Pregnancy is well known for its cravings. When it comes to pregnancy cravings, pregnant women are tempted by foods that are not necessarily healthy for their health and the health of their unborn baby. It is common for pregnant women to have sweet cravings, and ice cream is often at the top of the list. “Can I eat ice cream during pregnancy” is of the frequently asked questions by expecting women. While some claim that eating ice cream during pregnancy is okay, others advise against it. This blog is for those who are craving ice cream during pregnancy. Here, we take a look at the benefits and potential risks of eating ice cream while pregnant.
Is It Safe To Eat Ice Cream During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, many women find themselves craving ice cream. Ice cream is safe for pregnant women to eat in moderation as long as it is consumed in small amounts.
Because most ice creams are made with milk, sugar, eggs, and a variety of flavorings, a few scoops won’t do any harm to you or your unborn child. If you’re craving soft serve ice cream during pregnancy, that’s okay too, provided the ice cream is made from pasteurized milk.
When it comes to eating ice cream while pregnant, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Make sure you buy ice cream from a reputable company when making a purchase. Choose from safe ice cream brands during pregnancy in India
- Check the list of ingredients to see if you are allergic to anything on it
- You should steer clear of any ice cream that uses unpasteurized ingredients
- Keep in mind that overconsumption of ice cream can lead to cold and cough symptoms
- Pregnant women should avoid ice cream made in unhygienic conditions, as it could cause listeriosis or toxoplasmosis, which can have irreversible consequences
- If you experience any discomfort after consuming ice cream, consult a physician
Related Reading: Causes, Signs And Remedies For Food Poisoning During Pregnancy
Nutritional Profile Of Ice Cream
Most people consume ice cream for pleasure rather than nutrition. It is available in a wide range of flavors and varieties. Depending on the type of ice cream, flavor, and manufacturer, the nutrient content varies. However, ice cream does contain a few nutrients that may be beneficial to a pregnant woman.
Milk, the primary ingredient in ice cream, is rich in vitamins and nutrients. Therefore, despite the fact that ice cream isn’t incredibly nutritious, it can provide you with a supply of essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D, selenium, and zinc.
According to a source, the following is a breakdown of the ice cream’s nutritional content:
- One cup of ice cream carries 273 calories
- It is a rich source of calcium. One cup of ice cream has around 13% of the daily value of calcium
- Ice cream is generally high in carbs, most of which come from sugar
- It also contains dietary fiber
- Ice cream contains small amounts of vitamins A and B12
- Because it is a dairy product, ice cream contains protein, but the amount is insufficient to qualify as a high-protein food item
Risks And Side Effects Of Eating Ice Cream During Pregnancy
When it’s hot outside, ice cream seems like the ideal dessert to help you cool off. It certainly helps you when you’re feeling down or when you need a boost. However, ice cream is high in calories and additives, and excessive consumption can be detrimental to one’s health.
The following are some risks and side effects associated with eating ice cream during pregnancy:
1. Ice cream can cause weight gain
Although occasionally enjoying a sweet treat during pregnancy is perfectly healthy, too many calories can lead to unexpected pregnancy complications due to excessive weight gain and other health complications that can harm the healthy progression of pregnancy and the development of the unborn baby. Ice cream is loaded with calories, sugar, and fat. Therefore, pregnant women who are advised to watch their weight should avoid ice cream.
2. May aggravate mood swings
Foods that are high in both fat and sugar, such as ice cream, are bad for the brain. According to numerous research studies, a high-sugar diet is linked to impaired brain function as well as the emergence or worsening of mood disorders like depression. Mood swings are already more likely to occur during pregnancy, but eating an excessive amount of ice cream can raise the risk even higher.
Related Reading: 15 Tried And Tested Ways To Handle Emotions During Pregnancy
3. Ice cream can interfere with sleep
Sleep deprivation during pregnancy is a common problem faced by all expecting mothers. One potential drawback to eating ice cream that many people are unaware of is that it may cause sleep disruptions. This is especially true if ice cream is consumed as a dessert right before going to bed. It has been discovered that eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar can cause an interruption in the circadian rhythm, which can then have a negative impact on the quality of sleep1.
Caffeine and theobromine, two natural antioxidants with stimulant properties, are present in chocolate. For those who are sensitive to caffeine, consuming chocolate ice cream during pregnancy may increase their likelihood of experiencing disturbed sleep.
4. Possibility of contracting listeriosis
Due to the fact that the bacteria that cause certain infections can survive in extremely cold environments, ice cream poses a risk for certain infections, including listeria. In addition, you run the risk of getting infections if the milk that is used to make ice cream is not pasteurized. If an infection such as listeriosis is caught during pregnancy, it has the potential to disrupt the development of the placenta and the amniotic fluid, as well as cause the baby to be born with congenital infections. These infections can also result in preterm birth, stillbirth, and the termination of a pregnancy.
