Is It Safe To Eat Cake During Pregnancy?

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You certainly already have a list of what to eat and not to eat while pregnant. However, you may succumb to your pregnancy food cravings, which are common among pregnant women. For example, eating a cake during pregnancy is one such pregnancy craving.

If you are considering eating cake while pregnant but aren’t sure if giving in to the temptation may harm your unborn child, this post will clear things up. So before you tempt your taste buds, read on to know if eating cake is safe when you’re pregnant.

Is It Safe To Eat A Cake During Pregnancy?

Hannah Whittaker, a pediatric and pregnancy dietitian from Liverpool, England, says, “Cake can be eaten during pregnancy; however, I would advise my clients not to have them every day, as they could cause excessive weight gain. If you eat cakes frequently, they should be made from a low-calorie recipe, such as a fruit loaf. I would also advise looking at the ingredients and ensuring that there aren’t any raw products, such as eggs included, as they may increase the risk of salmonella.”

The good news is that while you are pregnant you can still give in to your sweet craving, once in a while. The real news is that you cannot go on a binging spree, especially when you are pregnant.

What you eat during your pregnancy is extremely crucial, as it is the sole source of nutrition for your unborn baby. Your bouts of morning sickness during pregnancy may be taking a toll on your intake. Therefore, whatever little you manage to eat should be healthy and nutritious. Cakes, no matter how delicious they are, provide little nutritional value (1). Consult your doctor before you pamper your taste buds.

Having a slice of plain cake with no icing is fine. However, if you are planning to have one with that yummy topping, you should drop the idea. Your doctor may ask you to refrain from the intake of any kind of cream or custard on your cake in pregnancy as they could be made from raw eggs (2).

You may have a slice of plain cake with no icing during pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

Eating a homemade cake too can spell danger, as it may contain bacteria and parasites like salmonella, listeria, toxoplasma, E.coli and staphylococcus. When you are pregnant, your immune system is at an all-time low. Therefore, you are at a higher risk of falling ill, especially when you eat certain types of foods. These foods (containing raw eggs) may cause harm to your unborn baby (3). FDA advises pregnant women to be mindful of these risks and follow the necessary precautions to prevent the risk of adverse effects during pregnancy (4). Giving in to your sweet tooth on a special occasion could also take a toll on your health and your baby’s growth.

Quick fact
Pregnancy cravings may usually start in the first trimester, peak in the second trimester, and may end in the third trimester. For pregnant women, cake cravings are not uncommon (5).

It is important to regulate your calorie intake during pregnancy. Desserts will make you pile on those extra kilos while expecting. Shedding weight post delivery will be a challenge you will face. You need not ban sweets and deprive yourself for nine months, just remember to eat them in moderation. Remember, a wholesome diet along with an active lifestyle will help you have a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

Point to consider
If you are at risk of or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, limit your sugar intake to avoid complications (6).

What If You Still Want To Have A Piece?

Do not taste the raw batter if you're baking cake at home

Image: Shutterstock

If your nutritionist or doctor gives you a thumbs-up, you may have a cake slice. Try to have a fresh homemade one. If you are baking a cake at home, remember to stay away from the urge of licking the spoon. Do not taste even a drop of the raw batter. The raw eggs in the batter will most likely be a host to salmonella and other harmful bacteria. Wait until the cake is ready before sampling it. Avoid having a piece of cake with toppings on it.

Whittaker recommends, “Pancakes are a great pregnancy food and can be eaten as a snack. You can balance them with nutritious items, such as fruit and yogurt, or make them savory by adding vegetables such as spinach/broccoli and cheese, chicken and spinach, or tomato and cheese.”

The cake is one of the best sweets and a go-to snack for most people who have a sweet tooth. If you have a sweet tooth and are craving some cake during pregnancy, you may have it in limited quantities while taking the necessary precautions. But cake during pregnancy needs to be consumed with caution due to its sweet nature and the possible presence of bacteria since a pregnant body’s immune system may not be as active as others. You may have a slice after consulting your ob/gyn to be on the safer side. Remember, it is only a matter of nine months. Until then, try to control your unhealthy cravings and eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible.


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