Even if the cheese had never been a favorite of theirs before, many women find that they can’t resist it when pregnant. Many women crave bagels with cream cheese while pregnant. However, not all cheese is safe for pregnant women, as certain cheese varieties are to be completely avoided & can be dangerous for an unborn baby. Can pregnant women eat cream cheese? What factors should be considered before eating cream cheese during pregnancy? Continue reading to learn more.
What Is Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese is a type of cheese that is typically made from cow’s milk and cream, and it has a mild flavor. The process of making cream cheese can be broken down into the following steps.
- The addition of lactic acid to pasteurized milk and cream
- The pH of the mixture is lowered, resulting in the coagulation of the mixture. In other words, it separates into curds and whey
- The whey is then removed
- The curds are heated up before being processed further
- It is then stabilized with stabilizers
After this step, the cream cheese should be ready to eat. Cream cheese does not need to be aged and should be consumed rather quickly after it has been made.
Nutritional Profile Of Cream Cheese
A single portion of cream cheese is approximately one to two tablespoons. According to the source, there are the following components in one tablespoon of cream cheese:
- Calories: 50.8
- Fat: 5g
- Sodium: 46.5mg
- Carbohydrates: 0.8g
- Sugars: 0.5g
- Protein: 0.9g
The following is some information regarding the nutritional value of cream cheese:
- Cream cheese does not have any fiber in it
- Cream cheese does not contain a significant amount of carbohydrates. The carbohydrate content of a single serving is less than 1 gram, with the majority of those carbs coming in the form of sugar
- The majority of the fat in cream cheese is comprised of saturated fat
- A single portion of cream cheese contains just under 1 gram of protein, which comes out to 0.9 grams total
- There are trace amounts of vitamins and minerals in cream cheese
- Vitamins A, K, folate, and choline are in small amounts
- Minerals in cream cheese include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and selenium
- According to scientific evidence, grass-fed dairy products have a higher omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio than milk from conventional or organically managed cows. This also applies to soft cheeses made with that milk.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Cream Cheese?
When it comes to pregnancy, soft cheeses present a number of potential dangers. Cream cheese is not the same as soft cheese, despite the fact that it has a smooth texture and is simple to spread. Pasteurized milk is used in the production of cream cheese; this ensures that any potentially harmful bacteria are eliminated during the process of making the cheese.
On the other hand, it is essential to pay careful attention to the date on which the cream cheese or cream cheese spread you have purchased will expire. These products often do not have a very long shelf life when stored in the refrigerator.
Despite the fact that a small amount of cream cheese won’t harm you, you still need to limit your consumption of it since it is very high in fat. Pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes or complications related to abnormal weight gain can occur if a woman consumes too much fat while she is pregnant.
Related Reading: Causes, Signs And Remedies For Food Poisoning During Pregnancy
Risks And Precautions Associated With Eating Cream Cheese During Pregnancy
Pregnant women can enjoy the taste of cream cheese without putting themselves at risk, but it is not considered a “health food.” Foods high in saturated fat should be reserved for special occasions, and not eaten every day.
The following are some of the risks and precautions associated with eating cream cheese during pregnancy:
- Can pregnant women eat cheese cake? Well, before making a cheesecake, some bakers leave the cream cheese out on the counter overnight to soften. They do this because they think it should be safe since the cheesecake will be baked. That’s mostly right. But if there are bacteria, some will usually stay alive and start flourishing after the cheesecake cools. As a general rule, a dish is only as good as its most perishable ingredient. This means that cheesecakes, cream cheese spreads, and other similar foods should also be kept in the fridge. Some store-bought cream cheese icings are made with enough preservatives that they don’t need to be kept in the fridge, but homemade cream cheese icings should always be kept in the fridge
- Since cream cheese contains cow’s milk, it should be avoided by people with dairy or milk allergies. Wheezing, vomiting, hives, and digestive issues are some of the symptoms of milk allergy, which can range from mild to severe
- The amount of protein that is found in cream cheese is relatively low. In fact, the protein level in cream cheese is significantly lower than in many other forms of soft cheese, including brie and goat cheese. Protein intake is very important during pregnancy. Therefore, in place of cream cheese, you should consume a large quantity of various other foods that are rich in protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, and other dairy products
- The shelf life of cream cheese is extremely short. Despite the fact that pasteurization kills harmful microorganisms, the high-water content of cream cheese still poses a risk of microbial contamination
- Cream cheese can often be spread more easily than other types of cheese. Spreading cream cheese thinly is a good rule of thumb to follow. Many pregnant women favor a thicker layer of cream cheese. As a result, you will be taking in more calories
- “Is cream cheese pasteurized?”,is a question you must ask before having cream cheese
- Once the cream cheese has been opened, it is easy for harmful microbes to get into it from your fingers or a knife that has been used to spread other foods. Spread it with a clean knife and always reseal the packaging to prevent the development of microorganisms
- After opening, cream cheese should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within two weeks
- As long as you pair it with healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and seeds, low-fat cream cheese can actually be a healthy part of your diet
Some Popular Dishes With Cream Cheese That Are Safe For Pregnant Women
Cream cheese is usually used to make cheesecakes and spread on bagels. It is possible to make a wide variety of savory spreads and dips with cream cheese. In addition, it aids in the smoothing out of sauces and other food preparations. The following are a few starter recipes.
The following are some popular dishes with cream cheese that are safe for pregnant women.
- Pumpkin roll with cream cheese
- Cream cheese mashed potatoes
- Season plain cream cheese with a touch of maple syrup, cinnamon, and freshly grated ginger as a dip for fresh fruit
- Blueberry cream cheese cookies
- Apples ‘n’ cream pancake
Pregnant women can have pasteurized cream cheese once in a while in moderation during pregnancy. If you are not certain that a cheese cream has been pasteurized and it has not, you should not consume it. Almost all premium cream cheeses are pasteurized by default. You may encounter unpasteurized cheese at a farmer’s market or when purchasing imported cheese at the supermarket. Listeria, a bacterium that can cause listeriosis in pregnant women, can be found in unpasteurized cream cheeses.
The process of making your own cream cheese at home is much easier than you might expect. Simply combine cream and/or milk with salt and an acid (such as lemon juice). After the mixture has coagulated, strain it so that only curds remain. Use a food processor to process the curds until they are creamy and smooth.
Not only is this method simple, but it also allows you to tailor it to your preferences; feel free to add your favorite herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables! This type of homemade cream cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks without going bad.
If you think that you won’t be able to use all of the cream cheese before it spoils, you can store it in the freezer. However, note that the chemical changes that occur when cheese is frozen and thawed alter its texture.
While it’s fine to use frozen cream cheese in baking, you shouldn’t put thawed cream cheese on your bagel or mix it into your frosting because its texture changes.
Cream cheese that hasn’t been opened can be stored in the refrigerator. The product should be stored in an airtight container and used within 10 days if you’ve already used some of it.
Never allow the cream cheese to remain at room temperature for longer than three hours. In the event that it goes bad, it can lead to serious illness.
Philadelphia cream cheese is safe for pregnant women. This is because all Philadelphia and other well-known brands of cream cheese are made using pasteurized cream and milk.
However, always double-check the packaging for the magic word “pasteurized.” Likewise, pregnant women should avoid cream cheese dishes like smoked salmon spread flavor, as it may be harmful to their unborn children.
Whether smoked salmon spread with cream cheese is safe during pregnancy depends on the salmon’s cure, how it’s smoked, and how it’s prepared.