5 Health Benefits Of Eating Lamb During Pregnancy

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If you enjoy a delicious meal of lamb chops occasionally, you need not stop eating lamb during pregnancy. Lamb is an excellent source of protein and vitamins that can keep you and your baby healthy (1). It protects you from illnesses while enriching you with nutrients. However, every food should be taken in moderate amounts to avoid any side effects.

Read this post to learn more about eating lamb, including its benefits for pregnant women and precautionary measures to take during its consumption.

Health Benefits Of Eating Lamb During Pregnancy

Apart from being extremely tasty, lamb is also known to be high in nutritional content. Here are some of the health benefits of eating lamb:

  1. Being a good source of protein, it contributes to the increased protein requirement in pregnancy. This helps in the growth and development of your fetus (1).
  2. Lamb is rich in iron, which could raise your hemoglobin level. It helps in the formation of red blood cells. The iron in lamb gets absorbed easily in your body because iron is more readily absorbed from animal protein (1) (2).
  3. The high amount of zinc contained in meat helps develop the immune system of your fetus, ensuring overall growth along with cell division (1) (3).
  4. Lamb is a rich source of vitamin B12 that keeps the nervous system healthy, aids the formation of red blood cells, and prevents anemia (1) (4).
  5. Traces of copper contained in lamb ensure maximum growth of your unborn baby (5).

Risks Of Eating Lamb During Pregnancy

No doubt lamb is a rich source of all vital nutrients you need during pregnancy. However, there are several risk factors of taking lamb that cannot be ruled out completely. Here is what you should know about the probable risk factors of taking lamb daily during pregnancy:

  1. Lamb contains high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats that might result in a significant increase in your blood lipid levels. This is certainly not desirable in pregnancy (1).
  2. Lamb is rich in sodium. Hence, excessive intake in pregnancy can increase your blood pressure level and can lead to unwanted consequences (5).
  3. Histamines in lamb may result in allergies in some. Eczema is one of the most common forms of infections. In some cases, you might also suffer from asthma, cough, runny nose, and anaphylactic shocks (6).

However, if you have the consent of your healthcare provider, you can make lamb dishes and enjoy them.

Precautionary Measures

Lamb has high calorie content, so when you are pregnant, you need to take it in moderation to avoid discomforts such as indigestion. Here are some precautionary measures you can take:

  • If you eat lamb, make sure to drink plenty of water.
  • Incorporate plenty of vegetables and fruits rich in calcium along with lamb to increase nutrition for your unborn baby.
  • While lamb is good, Mongolian Boiled Lamb is the best.
  • While cooking lamb, you must follow the recommended temperature and time guidelines. This will ensure you have cooked the meat to a safe internal temperature. You can prevent most food borne diseases by following the cooking guidelines.
  • Using a meat thermometer is a good way to ensure the meat is not under cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I eat pink lamb while pregnant?

No. Consuming raw, pink, or bloody meat can infect you with toxoplasmosis, a tiny parasite that resides in meat and can be harmful to both mother and baby (7).

2. Can I eat lamb fry when pregnant?

Yes. It is safe to have any meat cooked thoroughly during pregnancy (7).

3. Can I eat medium lamb when pregnant?

Yes. Medium lamb is cooked at a temperature of 160°F, which is higher than the minimum recommended temperature of 145°F. Therefore, it is well cooked and safe to consume during pregnancy (7) (8).

Lamb contains protein required for fetal development, iron for hemoglobin synthesis, and several other nutrients for other health benefits. However, safety concerns may make you doubt if you can eat lamb while pregnant or not. Eating lamb in moderate amounts is safe during pregnancy. However, consuming lamb in excess may increase your blood pressure or blood lipid levels. To avoid any discomfort after eating lamb, ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked. If you have any questions regarding its safety, it is best to consult a doctor.

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. Michigan lamb is an excellent source of protein, zinc, selenium and B vitamins.
    https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/michigan_lamb_is_an_excellent_source_of_protein_zinc_selenium_and_b_vitamin
  2. Hemoglobin and Functions of Iron.
    https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/hemoglobin-and-functions-of-iron
  3. Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Pregnancy and Infant Outcomes: A Systematic Review.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3787719/
  4. B Vitamins in the nervous system: Current knowledge of the biochemical modes of action and synergies of thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6930825/
  5. Lamb, ground, raw.
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174370/nutrients
  6. Lamb triggered histamine release [Units/volume] in Blood.
    https://loinc.org/7449-2/
  7. Foods to avoid in pregnancy.
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/nutrition-in-pregnancy/foods-avoid-pregnancy
  8. Proper Cooking Temperatures for Safe Food At Home.
    https://health.minnesota.gov/people/foodsafety/cook/cooktemp.html
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Sadiya Qamar

Sadiya is a writer and editor with a passion for writing about parenthood and children. Her focus areas are health, wellness, and beauty. For MomJunction, she writes on kids’ health and nutrition.  Sadiya believes in doing in-depth research and providing accurate information to help parents with concerns on their children’s growth and development.

Jennifer House

(MSc, RD)
Jennifer House is a Registered Dietitian and owner of First Step Nutrition in Calgary, Alberta. Whether dealing with picky eaters or starting a baby on solids, Jennifer helps parents decrease food overwhelm through online programs. She is the creator of the Solid Steps to Baby-led Weaning e-course, End Picky Eating group coaching program, and author of  "The Parents' Guide to... more

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