It is perfectly normal for women to have cravings. But what if you are craving cheese during pregnancy? Will you give in or will you first try to find out if it is good for you and the baby? If you have been giving in to your cravings lately; then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Some women even crave the most unusual food combinations, and that is perfectly fine. However; it is best if you first figure out everything about it as well as the effects that you and your unborn child could possibly get when you give in to your cravings.

The reason behind pregnancy cravings

There are a lot of theories out there that can explain what exactly causes pregnancy cravings. According to Dr. Andrei Rebaber of New York University Medical Center; they have yet to discover the real cause of these cravings.

Based on some theories; pregnancy cravings might be a way for the body to tell the mother that they need certain nutrients that can be found on the specific food they are craving for. It may be because of how the body may be lacking particular vitamins or nutrients, so the body asks for it. Most people usually say that it is the baby’s overwhelming desire to eat a certain food, but it is not scientifically accurate.

It can also be because of the elevated hormone levels. Every woman’s hormone levels soar when they are pregnant, and it can affect the sense of smell and taste.

This is also the reason why some food can make them sick and then there are some that are incredibly enticing to the point that they can crave for it. Unfortunately; some women tend to choose their own comfort food regardless of how healthy it is. There are times that they are craving for foods that may not be beneficial for the baby.

If you are constantly craving cheese, do you think that it will help you and your baby in the long run? Cheese can be healthy since it is rich in calcium which is good for the bones. However; there are different types of cheese out there and not all of them can be healthy.

Why are you craving for cheese during pregnancy

Experts say that one of the possible reasons why you are craving cheese is because your body needs essential fatty acids, or you might have a calcium deficiency. This is actually a common food item that pregnant women crave for.

Most people think that it is perfectly okay to crave cheese during pregnancy since it can be a good source of calcium. The baby needs calcium so that he or she can develop strong bones and teeth. Cheese also contains a good amount of protein as well as vitamin B; which is very essential for the baby’s growth.

Some people even think that pregnant women who are craving for cheese can be an indication that they are having a baby boy. Then again; this does not have any scientific basis.

However; keep in mind that consuming cheese very often during your pregnancy can lead to indigestion and constipation. Eating cheese can also lead to weight gain that can last the entire pregnancy.

Many women find it very difficult to lose weight after they give birth. So; if you do not want to gain a lot of weight while you are pregnant; try not to consume that much cheese.

In fact; you must consider what kind of cheese is the best for you and your unborn child. What most women do not know is that not every type of cheese is healthy to eat when they are pregnant. There is a kind of bacteria known as listeria; which is an organism that can live on certain types of cheese if it has not been stored the right way. This kind of bacteria may actually be harmful to your growing baby. If you know which cheese to eat and not to eat, then you can satisfy your cravings without harming yourself or the baby.

The best cheese choices

Almost everyone loves cheese, but when you have a growing baby inside you, it might be best if you watch out what kind of cheese you are consuming. Here are some of the best cheese that you can eat during pregnancy.

  • Hard cheeses

Any type of hard cheese such as parmesan, cheddar, provolone, and more, got a firm texture, which means it does not have that much water in it. They have a long maturation period since they were cooking in high temperatures in order to get rid of any bacteria that may be present.

  • Processed cheeses

Processed cheese spreads, mozzarella, cream cheese, and more. You might think that processed cheese may be unhealthy because it does not contain that many nutrients compared to the homemade ones. They might contain stabilizers and other additives, but processed cheeses are actually made with the use of heat, so any bacteria that may be present has been eliminated. However, their high sodium level makes them unhealthy compared to the hard cheeses. With moderation, they can be consumed by pregnant women.

varieties of cheese to avoid during pregnancy

  • Soft cheeses

Almost every single soft cheese was not pasteurized. Pasteurization is a method that is used to kill bacteria like listeria. Unpasteurized milk that is turned into cheese just like blue cheese, feta, queso fresco, and more, is not safe for pregnant women.

Risks of listeria during pregnancy

There is no way that you can identify if a cheese contains listeria just by smelling or tasting it. Unless you go to a lab for a test, then you will not be able to tell. Based on recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control, there are about 1,700 people that get affected by listeria each year in the United States. They also said that pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get it.

A pregnant woman who is infected with listeriosis will feel some flu-like symptoms during the first week. Although you can get infected at any time during your pregnancy, women who are in their third trimester are more at risk since their immune system is suppressed.

  • Will the baby be affected?

Unfortunately, your unborn child will be at serious risk if ever you get infected. It might lead to miscarriages or premature labor. The infection can also be very strong that your baby may also get it.

It is advisable that you get yourself checked if you are not feeling well. If you were diagnosed with listeriosis, your doctor may prescribe you some antibiotics that will not harm the baby. This will prevent the infection from reaching the fetus.

This is why you should always be careful about what you are eating despite your cravings. There is absolutely nothing wrong with craving cheese during pregnancy, as long as you know what is best for you and your unborn child.

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