Ice Cream During Pregnancy: Some Points To Remember
It is important to keep in mind the following points:
- Premium ice creams are high in saturated fat and sugar, so they should be consumed in moderation
- If you already consume caffeine in other forms, you should avoid any ice cream that contains caffeine, such as coffee-flavored ice cream
- It is best to abstain from eating ice cream if you are pregnant and have either gestational hypertension or gestational diabetes
- Pregnant women should opt for low-fat or no-fat ice cream to avoid saturated fats that increase bad cholesterol
- Poor hygiene practices can increase the risk of food poisoning bacteria in soft serve ice cream2. Therefore, women should steer clear of soft serve ice cream during pregnancy from roadside vendors because the machines themselves might be contaminated with listeria
- Vegetable oil-based ice cream should be avoided
- Pregnant women must avoid ice cream containing synthetic colors
- Prior to consuming the ice cream, check its ingredients twice if you have allergies to nuts or other foods
- During pregnancy, ice cream with natural flavors and ingredients is preferable to ice cream with artificial flavors and additives
Related Reading: Eating Chocolates During Pregnancy – Does It Increase Happiness
Myths Related To Eating Ice Cream During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a vulnerable period in which no one wishes to take risks. When it comes to diet, there are a lot of myths floating around that can make people confused.
The following are some myths related to eating ice cream during pregnancy:
1. Ice cream is bad for you
Many people are still unaware of the nutritional value of ice cream. According to them, eating ice cream is unhealthy. Actually, ice cream is a good source of calcium and vitamin A. The key is to exercise moderation.
2. Eating ice cream lowers one’s resistance to illness
Some people believe that eating ice cream lowers their immune systems. Nothing in ice cream actually suppresses immunity.
3. Ice cream affects the development of a fetus
There is a belief that ice cream brings down the body’s temperature and affects the baby’s growth and development. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. The unborn child is impacted when the mother is exposed to subzero temperatures rather than while she eats cold food and beverages.
5. A craving for ice cream indicates that you are expecting a girl
This is yet another myth with no scientific basis. Rather than indicating the gender of the unborn child, cravings can be an indication of what your body needs.
How Much Ice Cream Is Safe To Be Eaten During Pregnancy?
The safe amount of ice cream to consume depends on a number of factors, including one’s physical health. Some women can consume one or two scoops without experiencing any negative side effects or discomfort. Others, however, may develop a sore throat, a runny nose, and chills after consuming half a scoop.
In pregnancy, ice cream should be enjoyed as a special occasion rather than a daily habit, even if it claims to be low-fat. Many of the same nutrients as milk are found in ice cream, including calcium. Nonetheless, there are healthier alternatives to eating ice cream in order to obtain extra nutrients.
It is not recommended to consume ice cream daily during pregnancy. If you have a craving for ice cream, try to limit yourself to smaller servings so that you can satisfy that craving without consuming too much of the dessert all at once. Pregnant women can eat a small amount of ice cream spaced out over a few days without putting themselves at risk. Women with diabetes, asthma, respiratory infections, etc. are advised to consume extremely small portions.
If you consume a reasonable amount of ice cream, which is half a cup, the carbohydrates and added sugars may only cause a slight rise in your blood sugar.
Consuming too many scoops of ice cream, as well as additional toppings, can lead to a spike in blood sugar, which is not ideal during pregnancy. Sugary toppings should be avoided at all costs, during pregnancy, and always opt for a smaller cup or cone.
Pregnant women should eat a diet rich in nutritious foods in order to ensure the health of their unborn child. But that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in an ice cream cone every now and then. Healthy alternatives to ice cream include frozen desserts such as gelato and frozen custard. Similarly, kulfi is the Indian equivalent of ice cream, and it is more nutritious and safe than normal ice cream. Similarly, kulfi is the Indian version of ice cream, which is healthier and safer than traditional ice cream.
During pregnancy, cravings for ice cream may indicate that the body needs more calcium, sugar, and cooling agents.
Because they are processed foods, store-bought ice cream from a reputable brand should be perfectly safe to consume. Store-bought ice creams are made with pasteurized milk and eggs, and therefore, the chances of getting sick from salmonella are extremely low.
All homemade food is usually good during pregnancy, but this is not applicable every time when it comes to homemade ice cream. Ice cream making at home can be riskier than purchasing a ready-made variety.
Raw eggs are commonly used in homemade ice cream recipes. Raw eggs may cause salmonella food poisoning. You don’t want to expose yourself to that risk while pregnant.