What are the cheeses you can eat (and which ones you should avoid)

What are the cheeses you can eat (and which ones you should avoid) if you are pregnant

During pregnancy we must make certain changes and adjustments in our routine and lifestyle , since the needs of our body change to adapt to the new life in gestation. The hiccups of the baby in the womb: why it occurs and mother feeling.

We must also modify our diet to meet the requirements of this new stage, as well as avoid foods that are likely to contain microorganisms that can cross the placental barrier and affect the baby.

One of these forbidden foods is cheese , although not all of them. We explain which cheeses you can eat and which ones you should avoid if you are pregnant.

Although cheese is a very complete food with great nutritional properties, during pregnancy it is important to avoid those made with unpasteurized milk.

This type of cheese, being less acidic and containing more moisture, has a higher risk of growth of bacteria such as listeria , to which pregnant women are especially susceptible. Teaching children to apologize: how to do it and why it is important.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that is widely distributed in nature (soil and water) and can contaminate various foods of plant and animal origin, such as unpasteurized dairy products.

Thus, among the cheeses made with unpasteurized milk or raw milk – and therefore should be avoided – the following would be found:

– Comté cheese : it is a type of French cheese made with raw cow’s milk, very popular throughout Europe.

– Pasta and soft rind cheeses such as Brie , Camembert or Chaumes , all of French origin whose traditional preparation is based on raw cow’s milk.

– Feta cheese: this is a cheese of Greek origin traditionally made from unpasteurized cow’s or goat’s milk. It is soft in texture, without crust and crumbles easily.

– Blue cheeses such as Roquefort , Gogonzola or blue Stilton cheese . These types of cheeses are made with raw cow, sheep or goat milk, to which Penicillium cultures are added in their final process, which gives them their characteristic greyish-blue color and intense smell.

– Cabrales cheese: it is a type of cheese of Asturian origin and intense flavor, which is made with raw cow’s milk or with a mixture of cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk.

– Lancashire cheese: it is a type of cheese of English origin made with raw cow’s milk, and characterized by its intense smell and salty taste.

– Tulum cheese : this is a cheese of Turkish origin made with raw goat or sheep milk, characterized by its granular and moist appearance.

– Although fresh cheese is made from pasteurized milk, the CDC advises avoiding it during pregnancy because it could have been contaminated during its production.

As we have already explained in other articles, listeriosis contracted during pregnancy can cause a very serious infection in the baby , since the bacterium crosses the placental barrier, and can cause premature birth, abortion, stillbirth, or full-term children with serious sequelae, especially neurological.

Cheeses that you can eat during pregnancy

The cheeses that are safe to consume during pregnancy are hard cheeses , such as Emmental ( a cheese of Swiss origin characterized by its large holes), Gruyere (an aromatic cheese of Swiss origin and a yellowish hue), Gouda (made of very hard and slightly yellowish in color) or Manchego cheese with pasteurized milk.

Other safe cheeses are semi-soft, such as mozzarella or  burrata (both made with pasteurized cow or buffalo milk), mascarpone, goat cheese made with pasteurized milk (characterized by its creamy appearance and powerful flavor), Cheddar   (with a creamy texture and characteristic orange color), Edam (with a thin red rind and a mild buttery smell), soft cheese or Provolone.

Also pasteurized sliced ​​cheese, as well as spreadable cheeses (which come in a tub and can even be mixed with other ingredients such as nuts or fine herbs) are considered safe during pregnancy.

As for Parmesan cheese , an Italian cheese with a hard paste and grainy texture, there is some controversy about its consumption during pregnancy . And it is that despite being made with raw milk, it undergoes a curing process between 12 months and four years, so the presence of bacteria would be very remote.

The importance of cheese in the diet of pregnant women

Cheese, as a dairy derivative, is an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that is especially important during pregnancy as it contributes to increasing the baby’s bone density, as well as to the formation of a healthy heart, coagulation systems and muscles.

In addition, cheese also provides other vital nutrients for the unborn baby , such as phosphorus and vitamin D, essential for proper growth and development of the nervous system.

But as we have just seen, not all cheeses are recommended during this stage of life, so it is important to know which ones can be dangerous and avoid them during pregnancy.

For this, it is recommended to carefully read the product labeling and avoid those cheeses whose list of ingredients includes the words “raw milk” or “unpasteurized milk”. In case of doubt, it is preferable not to consume the food, or go to the customer service telephone number that appears on the package.

However, the variety of cheeses allowed to consume during pregnancy is very wide , so you will surely find the type that you like the most to enjoy this exquisite food without risk.

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