Who doesn’t love cheese? It is served across the world as a condiment, as a topping, or as a dipping in almost every cuisine in the world; in some places, cheese even forms the crux of the dish- take paneer, for instance. It is guaranteed to make everything taste better, and there is even cheese for the lactose intolerant. But pregnancy is a difficult time, and you are likely to feel a lot less confident about having cheese once the tests come back positive. But does that mean that cheeses are a strict no-no for the pregnant lady? Not at all! You can have your cheeses and eat them too, only if you go about it the right way. So, to know more about what cheeses to eat and avoid during pregnancy, read on!
Hard cheeses only
As a rule, the pregnant lady can safely eat hard cheeses but completely avoid the softer varieties. This is because hard cheeses were processed and do not have many chances of parasites growing on them, while soft cheeses have a veritable colony of host bacteria growing in them to make them soft. The pregnant body might not be able to process such foods well, and this can lead to listeriosis or toxoplasmosis, both of which are infections that can be potentially fatal.
Which cheeses to eat
So without further ado, let’s list the cheeses we can safely eat when we are pregnant:
- Cheddar: This is a hard, crumbly cheese that is pretty much ubiquitous in the kitchen. Is sandwich feeling too dry? Grate some cheddar on it. Pizza not delicious enough? The answer is cheddar.
- Double Gloucester: This is an alternative to cheddar, and can be used in almost every dish.
- Stilton: This looks unsafe, but can actually be eaten in pregnancy. It is a non-traditional blue cheese, which means that despite the color, it is a hard cheese, so there is almost no chance of a colony growing on it.
- Feta: Go crazy with this variety. Made from goat’s milk and thoroughly pasteurized, it is not only inhospitable to bacterial but is also actually the healthiest of cheeses at any time.
Which cheeses to avoid
And that brings us to cheeses we should not have while pregnant.
- Gorgonzola: This is one of the most popular blue cheese around, but completely unsafe during pregnancy. It is a very soft blue cheese, which makes it the perfect host to a number of parasites.
- Roquefort: The king of blue cheeses, as it is often called, is delicious, but again, thanks to its extreme softness, cannot be consumed by a pregnant woman.
- Brie: Brie and cambozola are delicious, and that flavor is completely due to the white mold on the rind. Both varieties are unpasteurized, but if you can find a pasteurized version, you might give it a thorough cooking and a small taste.
Also read: Can I eat Paneer during pregnancy?
It is also important to understand that no kind of cheese- hard or soft- should be consumed in immoderate amounts. Cheeses are generally difficult to process, and the digestive system of the pregnant woman is not at its best. Overloading on cheese can cause severe digestive distress. Besides, cheese is extremely fatty, which means that overindulging in the good stuff will almost certainly lead to an unwanted weight gain, not to mention high levels of cholesterol and the host of problems that come along with it.