Should you eat cheese during pregnancy? (Source: Pexels)
Most of us love to eat cheese. You may be craving cheese during pregnancy, too, but is it safe to eat?
Dr Meenakshi Sahuhta, director of obstetrics and gynaecology, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Gurgaon, told Express Parenting that the kind of cheese mostly available in India is good for pregnant women. "Milk and milk products, including cheese are recommended to pregnant women, especially those who are vegetarian (who do not eat meat), as it is an important source of protein," she said.
Is cheese in India safe to eat during pregnancy?
There are varieties of cheese available. Of these, pregnant women should avoid any cheese that is made from unpasteurised milk.
Indian paneer and Indian tofu is absolutely safe to eat during pregnancy because it is made from pasteurised milk, which means it is heated usually to less than 100 degrees Celsius. Unpasteurised dairy products, on the other hand, may cause a condition called listeriosis, a bacterial infection, explained Dr Sahuhta. "This infection can cause mild fever in the mother but it can also lead to preterm labour. Listeriosis can also affect the baby, which may even lead to their death in the uterus," she said.
Cheese made from unpasteurised milk should not be eaten during pregnancy. In India, nearly all types of cheese available in the market including mozzarella are made from pasteurised milk and are safe to consume during pregnancy, except feta cheese which is not pasteurised, the gynaecologist informed.
While cheese is safe to eat, to ensure safety, one should always check the label on the box of cheese. If it says it is made of pasteurised milk, it is safe to eat.