Can Pregnant Women Eat Hot Dogs?
You are soon to be a mother to be! It is very natural that you will shake off the reckless disregard for what you should eat and be very concerned about every morsel that goes to your stomach because you have a baby growing inside of you and you do not want to eat things that would harm him. With summers around the corner, many pregnant women are wondering if they can go and enjoy the BBQ treats and the good old Hot Dogs. You have heard plenty of warning against consumption of hot dogs during pregnancy and you are a little sceptical about it, right? So let me clear up things are little.
Why are hot dogs considered detrimental to the development of your baby?
Hot dogs, also known as frankfurters or wieners is a cured meat of pork or poultry and every pregnant woman has at some point been warned against consuming cured meat like the hot dog, salami and other things because they tend to pick up a lot of bacteria in the packing stage.
Usually, this bacterium is not really harmful to the tummy but during pregnancy, a lot of things change, including your immune system. The immune system of your body becomes weak and you become more susceptible to infections which are most likely to affect your child as well. Illness caused by the food of any kind is especially very detrimental.
Dangerous bacterias like E.coli, listeria, toxoplasma and others find a way in your food. These groups of bacteria are so strong that they can break your immune system and pass through your placenta and affect your baby even without making you feel sick. So, pregnancy will definitely make you think again about ordering medium rare burgers and caesar salads with raw eggs.
When are Hot Dogs Safe to Eat?
In this article, I will mostly talk about women having hot dogs while pregnant. Hot dogs are high in sodium, nitrates and fats. Sodium nitrates are used to cure the meat as they enhance its flavour, colour and also increases its life on the shelf. While there has been a lot of controversy regarding the effect of nitrates on the human body, there has not been any positive indication that nitrates harm the developing baby. They seem safe as long as they are within the standards mentioned by the FDA.
Hot dogs during pregnancy are safe to eat when they cooked at a hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking the meat at such high temperature kills the bacteria present and makes it safe for consumption by the pregnant woman. Consuming it hot from the grill or cooking it steaming hot should do not pose a problem. However if the meat is not cooked properly, there is a chance of having food poisoning called Listeriosis. This food poisoning is caused by a group of bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis
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causes flu-like symptoms and then goes onto become life threatening meningitis and blood infection ( the life-threatening disease meningitis includes symptoms like headaches and mainly affects the membrane covering the brain) there is also a chance of the infection caught by the mother being passed onto the child. Thus heating the meat till it reaches high temperatures kills the bacteria present.
Just make sure that the juice from the processed meat does not come in contact with the rest of the food and pregnant ladies should wash their hands thoroughly after coming in contact with the juices. Deli meats of various kinds should also be cooked to a high temperature to make it safe for consumption for pregnant women. Reheat the meat till they are steaming hot before serving it up to a pregnant lady. In case you have had a lot of hot dogs and deli meat recently, it is best to get yourself examined and thus eliminate any chance of yourself carrying the dreaded disease.
Still Having Second Thoughts?
For women still wanting to be doubly sure about can you eat hot dogs when pregnant? Yes, you can. Hot dogs are safe when cooked at high temperature because the heat kills off the bacteria that are harmful to you and your child but they, not the best choice on a regular basis.
Indulging in hot dogs once in awhile seems good but if consumed on a daily basis, it is not at all healthy for you and your baby. The excessive sodium nitrate that would enter your body through a regular consumption of hot dogs is invariably harmful to your child. Even when you eat hot dogs while pregnant occasionally, serve it up with a good amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that would detoxify your body and rid your blood stream of these harmful bacteria.
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I hope this article has cleared your conception regarding can pregnant women eat hot dogs. Sure, they can. However, only occasionally. If you want to protect your baby from every possible threat, it is, however, advisable that you do not consume it at all.
If you want to avoid the risk of dangerous bacteria entering your body and yet want a sizzling BBQ hot dog for lunch, you could opt some of these alternatives: go for the meat-free alternatives that are available in the market. If you are making your own hot dog, substitute the piece of meat with soy-meat, fresh vegetables or grains that good for both you and your baby. Vegetarian hot dogs reduce, in fact, diminishes your chances of getting infected and are low on sodium nitrates and fats, as compared to the traditional hot dogs.
It is essential that you have an idea about both sides of the coin before deciding on what is best for your baby because pregnancy is a time when even the iron-stomach people tend to weak thanks to their weak immune system. So, consult your doctor and draw up a diet chart and do not forget to ask specifically about cured and packed meats. Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of your child.
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Go ahead, enjoy the summer and serve up the hot dog with loads of fruits and vegetables!