Sour Cream During Pregnancy: Risks & Benefits

sour cream during pregnancy
sour cream during pregnancy

Dairy products, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and other items, should be included in the daily diet of people in the necessary amount because they play an important role in the health of people’s bones. One of the most popular dairy products is sour cream, which can be combined and consumed with meals. Sour cream can be used in soups, nachos, and many other dishes or with potatoes and vegetables. You will learn more about how to use and the benefits of sour cream.

Sour cream at a glance

  • Sour cream is prepared from a combination of milk and cream. This spicy or sour combination has a high concentration and many uses.
  • There are different types of sour cream, the properties, and characteristics of each of which are different according to the nutrients in them.
  • Sour cream is also used with salad.
  • Normal sour cream is very fatty, so if people want to consume low-calorie foods and control their weight, it is better to either completely avoid eating sour cream or use the fat-free and light version.
  • Sour cream contains nutrients, calories, fat, complex carbohydrates, various proteins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, riboflavin, choline, and B vitamins.

Is it safe to eat sour cream during pregnancy?

Dairy products should be part of the daily diet of pregnant women, provided they are made from pasteurized milk. Sour cream made from pasteurized milk is not harmful to pregnant women and fetuses. Sour cream should not be prepared at home, because the fermentation process is part of the process in its production, and in doing this process at home, it is not possible to accurately control the amount of heat and the freeness of surfaces from germs and bacteria. So, there is a possibility of bacterial contamination and other risks, as a result, it is more appropriate to buy sour cream from reputable food stores instead of making it at home. Pasteurized dairy products must be stored in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.

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Different types of sour cream

1. Standard sour cream

This is the most common type of sour cream and is made from whole milk, though some brands also use skimmed milk. It can be used as a dip or to add flavor to a number of dishes, though it’s not suitable for making dips that need to last overnight due to its high lactose content. The best way to use this particular style of sour cream is in a sauce or as an ingredient in other sauces or dips.

2. Light sour cream

This has been made by adding extra protein-rich ingredients such as powdered milk, whey powder, and casein (a protein found in animal milk) into standard sour cream, which makes it even thicker than standard sour cream but still only lightly thickened. It’s ideal for those who want to reduce their intake of dairy products but still want the richness and creaminess that comes with dairy products like sour cream.

3. Free-fat sour cream

There are three types of free fat in this type of sour cream: lactose-free (only lactose), calcium-free (only calcium), and protein-free (no protein). These three types are usually combined together so that they can be used interchangeably without affecting the taste or consistency of the product.

4. Mexican sour cream

This is a fairly thick, smooth, and tangy version of sour cream. It’s not quite as sour as the classic American style, but it’s still a delicious alternative to the more traditional brands.

5. Classic American sour cream

Classic American sour cream is thinner than Mexican sour cream and has less milk fat than regular sour cream, so it doesn’t have as much richness. It’s great for topping baked potatoes or making dips like guacamole or salsa verde.

In the production of sour cream, in addition to cream and milk, special bacteria are also used. Sour cream is creamy and soft like Greek yogurt.

Benefits of sour cream during pregnancy

1. Supplying calcium to the body during pregnancy:

Pregnant women should definitely use foods rich in calcium, especially dairy products because with the growth of the fetus, the amount of calcium in the mother’s body decreases, and light sour cream, despite its low calories and high calcium, compensates for this deficiency.

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2. Accelerating food digestion:

The compounds in sour cream are effective in speeding up the digestion process. It also plays an important role in treating stomach problems such as heartburn and acid reflux.

Potential Risks of Sour Cream During Pregnancy

When preparing sour cream, especially during pregnancy, you should pay attention to the ingredients in the composition of this dairy product. Because some manufacturers use additives such as calcium sulfate, sodium phosphate, corn starch, salt, etc., and their effects are dangerous for the health of the mother and fetus.

1. Weight gain

Sour cream increases weight quickly due to high calories, which is a serious risk for overweight pregnant mothers.

2. Increase in blood pressure and triglycerides

Sour cream is high in fat, which can increase your blood pressure and triglycerides. This may lead to a higher risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy, which can be dangerous for your baby.

3. Exacerbation of gestational diabetes

Sour cream contains lactose, which is sugar that can cause a condition called gestational diabetes (also known as “pregnancy-related diabetes”). Gestational diabetes increases the risk of delivering a baby with birth defects, including those related to fetal growth restriction (smaller than normal size).

4. Macrosomia

Macrosomia is the term used to describe babies who are born large for their gestational age. In some cases, this can be due to being overweight prior to conception or during pregnancy when there is an increase in maternal weight gain due to an increased appetite due to pregnancy hormones such as insulin and progesterone

5. Hardening of the conditions for natural childbirth

The most common risk of sour cream consumption during pregnancy is the hardening of the conditions for natural childbirth, which occurs in about half of all pregnant women. In this case, the placenta begins to form a thick lining, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and causes the baby to develop problems.

6. Food poisoning

Dairy products can cause poisoning if they are not pasteurized.

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7. Increased risk of stillbirth

Consuming unpasteurized or expired foods will cause the formation of toxic compounds in the pregnant woman’s body and sometimes stillbirth.

8. heart problems

The second risk is that sour cream can cause heart problems in pregnant women. The substance contains high amounts of fat and sugar, which can lead to high cholesterol levels and even cardiovascular diseases.

Precautions

  1. Be sure to prepare pasteurized sour cream and make sure that its packaging is not inflamed or leaking because these things indicate the contamination of the sour cream.
  2. When buying sour cream, pay attention to the production and expiration dates on the packaging.
  3. From the moment you buy the sour cream until the time you eat it, it must be kept at a low temperature in the refrigerator because the refrigerator destroys harmful bacterial factors.
  4. Do not keep sour cream for a long time after opening the package, because pathogenic agents grow inside it and become rotten.
  5. Avoid using sour cream with aroma and juice.
  6. Do not prepare sour cream at home because there is a risk of bacterial and infectious contamination.
  7. Do not buy sour cream from a restaurant because it may be made from unpasteurized milk.
  8. Don’t dip the spoon or the container with which you eat the sour cream into the sour cream again so that the bacteria in your mouth don’t mix with the sour cream.

The reason for emphasizing the use of pasteurized sour cream is the presence of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which is mostly destroyed during the pasteurization process. Listeria will lead to listeriosis infection, which causes fever and flu-like symptoms, and complications such as miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and infectious diseases for babies and mothers. Moldy or juicy sour cream contains listeriosis infection.

Conclusion

Pasteurized dairy products are among the safe and essential foods for consumption during pregnancy. These products, especially sour cream, bring many benefits to the body due to the abundance of nutrients, but due to the high fat and calorie content, their consumption should be balanced. When buying sour cream, you must make sure that it is pasteurized, because if it is not pasteurized, its consumption poses serious risks to the mother and fetus.

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