Can You Eat Blue Cheese While Pregnant?
One of the top searches of pregnant women during pregnancy is:” Can pregnant women eat blue cheese?” The answer to this question is yes, but because of high sensitivity of pregnancy, you should be careful about your food options. This article discusses whether pregnant women can eat blue cheese or not.
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What is blue cheese?
Blue cheese (also called bleu cheese, or blue-veined cheese) is one of the most delicious cheese which is known for its special smell, blue shade and flavor and it’s one of the foods that can be eaten during pregnancy. (Check what food should a pregnant woman eat)
This kind of cheese is generally made from unpasteurized goat’s, sheep’s, and cow’s milk. However, there are some blue cheese that are made from pasteurized milk. You should check the product label to know whether it has pasteurized milk or not.
You can find blue cheese as a regular ingredient in several recipes like, dressings and sauces. It has low-fat but large amounts of sodium. Thus, if you have high blood pressure, you must be careful.
Also Read: cream cheese pregnancy
Can pregnant women eat blue cheese?
In fact, pregnant women should avoid adding soft unpasteurized blue cheese to their diet, because it contains listeria monocytogenes. Soft blue cheese is less acidic than hard ones, so it has the best environment for growing listeria.
Studies showed that eating unsafe blue cheese can increase the risk of health issues like, fever, headache, miscarriage, premature birth, still birth, weakening mother’s and baby’s immune system, and abnormal development of baby in the womb. Some unsafe blue cheeses associated with health issues are;
- Blue brie
- Danish blue
It is better not to eat unpasteurized blue cheese during pregnancy, but if you want to add them into your diet, you must cook them thoroughly. Because heat can kill listeria and avoid listeriosis infection.
If you prefer to taste other cheeses, you can eat feta cheese while pregnant. You can add any types of pregnancy-safe cheeses to your diet and enjoy. [1: parenting.firstcry]
Also read: Can Pregnant Women Eat Lobster?
Benefits of eating blue cheese during pregnancy
Dairy product are nutrient-dense foods and rich in calcium, choline, phosphorus, vitamins, and riboflavin. Blue cheese falls into the category of dairy products, and consuming it has many advantages for pregnant women.
This kind of cheese decreases the risk of heart disease, prevents obesity and high weight, makes yours and baby’s bone stronger, and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Blue cheese contains high amounts of Andrastins A, B, C, and D, which are strong inhibitors of farnesyltransferase. Farnesyltransferase is a kind of enzyme used for biosynthesis of cholesterol.
In addition, Andrastin A, which exists in blue cheese, can fight off tumors and have potent antitumor properties. Also, it can suppress cell growth and induce apoptosis in DNA-damaged cells and cause nucleic morphological change, in human leukemic cells. [2: birthingforlife]
Also Read: goat cheese pregnancy
Listeriosis caused by consuming blue cheese during pregnancy: symptoms and effects
Although listeriosis is a kind of illness that rarely happens, it is dangerous for both mom and baby and puts them at the risk. In fact, listeriosis is 20 times more common in pregnant women compared to the others.
Certain blue cheeses, like soft unpasteurized ones, contain listeria monocytogenes which can cause listeriosis infection in pregnant women. The followings are the symptoms caused by listeriosis which are listed by National Health Service;
- Pain and aches
- Headache and upset stomach
- A high temperature (100 F or above)
- sudden confusion
- stiff neck
- decreasing eyesight power when looking to bright lights
listeriosis side effects can be really dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn baby. Because of diarrhea and vomiting, their body lose the water and becomes dehydrated which is the main cause of still birth, miscarriage, and preterm labor. Unfortunately, listeria monocytogenes can cross the placenta and damage the baby in the womb.
It can cause blood and brain infections, and health problems like paralysis, blindness, intellectual disability, heart, and kidney disease. In serious situations, it may even put the baby’s life at risk and cause death. Recommend you read on article “burrata pregnant“. [3: livestrong]
Which dishes or products containing blue cheese are safe to eat for pregnant women?
In general, it is safe to consume dishes and products which are made from hard and pasteurized blue cheese, or completely cooked unpasteurized blue cheese. If you want to know which blue cheese dishes or products are pregnancy-safe, take a look at the following list;
- Blue cheese salad dressing
Most commercially-produced salad dressings are safe to consume during pregnancy, because they contain hard and pasteurized blue cheese. Notice that, salad dressings with fresh ingredients may contain unpasteurized soft blue cheese and raw options like raw eggs. So, try to use popular ‘off the shelf’ brands, like Wish-Bone, Newman’s Own, Walden Farms and Brianna, Kraft’s dressings.
