Eggs are one of the common breakfast staples throughout the world. No matter if they are scrambled, poached, or fried, eggs are eaten for the immense health benefits they offer. During the phase of pregnancy, even common foods shoot the question of how safe it is to consume during pregnancy. Such is suspicion for many moms about consuming raw eggs during pregnancy.
Though eggs have their place in the morning plate, not all forms of eggs are safe to consume during pregnancy. Unpasteurized eggs while pregnant are something to be avoided as raw or undercooked eggs contain bacteria like Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning1.
Let us understand the benefits of eggs during pregnancy, as well as the effects of raw eggs during pregnancy.
It is safe to eat eggs that are completely cooked and pasteurized. A woman’s diet during pregnancy is crucial as what she eats has a direct impact on her health and the fetus’s health. Eating nutritious food while pregnant is important and eggs are good to be a part of your diet owing to their nutritional value. Hence, it is safe to eat eggs during pregnancy however with certain precautions such as avoiding raw eggs or runny eggs.
Eggs come with vitamins, minerals, and good fat providing the essential nutrients for the mother and the child, thus making them one of the superfoods during pregnancy. The white of the egg has to be hard and the yolk has to thicken in case of eating boiled, poached or fried eggs. It is also recommended that pregnant women avoid foods such as aioli, homemade mayonnaise, cake batter, or mousse that contains raw eggs.
However, you can consume store-bought mayonnaise and aioli as they undergo the heat process to kill potentially harmful bacteria2.
Pregnant women must avoid consuming raw, partial, or undercooked eggs as they contain a bacteria called salmonella. This bacterium can cause intrauterine infections, which creates a high chance of miscarriages. It is also advised to skip foods that contain raw eggs as a part of their ingredients. While cooking, it is better to make sure the egg yolk is firm to verify that it is in the perfect texture to eat.
Also, women are more susceptible to common infections during pregnancy, and their immunity changes to adapt to the growing fetus. There is always a risk to pregnant women and their unborn babies from food-borne bacteria. Hence, we request you to double-check the foods you consume to ensure their safety.
Eggs are a great source through which your daily nutritional requirements can be met easily. Since eggs are healthy and can provide a balanced diet, you can make it a part of your everyday diet plan, provided they are properly cooked.
Related Reading: 11 Simple Ways To Boost Immunity During Pregnancy
If you are wondering “can raw egg abort the pregnancy?”, the answer is yes. Foods such as raw or undercooked eggs can cause miscarriage in early pregnancy due to the presence of salmonella bacteria. Hence, pregnant women are advised to refrain from consuming unpasteurized eggs while pregnant or from drinking raw eggs during pregnancy.
Raw eggs are common in most food forms or are found in a salad dressing too. Raw eggs in any form such as mayonnaise, custards, ice creams, salad dressings, sauces, etc are not safe during pregnancy. However, if the prepared food has gone through the heating process, you can consider eating it.
You can eat pasteurized or fully cooked eggs if you are looking out to meet your nutritional requirements.
Eggs are a part of the nutritional diet. However, they are prone to food-borne illnesses. This infection could be dangerous for you and the baby to be born. You also might have heard about avoiding foods containing raw eggs. While there is the truth about this, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid eating eggs.
Since eggs are a versatile food, many moms want to make this a part of their diet. Choosing the right cooking method is the key to making this food a part of your pregnancy diet. Eggs involve fully cooked or partial cooking methods — which contain certain portions to remain raw. Remember, if you are expecting you must avoid raw eggs during pregnancy.
You must not eat eggs that are sunny-side up, poached, or soft boiled during your pregnancy phase. Also avoid foods such as raw cookie dough, eggnog, ice cream, and homemade mayonnaise cheese as they contain raw or undercooked eggs.
The dangers of eating raw or undercooked eggs during pregnancy are that the chances of your infection getting transmitted to the fetus in the amniotic fluid are very high.
Related Reading: Mayonnaise During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?
Benefits Of Eating Eggs During Pregnancy
Knowing how to properly cook eggs will help you get the benefits of eggs during pregnancy. It is recommended you eat foods that are rich in protein and healthy fats while you are pregnant. This helps to keep gestational diabetes at bay and maintain healthy sugar levels. With eggs being one of such foods it is advised to consume them with precautions during pregnancy.
Listed below are a few benefits of eggs during pregnancy.
Pregnant women need more vitamin D than others. This helps to strengthen and maintain healthy bones and promote fetal development. Certain types of eggs are a good source of vitamin D whose vitamins are stored in the yolk. Hence eating the complete egg after cooking helps to get its benefits. Make sure to include pasteurized eggs as a part of your diet.
Eggs are packed with nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Vitamins such as B12, protein helps to maintain a proper pregnancy diet that is filling as well as balanced.
Nutrients such as B12 and choline help in the baby’s growth and development. Also, they contribute to the healthy brain development of the fetus.
Eggs are on the top of our list of protein rich foods during pregnancy. Protein is crucial throughout pregnancy and the baby’s growth and development. Protein is broken into amino acids which are the building blocks of life. Also, the cells in the body need them to function properly.
Raw eggs are prone to foodborne illness and pregnant women are advised to avoid them. However, there are a few ways through which you can minimize the risk of getting a Salmonella infection.
- Buy pasteurized eggs. While buying egg products check the label to ensure the ones used are pasteurized
- Go for refrigerated eggs
- Store eggs in the fridge at or below 40°F. Leaving them at room temperature increases the risk of growth of harmful bacteria
- Wash hands and other things that have come in contact with raw eggs
- If the eggshell is dirty or cracked, do not use it
- Do not store your eggs in a bowl alongside other foods; keep them separate
- Go for fresh eggs. Put the eggs in a bowl of water to know if the eggs are fresh or not, in case the eggs float, they are not fresh. If you find the eggs sink, they are considered fresh. Another way is to shake the egg and look out for sounds. If you do not hear any splattering sound from the egg, it is a fresh egg
To avoid the risk of bacteria, eggs must be cooked completely until the yolk and the white of the egg become firm.
While you are expecting, avoid
- Soft boiled eggs
- Poached eggs
- Sunny side up
- Eggs over medium
Hard-boiled eggs are safe during pregnancy. Make sure that they are cooked until the yolk and the whites are completely firm which takes about 12 minutes. Reheat hard-boiled eggs stored in the refrigerator before consumption.
Related Reading: Can I Lie On My Stomach During Pregnancy?
Here are a few tips to enjoy eating eggs during pregnancy. You can make it a part of your diet by following the mentioned precautions. However, if you encounter any allergies while consuming eggs during pregnancy, it is better to avoid them.
- While making scrambled eggs, make sure they are completely firm without any moisture content
- Fried eggs need to be cooked for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Or cook them in a closed pan for about 4 minutes. Make sure they are completely dry
- Cook dishes made with eggs at 160° F and reheat at the same temperature to kill bacteria if any
- Use pasteurized eggs throughout pregnancy to avoid contracting infection
There are a lot of do’s and don’ts while you are pregnant. Even the everyday food you consume suddenly becomes harmful when you are pregnant. One such common food is an egg. Although human bodies can easily digest bacteria, during pregnancy, your immune system weakens which makes it susceptible to infections. That is why it is recommended to avoid raw eggs during pregnancy.
Pasteurization and cooking kill any bacterial content in food. For this reason, you must eat fully cooked or pasteurized eggs during pregnancy. Unpasteurized or raw eggs during pregnancy can also lead to serious consequences such as high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal pain, or even preterm labor in certain conditions.
However, with the mentioned tips and precautions to consume eggs during pregnancy all you need is some eggs-tra care!