Churros are fried dough pastries that originated in Spain and Portugal and are popular in Mexico and South America as well. They are made by deep frying a dough mixture until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Churros are then coated with sugar or cinnamon sugar.
They can be enjoyed as a sweet treat or snack and are often served with dipping sauces like chocolate or dulce de leche. Churros have a sweet flavor and crunchy exterior texture.
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Is It Safe to Eat Churros During Pregnancy?
Many pregnant women wonder if churros are safe to eat during pregnancy. The answer is yes, churros can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy pregnancy diet. Here’s what the experts say:
According to the American Pregnancy Association, “There are no specific foods that must be avoided during pregnancy Except from the list below.” (1) They recommend focusing on an overall balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
- Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood
- Deli meats
- Fish with high mercury levels like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish
- Smoked refrigerated seafood
- Fish from contaminated lakes and rivers
- Raw shellfish
- Raw eggs
- Soft cheeses
- Unpasteurized milk
- Unpasteurized juice
- Unwashed vegetables
- Raw sprouts
The CDC notes that a healthy pregnancy diet includes “grains, fruits, vegetables, protein foods, dairy products, oils, etc.” All of these food groups can be incorporated into a diet that also occasionally enjoys treats like churros in moderation.
WebMD states that during pregnancy “you do not need to go on a special diet” but recommends choosing a variety of foods from each food group. (2)
So enjoying churros occasionally as a special treat is perfectly fine during pregnancy as part of a healthy balanced diet! 😊👍
Churro Nutrition Facts
Let’s take a look at the nutrition information for a typical churro:
- Calories: A 1.5 oz (42g) churro contains approximately 150 calories
- Fat: Churros contain about 7-12 grams of fat per serving, depending on size. This comes mostly from frying them in oil.
- Carbs: A churro has around 18-20 grams of carbohydrates. The primary carb source is wheat flour.
- Sugar: Churros are coated with 2-8 grams of sugar like cinnamon sugar or plain white sugar.
- Protein: Churros provide 2-3 grams of protein per serving.
- Sodium: They contain around 100-200 mg sodium.
So while churros are a sweet treat, they do provide some nutrition like carbs, protein, and fat. When enjoying churros, portion size is important since they are high in calories.
Churro Cravings and Pregnancy
Cravings are very common during pregnancy! Churro cravings are no exception.
According to What to Expect, “about 90% of American moms-to-be get the urge for specific foods during pregnancy.”
Cravings are often for sweets and foods like churros that provide quick energy. Some theories suggest cravings are the body’s way of obtaining nutrients it needs.
So if you’re craving churros, enjoy a few! Just be mindful of portion sizes. Cravings typically become less frequent in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters as nausea diminishes.
Listening to your body’s cues for cravings is okay as long as your overall diet is balanced. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about pregnancy cravings.
Are There Any Risks of Eating Churros While Pregnant?
There are a few potential risks to keep in mind if you eat churros regularly during pregnancy:
- Weight gain: Churros are high in calories, so eating them in large amounts could contribute to excessive weight gain during pregnancy. The recommended weight gain is 25-35 pounds. Stick to a 1-2 churro portion to avoid overdoing it.
- Gestational diabetes: Women with gestational diabetes need to be extra cautious of foods high in carbs and sugar like churros. Work with your doctor to create a GD-friendly eating plan.
- Food poisoning: There is a small risk if churros are not cooked, stored or handled properly. Reheat churros thoroughly and avoid street food of questionable quality.
- Acrylamide: This chemical compound forms when starchy foods like churros are fried, baked or roasted at high temps. Minimize exposure by eating churros and fried foods sparingly.
Overall, the risks are low for healthy pregnant women enjoying churros occasionally as part of a balanced diet. Moderation and proper food safety practices are key!
Healthy Ways to Enjoy Churros While Pregnant
Here are some tips for satisfying churro cravings in a healthy way during pregnancy:
- Indulge churro cravings in moderation – 1-2 small or mini churros is a reasonable portion.
- Choose churros made with whole wheat or multigrain flour when possible for more nutrients.
- Enjoy churros as an occasional treat rather than a daily habit.
- Substitute fresh fruit as a dipper for the chocolate or dulce de leche sauce.
- Opt for churros cooked in olive or canola oil which are healthier than lard or shortening.
- Share an order of churros with a friend to control portions.
- Balance out churros with other nourishing foods like salads, yogurt and lean protein.
- Stay active with walking, prenatal yoga and other exercise to burn extra pregnancy calories.
Satisfy those churro cravings wisely and your sweet treat can be part of an overall healthy pregnancy diet! 👍
Healthy Churro Alternatives
If you want to satisfy your churro craving in an even healthier way, consider these alternatives:
- Baked cinnamon sugar churro “sticks” – Coat baked bread sticks or dough sticks with cinnamon and sugar.
- Air fried churros – You can make churro dough and air fry instead of deep frying for less oil.
- Churro cereal – DIY a churro flavored cereal by coating bites of whole grain cereal in cinnamon and sugar.
- Churro oatmeal – Stir cinnamon and sugar into oatmeal or overnight oats.
- Churro yogurt parfait – Layer cinnamon sugar flavored Greek yogurt with fruit for a balanced breakfast.
- Churro apples – Slice apples and coat with cinnamon and sugar for a churro twist.
With a little creativity, you can find ways to eat churro-flavored foods made with healthier ingredients during your pregnancy!
FAQs About Churros and Pregnancy
No, churros are not inherently bad during pregnancy. They can be enjoyed in moderation as an occasional treat within a balanced diet. Portion control is key.
Avoid unpasteurized foods, raw seafood, undercooked meat, processed lunch meats, high mercury fish, unwashed produce, alcohol, excess caffeine, and dietary supplements not approved by your doctor.
Yes, occasional sweets like churros are perfectly fine for most healthy pregnancies. Focus on nutritious foods for your main meals and enjoy a small treat here and there.
No, eating churros in moderation will not directly harm your baby. Just be cautious of excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes risk if overeating churros and other sweets.
Give into cravings occasionally in reasonable portions. Choose healthier versions when possible. Stay active. Drink water. Eat balanced main meals.
The Takeaway on Churros and Pregnancy
Occasionally indulging churro cravings during pregnancy is perfectly fine for most healthy women. Enjoy mini churros in moderation as a special treat, not an everyday habit. Satisfy cravings with portion and calorie control to prevent excessive weight gain. Opt for healthier churro-flavored alternatives when possible. Focus on an overall nutritious prenatal diet. With balance and moderation, pregnant moms can definitely enjoy churros!