- Blue cheese sauce
All commercially-made blue cheese sauces are pregnancy-safe, but if you want to eat homemade or restaurant-made blue cheese sauce check whether it is made with pasteurized ingredients or not.
- Blue cheese dip
All commercial, shelf-stable blue cheese dips contain pasteurized ingredients and hard, pasteurized blue cheese which is safe for pregnant women and their baby. It is important for pregnant women to check the label of the blue cheese dips, which are in chilled sections, because they may contain ingredients like milk and egg, the options that their pasteurization must be checked before consumption.
- Blue cheese crumble
Blue cheese crumbles, which are sold in tubs, and you can use them as salad toppings, are safe to consume during pregnancy. They are made from hard ones, because soft blue cheeses don’t crumble. [4: pregnancyfoodchecker]
Can pregnant women eat cooked blue cheese?
Cooking can change unpasteurized blue cheese into a healthy food option for pregnancy as the heat can kill the harmful bacteria that may exist in unpasteurized cheese. As a result, pregnant women can eat cooked blue cheese.
Blue cheese should be heated until sizzling or boiling and reached over an internal temperature of 165 F. At this temperature, any harmful bacteria and parasites will be killed.
Consider it is best to have hard blue cheese while pregnant as it usually doesn’t heat well. To put it another way, blue mold and fat separate when blue cheese is heated. Therefore, it is best to eat hard ones rather than soft ones.
Pasteurized blue cheese brands
Pasteurized blue chesses are safe for pregnant ladies and the growing fetus. But what brands have pasteurized blue cheese? Newman’s Own, Walden Farms, Kraft, Brianna’s dressing, and Wish-Bone are well-known brands that use pasteurized ingredients to make blue cheese.
The followings are other examples of pasteurized hard blue cheese brands that are safe for pregnant women;
- Kraft’s hard blue cheeses and crumble
- Hard and crumby Danish blue
- Bay Blue by Point Reyes
- Salemville’s Amish Blue
It is recommended to check the safety of the blue cheese you want to eat with your health provider to minimize the chance of problems. Moreover, ask how much blue cheese you can include in your pregnancy diet.
Eating blue cheese on pizza when pregnant
On the whole, pregnant ladies can consume blue cheese on pizza while pregnant, but there are some points to be considered, including;
- The blue cheese on the pizza should be cooked until sizzling to make it a pregnancy-safe item.
- The blue cheese should not be added toward the end of cooking or after the main pizza is cooked.
- If you want to eat pizza with soft blue cheese, ask to cook the pizza for longer than usual until sizzling hot.
If you follow the mentioned guidelines, you can decrease the risk of infections caused by eating unsafe blue cheese while pregnant. Remember to check the safety of other ingredients used in pizza before having it.
The best option for pregnant women is hard, pasteurized blue cheese or cooked soft blue cheese. Consuming this type of cheese has many advantages, like reducing the risk of heart disease and preventing obesity. Keep in mind that, if you want to eat soft cheese, it must be thoroughly cooked.
Otherwise, blue cheese can cause listeriosis and lead to health problem in mom and baby.
Thank you for staying with us till the end of this article on Hipregnancy. If there are any other unanswered questions or missed points, share them with us via comment.
1. Can i have blue cheese dressing while pregnant?
It is better to avoid consuming blue cheese dressing during pregnancy, as it may contain unpasteurized ingredients and put you at the risk of listeriosis.
2. Is blue cheese dip safe in pregnancy?
Not all types of it. Only blue cheese dips which are made with hard and pasteurized blue cheese are safe for pregnant ladies to consume.
3. Can you have blue cheese crumbles when pregnant?
Yes, why not. Most blue cheese crumbles are pregnancy-safe options as they are made from pasteurized milk.
4. Can I eat Ken’s blue cheese dressing pregnancy?
Yes, Ken’s blue cheese dressing is made with pasteurized milk and is safe for pregnant ladies if consumed in moderate quantities.
5. Can you eat pasteurized blue cheese while pregnant?
It is considered safe to have pasteurized blue cheese while pregnant as long as taken in moderation. Hipregnancy warns you about eating unpasteurized blue cheese during pregnancy, as it can cause listeria.
6. Can I eat blue cheese sauce while pregnant?
Blue cheese sauces are healthy options for pregnant ladies and will not harm the baby as long as they are pasteurized. Commercially made blue cheese sauces are pasteurized, but homemade ones or available ones at restaurants might not be pasteurized. So, before having them, check if they are pasteurized.