There’s nothing quite like a crispy bit of bacon to feed that salt craving. But before you pop that savory deliciousness into your mouth, do you need to double-check? Can pregnant women eat bacon? Well, yes, but keeping it in moderation is probably a good idea!
Here’s all the deets you need to know about bacon in pregnancy, including that all-important question — how frequently can a pregnant woman eat bacon?
Is bacon safe during pregnancy?
Yes, bacon is safe to eat while pregnant. However, there are some caveats.
The bacon must be stored, handled, and cooked properly to avoid those tricky pests that like to linger in many a deli meat treat.
Yup, we’re talking bacteria.
To ensure your bacon is safe to eat:
- Store it in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you buy it.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the bacon — and again after you have handled the raw meat — in hot soapy water.
- Make sure any utensils like a cutting board or knife are also washed thoroughly to avoid cross-contamination.
- Cook the bacon until it’s crispy. The crispier the better. Seriously. The heat will kill bacteria. 👌
And what else do you need to be mindful of? Well, it’s no surprise that bacon isn’t exactly classed as a health food.
While it’s a great source of protein and some B vitamins, it is also extremely high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and salt.
So how frequently can a pregnant woman eat bacon? Whether you’re pregnant or not, bacon should be an occasional treat rather than a daily go-to.
If you’re at higher risk of cholesterol issues, pre-eclampsia, or heart disease, it’s probably best to avoid bacon for these next nine months.
The other thing to remember in your BLT-craving haze is that bacon is a processed meat. It’s preserved or cured using (usually) a whole bunch of things like salt, spices, and sometimes sodium nitrate.
Nitrate and nitrites are chemicals used to preserve meat and prevent it from turning an off-putting color.
Nitrate and pregnancy don’t generally go well together, with some sources saying to avoid nitrates altogether as they can be potential sources of cancer and pose a health risk to mama and baby. So again, perhaps best to exercise some portion control…
Can pregnant women eat uncured bacon?
If the big concern is around nitrates, can you worry less about eating uncured bacon? Well, sort of. Uncured bacon is still cured, but using natural preservatives. It still contains high levels of fat and sodium though, so should be eaten in moderation.
So if you want to avoid bacon for now, what kind of alternatives do you have? Let’s take a look.
Can pregnant women eat turkey bacon?
Turkey bacon can be a healthier alternative to regular bacon, as it is lower in fat and calories.
However, turkey bacon is still a processed meat.
It doesn’t have that same satisfying crunch as a crispy slice of pork bacon, but it is safe when fully cooked and might crush that craving.
Can pregnant women eat ham?
Ham, including deli ham, should only be eaten if hot and fully cooked.
That means no cold ham sandwiches or room temperature buffet ham. But otherwise, go for it.
Can pregnant women eat pepperoni?
Pepperoni is a highly processed meat and can contain bacteria.
If it’s a well-cooked, crispy pizza topping, you’re probably safe to go ahead.
Just leave those cold meat sandwiches alone for now.
What foods should pregnant people avoid?
Generally speaking, it’s best to try to eat a healthy diet with as few processed foods as possible when pregnant.
Your reduced immune system function means it’s even more important than ever to store, prepare, and cook your foods properly to avoid illness.
And if you’re still concerned, check out our comprehensive guide to all foods to avoid during pregnancy.
More on pregnancy foods:
Can You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?
Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Salmon?
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