Ahh, that’s the question (even for those of us who aren’t pregnant …yet!) Here is a blog contribution from Heather Harvey, MHSc, RD – and mom.
Pregnant women don’t have it easy these days. Everywhere you turn someone is telling you something that you should or shouldn’t be eating – your mother-in-law, bff, OB, the lady at the grocery store, and even your well-meaning hubby.
Some of the most confusing advice is from reputable sources who say that pregnant women shouldn’t eat soft cheeses such as goat cheese, Brie, feta or queso fresco. The good news is that even if you choose to avoid all of these cheeses, you can still get all the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy. The even better news is that you don’t have to avoid these cheeses after all.
The reason that experts recommend avoiding soft cheeses is because these cheeses are sometimes made using unpasteurized or “raw” milk, thus leaving the cheese susceptible to certain bacteria, including Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria. In Canada, raw milk cheeses are available for sale, however, there are many cheeses that are made with pasteurized milk and should say so on the label. Additionally, aged raw-milk cheeses such as Parmesan and English Cheddar are at very low risk of carrying Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria because of the manufacturing process and their high sodium and low moisture content.
To play it safe, avoid all raw milk cheeses. If you love cheese, check the label and make sure it has been made with pasteurized milk. There are many options at most grocery stores for those pregnant women who love their cheese!
As always, we want you to be an informed yummy mummy, so please print this out and consult your health provider when discussing nutrition options specific to your needs.