

2. Provides Sufficient Calories:

Just 100 gms of bratwurst provides a whopping 297 calories. So eating 200 or 250 gms of bratwurst helps you achieve a huge amount of daily calorie intake. Thus, eating bratwurst offers pregnant women necessary amounts of calories even if they consume a limited amount of the dish (4).

3. Provides A Gluten-Free Food Option:

Doctors often advise you to avoid gluten-free food items during pregnancy if you are gluten sensitive. Bratwurst sausage is a healthy gluten-free food choice to enjoy while expecting. Since the dish is gluten-free, you won’t be at risk of developing celiac disease (5).

4. Provides High Amount Of Proteins:

Proteins are extremely important for your body during pregnancy. Every 100 gms of bratwurst provides you 12 gms of proteins, which is about 8% of daily protein intake. Eating the sausage helps you fulfill the protein requirement during the pregnancy and ensure good growth and development of your unborn baby (6).

5. Provides B Vitamins:

Bratwurst is also rich in vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Both the vitamins are quintessential during pregnancy. Vitamin B12 helps prevent the risk iron deficiency or anemia while you are expecting. Vitamin B6 helps boost your immunity and promotes metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The vitamin is a vital nutrient for the development of your unborn baby’s brain and nervous system (7).

Side-Effects Of Eating Bratwurst During Pregnancy

It is quite safe to eat bratwurst during pregnancy, but eating raw or undercooked bratwurst can harm you and the baby as it may contain listeria. However, do not cook it in beer. Potential side-effects of eating undercooked or raw brat containing listeria include:

Risk of miscarriage

• Infection

• Premature delivery

• Stillbirth (8)

To avoid these side-effects, ensure you heat the sausage at a high temperature before you eat it. Being a non-vegetarian food, bratwurst is a good source of vitamin B12, protein and iron. But due to its high calories, it should be consumed in moderation.

It is safe to eat bratwurst during pregnancy, provided it is properly cooked, and the recipe does not contain beer. Eating cooked meat may fulfill your nutritional requirements and provide sufficient energy. However, eating undercooked meat may lead to adverse health conditions. So, bratwurst consumption during pregnancy may enhance your immunity, provide proteins, and give optimum vitamin B12. However, before including it in your diet, ensure it is cooked correctly to avoid problems such as miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before eating bratwurst.

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Dr. Sonal Dhemla

(PhD)
Dr. Sonal Dhemla, a gold medalist, is working with a pediatric hospital as a consultant dietitian/clinical nutritionist. She founded ‘Dr. Sonal’s Nutrittude’, a diet clinic specializing in child nutrition, complementary feeding, juvenile diabetes, celiac disease, autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, growth issues among children, different deficiencies, and much more. She also works in the field of obesity/overweight, PCOS/PCOD,... more

Ria Saha

Ria is a techie-turned-writer and writes articles on health, with special emphasis on nutrition. She did her B.Tech from West Bengal University of Technology and was previously associated with IBM as SAP ABAP technical consultant. She moved into freelance content writing in 2013 and worked for various websites including MomJunction, Brainpulse Technologies, and Emarketz India.