Cheddar Cheese During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Cheddar cheese during pregnancy
Cheddar cheese during pregnancy

One can make cheddar cheese anywhere in different forms globally; each has its distinct characteristics. Not necessarily restricted to raw milk production; pasteurized options are available if aged beyond sixty days minimum. This enhances both flavor and consistency by reducing its fluid content while still ensuring that it remains safe even during gestation periods when listeria thrives on excess moisture levels present in certain edibles like cheeses![FDA]

What is Cheddar Cheese?

  • 🧀 Cheddar cheese originated in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England.
  • 🧀 It is a hard, pale-yellow to off-white cheese with a distinct sharp and tangy taste.
  • 🧀 Cheddar cheese is made from cow’s milk.
  • 🧀 It is a good source of protein and calcium. 
  • 🧀 Cheddar cheese can come in different varieties, such as mild, sharp, and extra sharp.

Nutritional Benefits of Cheddar Cheese

  • 💪 Rich source of calcium, which is important for developing strong bones and teeth in both the mother and baby.
  • 🍖 Good source of protein, aiding in growth and repair of body tissues.
  • 🥕 Contains vitamin A, essential for maintaining healthy vision.
  • 🧠 Contains vitamin B12, which helps with nerve function.
  • 💊 May help prevent pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication.[nutritionix]

Is Cheddar Cheese Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

cheddar cheese pregnancy

🧀 Aged or “sharp” cheddar is safe for pregnant women due to:

  • lower moisture content
  • higher acidity
  • fewer harmful bacteria
  • 👅 May cause tingling in the mouth, but still safe to eat during pregnancy.
  • 💁‍♀️ Pregnant women can enjoy the taste of “sharp” cheddar without worrying about harmful bacteria.
  • 🤰 “Sharp” cheddar is a good source of calcium and protein for pregnant women.
  • 🚫 Pregnant women should avoid soft cheeses, unpasteurized cheeses, and blue-veined cheeses due to the risk of listeria.
  • 🥪 Aged or “sharp” cheddar is a good option for pregnant women to add to sandwiches, crackers, or as a topping for baked dishes.
  • 🍴 Pregnant women can safely incorporate aged or “sharp” cheddar into their diets for a healthy and delicious snack.
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You can use melted or baked cheddar in mac and cheese for your grilled cheese sandwich.

Is Cheddar Cheese Made With Pasteurized Milk?

  • 🤰 It’s safe for pregnant women due to the aging process which reduces moisture content, making it difficult for listeria to grow.
  • 🇺🇸 In the USA, cheddar can be made with unpasteurized milk.(However, it must be aged for at least 60 days before selling it.)[FDA]
  • 🥛 Traditionally made with raw milk.
  • 💧 Aging process reduces moisture content.[cfs]

How to Incorporate Cheddar Cheese in a Healthy Pregnancy Diet

1.Pair cheddar cheese with whole-grain crackers or bread. 

this well-proportioned snack containing carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats will provide your body with the right nutrients required for active metabolism. It’s a great snack choice anyone should choose in order to maintain excellent health status.

2.Add shredded cheddar cheese to salads or soups.

It’s an easy way to add flavor and nutrients to your meals.

3.Use cheddar cheese as a topping for baked potatoes or grilled vegetables.

It adds a delicious twist to your favorite vegetables and provides extra protein and calcium.

Pregnancy-Safe Cheddar Cheese Brands

Here is a list of cheddar cheese brands to eat if you are pregnant:

  1. Tillamook
  2. Horizon Organic
  3. Cabot
  4. Organic Valley
  5. Sargento
  6. 365 (Whole Foods)
  7. Cracker Barrel
  8. Kraft
  9. Boar’s Head
  10. iGourmet
  11. Pilgrims’ Choice
  12. Tillamook Sharp Cheddar
  13. Great Value (Walmart brand)
  14. Any cheese produced in the United States aged more than 60 days – check in other countries
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[pregnancyfoodchecker]

FAQs

Can I eat cheddar cheese if I am lactose intolerant?

Yes, you can still eat cheddar cheese if you are lactose intolerant, as it contains very little lactose.

Can I eat cheddar cheese if I am allergic to dairy?

No, if you are allergic to dairy, you should avoid cheddar cheese and all other dairy products.

Can I eat cheddar cheese if I am on a low-fat diet?

Cheddar cheese is high in fat and not ideal for low-fat diets, but pregnant women need a balanced diet that includes fat for their baby’s growth and development.

Is it safe to eat cheddar cheese if it is melted?

Melted cheddar cheese made from pasteurized milk is safe to eat, but it must be heated to a safe temperature to eliminate harmful bacteria.

Can I eat cheddar cheese from a deli counter?

Buy pre-packaged cheddar cheese made from pasteurized milk instead of from a deli counter to ensure safety.

Conclusion

  • 🧀 Cheddar cheese is safe for pregnant women in moderation.
  • 🤰 It is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins A and B12, essential for a healthy pregnancy.
  • 😋 Its delicious taste makes it an enjoyable addition to a well-balanced pregnancy diet.
  • 💪 Its nutritional benefits can improve the health of both the mother and baby.
  • 👩‍👧‍👦 Consuming cheddar cheese in moderation does not compromise the health of the mother or baby. 
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