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 maternal health benefits and side effects.

In This Article

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 prenatal 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?

Consume only well-cooked bratwurst during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

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 it to a temperature of at least 165°F to avoid any health risks. 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. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one in six of all Listeria cases is estimated to occur in pregnant women. So, you should avoid raw or undercooked bratwurst. Cooking the sausage at a high temperature helps get rid of bacteria. Also, have a word with your doctor before you eat bratwurst during pregnancy (2).

protip_icon Experts say
According to the US CDC, homemade sausages tend to cause parasitic infections such as trichinellosisiA disease caused by eating undercooked meat infected with the larvae of Trichinella roundworms since freezing or cooking does not kill the microbes (2).

Nutritional Value Of Bratwurst

The following table below shows the major nutrients present in 100g of cooked pork bratwurst as per the USDA National Nutrient Database (3).

NameAmount
Energy (Kcal)333
Protein (g)13.7
Total lipid (fat) (g)29.2
Calcium, Ca (mg)28
Magnesium, Mg (mg)21
Potassium, K (mg)348
Sodium, Na (mg)846
Choline, total (mg)94

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 (4).

2. Provides Sufficient Calories:

Pregnant women should eat bratwurst in moderation

Image: Shutterstock

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 (5).

3. Provides A Gluten-Free Food Option:

Doctors often advise you to avoid gluteniA protein found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, and rye -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 diseaseiAn autoimmune and genetic condition characterized by an immune reaction to gluten, the protein found in barley, rye, and wheat (6)

4. Provides High Amount Of Proteins:

Proteins are extremely important for your body during pregnancy. Every 100 gms of cooked pork bratwurst provides 13.7g of protein. Eating the sausage helps you fulfill the protein requirement during the pregnancy and ensure good growth and development of your unborn baby (3).

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 of 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.

Side-Effects Of Eating Bratwurst During Pregnancy

It may cause an infection during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

It is quite safe to eat bratwurst during pregnancy, but eating raw or undercooked bratwurst can harm you and the baby and lead to bacterial contamination 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

To avoid these side effects, ensure you heat the sausage or prepare it at a high cooking temperature before consuming 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.

protip_icon Experts say
Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to be infected by Listeria than non-pregnant women (4).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is bratwurst healthier than hot dogs?

Bratwurst may be healthier than hot dogs as it provides more calories and higher proteins, which are beneficial for pregnant women(5).

2. What is the difference between a sausage and a bratwurst?

Sausage is ground beef, pork, veal, or chicken and is available in fresh and dried varieties. It is usually sold in casings or linked form. Bratwurst is specifically made from pork or veal. It is sold in linked form. However, food safety is an important factor to be considered when consuming sausage or bratwurst during pregnancy.

3. Can consuming Bratwurst during pregnancy lead to gestational diabetes?

Consuming too much Bratwurst during pregnancy can lead to excessive weight gain, increasing the risk of gestational diabetes (6). Hence, pregnant women should incorporate various nutritious foods into their regular diet to maintain a balance.

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.

Infographic: Benefits And Safety Measures Of Bratwurst Intake During Pregnancy

Bratwurst is a type of sausage that can be a tasty option for pregnant women looking to add protein to their diet. However, taking certain precautions when consuming bratwurst or any other type of sausage while pregnant is important. Learn the potential benefits of including bratwurst in a pregnancy diet and the precautions to take.

bratwurst in pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Pork, veal, or beef is used to make Bratwurst, a German sausage that is typically cooked in beer.
  • Pregnant women can safely consume moderate amounts of Bratwurst that is cooked without beer.
  • To minimize the risk of foodborne illness, it is recommended to cook Bratwurst until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Bratwurst consumption can provide numerous benefits such as boosting immunity, providing B vitamins, and offering high amounts of protein.
  • Consuming raw or undercooked Bratwurst can increase the risk of infection, miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature delivery

Bratwurst During Pregnancy_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team


Discover the answers to the most asked questions about German Bratwurst! Learn about its rich history, discover its key ingredients, and master the art of cooking it to perfection.

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Parents Are Right: Wash Your Hands.
    https://www.fsis.usda.gov/
  2. About Trichinellosis.
    https://www.cdc.gov/trichinellosis/about/
  3. Bratwurst, pork, cooked.
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171620/nutrients
  4. Listeria During Pregnancy.
    https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-concerns/listeria-during-pregnancy/
  5. A Guide to Hot Dog and Sausage Nutrition.
    https://hot-dog.org/resources/Hot-Dog-and-Sausage-Nutrition-Guide
  6. Can you eat Bratwurst while pregnant?
    https://datamax.org/can-you-eat-bratwurst-while-pregnant/
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Dr. Sonal Dhemla, a gold medalist with four years of experience, 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.

Read full bio of Dr. Sonal Dhemla
Ria Saha
Ria SahaB.Tech
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.

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Swati Patwal
Swati PatwalM.Sc. (Food & Nutrition), MBA
Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with more than a decade of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children.

Read full bio of Swati Patwal
Lorraine is a postgraduate in Life Science from Mount Carmel College and previously worked as a freelance scientific illustrator. As a project associate and lab technician at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Lorraine received valuable insights into Covid-19, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, and neuro-degenerative diseases.

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