Can I Eat Ricotta Cheese While Pregnant?
Since there are several types of cheese worldwide, pregnant ladies may make a mistake while adding them to their diet. In such cases, they put themselves at the risk of listeriosis infection. Ricotta cheese is a popular type of Italian cheese, which you may want to try during pregnancy. But you eat ricotta cheese while pregnant?
In this article on Hipregnancy, we will answer the mentioned question and cover other important points you need to know about consuming ricotta cheese during pregnancy.
If you are a fan of ricotta cheese, keep reading this article to the end to support a healthy pregnancy.
What is ricotta cheese?
Ricotta is a fresh cheese made from milk whey with a few curds left behind. This cheese is spongy, light, and creamy, produced from goat, sheep, cow, or water buffalo milk, or a mixture of milk and cheese whey. It is good to know that most commercial types are made from cow’s milk.
This Italian cheese can be used in multiple dishes, including pasta, lasagna, cakes, omelets, and quiche. You can try ricotta cheese with toast, honey, and fresh figs. You can enjoy other types of cheese, like feta cheese while pregnant, beside ricotta cheese, but you should have them in moderate quantities to prevent possible risks.
Can you eat ricotta cheese when pregnant?
Cheese is known as a healthy food, rich in essential nutrients that your body needs. However, pregnant ladies can’t add all types of cheese into their diet, as they may carry listeria and increase the risk of listeriosis infection.
The good news is that consuming ricotta cheese while pregnant is safe for mom and baby, but it should not be consumed in excess. In addition, it is more advisable to consult a doctor or healthcare provider beforehand to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications.
Hipregnancy highly recommends you avoid unpasteurized types of ricotta cheese when pregnant. The safe options are those made from pasteurized milk.
Always remember that consuming unpasteurized foods during pregnancy is risky and should be avoided. For example, if you want to eat cottage cheese while pregnant, you should buy those made from pasteurized milk.
Benefits of ricotta cheese during pregnancy
Now is the time to take a look at the health benefits of consuming ricotta cheese during pregnancy. Let’s start!
- Ricotta cheese is rich in protein and aids in releasing essential hormones, forming new cells and tissues, keeping your body healthy, and building lean muscles as well.
- Consuming ricotta cheese in pregnancy provides vitamins A, B12, and riboflavin. These can help boost immunity, prevent birth defects, mainta healthy eyes and skin.
- Ricotta has selenium, like string cheese, which is responsible for improving immunity in pregnant ladies and reducing the chance of getting sick. (Read more on string cheese during pregnancy)
- It is a great source of calcium for pregnant ladies and aids in preventing osteoporosis and developing the baby’s vital structure.
- This delicious cheese provides omega-3 during pregnancy, a kind of fatty acid needed for the cognitive development of the baby and preventing prenatal depression.
- Having ricotta cheese while pregnant can be a good choice for meeting your body’s need for carbohydrates. Remember that carbs are highly needed while pregnant, as they are considered the main source of energy for your body cells and the growing baby as well.
Consider that you should consult your doctor before adding ricotta cheese into your diet while pregnant, as your doctor may determine it is not good for you to eat ricotta cheese during pregnancy, based on your circumstances.
Is most ricotta cheese pasteurized?
Generally speaking, consuming pasteurized foods is very important during pregnancy, as eating unpasteurized foods like cheese can put you at the risk of food poisoning while pregnant. Remember, if you eat foods contaminated with bacteria, the health of your growing baby will be at risk, as bacterial species can cross the placenta.
You may want to know whether ricotta cheese is always made with pasteurized milk or not; this ensures the safety of store-bought cheeses.
Overall, commercially manufactured ricotta cheese is made with pasteurized milk, and therefore, it is safe to consume during pregnancy. You can enjoy eating these types of ricotta cheese while pregnant without facing any problems.
There are several brands in the USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and other countries that are made with pasteurized milk and fall into the category of what can pregnant women eat. Here are some pregnancy-safe brands of ricotta cheese including;
- Organic Valley,
- And Calabro.
The rule of thumb to choose the safe brand for ricotta cheese during pregnancy is checking the label. All the information you need to know about the ingredients is mentioned there. Checking the label can help you choose the safe ricotta cheese when pregnant.
Also Read: can you have goat cheese while pregnant
Is ricotta considered a soft cheese?
Pregnant ladies should avoid unpasteurized soft cheese while pregnant to reduce the risk of food poisoning. But is ricotta a soft cheese? The answer to this question is yes. Although ricotta cheese is a kind of soft cheese, it is safe to consume while pregnant. How? Let us tell you.
Ricotta is a pregnancy-safe soft cheese which is made with pasteurized milk. In fact, pregnant ladies can try soft cheeses made with pasteurized ingredients in pregnancy, and this will not put them or their babies at risk of health issues. For example, you can try blue cheese while pregnant if it has been made with pasteurized milk. Unpasteurized blue cheeses are forbidden during pregnancy.
Hipregnancy recommends you eat ricotta cheese when pregnant soon after opening it, as it is a soft cheese and has a high water content, which makes ricotta a good environment for bacterial growth.
Safe types and dishes of ricotta cheese during pregnancy
“I ate ricotta cheese while pregnant, but I don’t know whether I choose the pregnancy-safe option or not. What should I do now? Can it harm my baby?” This is what pregnant ladies feel after consuming ricotta cheese if they don’t know the safety of their favorite ricotta dish.
Here is a list of some ricotta types and dishes to remove your doubts about the safety of your choice;
- Baked ricotta; this can be eaten during pregnancy if it is heated until hot or it is cooked thoroughly.
- Homemade ricotta; only the one made with pasteurized milk is safe to eat for pregnant women. However, it is more advisable to consume commercially manufactured cheeses while pregnant.
- Ricotta cheesecake; there are two types of cheesecakes that are made with ricotta; baked cheesecake that is safe to eat while pregnant, and set cheesecake that is unsafe for pregnant ladies due to raw eggs existing in it.
- Aged ricotta; it can be eaten during pregnancy if it is made with pasteurized milk.
- Ricotta pancakes; as long as ricotta pancakes are cooked before served, they are completely safe to eat while pregnant.
- Sweetened ricotta; you can consume sweetened ricotta during pregnancy if it is made with pasteurized milk.
Ricotta is a well-known type of cheese that most pregnant ladies want to try during their pregnancy time. Fortunately, ricotta lovers can enjoy consuming it while pregnant, but only in moderate amounts and with the green light from their doctor.
In this article on “Hipregnancy”, we covered all the important points you need to be aware of when consuming ricotta cheese while pregnant.
If you have any questions or ideas about eating ricotta cheese during pregnancy, do share it with us via comment.
1. Can pregnant women eat ricotta cheese?
Pregnant ladies can eat ricotta cheese while pregnant, but they should moderate their intake.
2. Can I eat ricotta ravioli when pregnant?
It is safe to consume while pregnant, as it is fully cooked. Consider you should eat ricotta ravioli soon after cooking or steaming hot when it is served.
3. Is ricotta cheese pasteurized in the UK?
Yes, ricotta cheese is made with pasteurized milk in the UK, but checking the label on the product can assure you about the safety of your chosen brand.