Eggs are an incredible source of protein. If you do not eat meat, it is all the more important that you consume eggs since it will be your only source of the much needed animal protein, something that is highly essential during pregnancy. However, eggs are high in protein, which might cause some problems to the pregnant woman, since her metabolism and digestive system might not be as functional as it normally would be. So, you might be wondering whether you should totally lay off eggs during pregnancy, and if not, how much you should eat. In this article, let us debunk the myths and look at the facts.
In moderate amounts
The good news is that eggs are certainly great for health, and therefore should definitely be included in the pregnancy diet. The important thing is to make sure that they are eaten in moderation. So, if you are in the habit of eating egg with every meal of the day, restrict yourself to eating them once a day. A very high amount of eggs can cause digestive disorders, and even cause you to gain unwanted weight, since metabolism somewhat slows down during pregnancy.
The high protein content of eggs helps in the healthy development of the baby. Moderate amounts of eggs are also good for the woman with low or normal amounts of cholesterol, although it is best to avoid the yolk if your cholesterol is inching up the scale. Besides, each egg contains around 70 calories, which is great since the pregnant woman needs to consume around 200 to 300 extra calories to meet the requirement of the baby’s and her own nourishment.
Well cooked eggs
It is important to cook your eggs well. Raw or undercooked eggs contain salmonella, which is a parasite that can affect the immune system of the mother, and travel through the umbilical cord to the baby. This can lead to several developmental defects in the baby, and has been linked with fetal deaths, miscarriages, and preterm births. The least harmful effect of salmonella is food poisoning, which in itself is a pretty disturbing ailment. Therefore, you can no longer eat soft boiled and poached eggs for these nine months, and neither can you consume anything that might contain raw eggs as an ingredient, such as bearnaise sauce, hollandaise sauce, eggnog, custard, mayonnaise, and chocolate mousse, to name a few.
How to buy
When you buy eggs, opt for the pasteurized ones, and go only for those that are closest to the packaging date if you are buying from a grocery store or the supermarket. Pasteurized eggs have already been treated, and have very little chance of containing salmonella and other parasites. You will be able to differentiate them from the unpasteurized versions by reading the label. If you are buying from the farmer’s market, on the other hand, you need to make sure that you are buying the freshest produce ad not those that have been sitting in the refrigerator for a few days. The longer the egg has been sitting uncooked, the bigger is the colony of bacteria living in it.
Cook at home
Always cook your eggs yourself. When you buy them yourself, you have maximum control over the quality of the product, and cooking them at home ensues that you have maximum control over the degree of preparation as well. Cook them well, for a long time if required, it is best to had boil them or make them into omelets. Make sure no part of the egg remains runny; if you are frying, the egg must turn golden brown, and if you are boiling them, both albumin and yolk must turn firm, opaque, and able to be perfectly separated. Avoid refrigerating the eggs for too long; buy in small batches and cook them within a day or two. Also avoid refrigerating cooked eggs for future use; new colonies of bacteria will grow that will probably not die on reheating. When you eat the eggs, make sure they are piping hot.
Also read: Can I eat bacon during pregnancy?
Eggs can be eaten in many ways. When you are pregnant, your options might get a little limited, but no o the extent of ruining your enjoyment of this staple food. While runny eggs are certainly out of the question, you can always eat them hard boiled, mixed in salads, as fillings in sandwiches, or as curried. Devilled eggs are great too, provided the yolk has been properly cooked before mixing it with the condiments of your choice. And it goes without saying since you are pregnant, that eggnog is certainly out of the question.