Pregnancy can be a time of confusion when it comes to meal choices, with many women wondering what foods are safe to eat.
One such food that often raises questions is pork pie. While it’s a popular and tasty dish, many pregnant women are unsure whether it’s safe to consume.
With conflicting information available online, it can be challenging to know what to believe. In this article, we’ll explore the safety of eating pork pie during pregnancy and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
So, if you’re a fan of this classic British dish and expecting a little one, keep reading to find out if you can indulge in a slice or two.
Can You Eat Pork Pie While Pregnant?
The short answer is yes, you can eat pork pie while pregnant. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.
Firstly, it’s essential to ensure that the pork in the pie is thoroughly cooked. Pork, like poultry and red meat, should not be eaten raw or undercooked as it can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
When making a pork pie from scratch, be sure to cook the meat until it’s steaming hot with no trace of pink or blood. If you’re buying a pork pie, check that the meat is pre-cooked before consuming it.
Pork pies usually contain a mixture of pork mince, bacon lardons, and sausage meat baked in a pastry crust. While they are often served cold, the meat has been thoroughly cooked during the baking process, making them safe to eat during pregnancy.
However, it’s worth noting that pork pies can be high in calories, so it’s best to enjoy them in moderation, especially if you’re concerned about gaining too much pregnancy weight.
It’s also important to consider any additional ingredients that may be present in the pork pie. Cheeses that are usually served in pork pies are not advisable to eat during pregnancy unless they have been cooked. So, if you’re unsure about the ingredients in a particular pork pie, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
What Is Pork Pie?
Pork pie is a traditional English meat pie that is usually served cold or at room temperature. It consists of a filling made from roughly chopped pork and pork fat, surrounded by a layer of jellied pork stock in a hot water crust pastry. The pastry is made using hot water and lard, which is then raised by hand using a mold or a jam jar for support.
Pork pies are often enjoyed as a snack or with a salad, and are a popular treat during holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve. While they can be high in calories, the meat in pork pies is thoroughly cooked during the baking process, making them safe to eat during pregnancy as long as the pork is cooked until it’s steaming hot with no trace of pink or blood.
It’s important to note that additional ingredients such as cheeses may be present in some pork pies, which may not be safe to eat during pregnancy unless they have been cooked. If you’re unsure about the ingredients in a particular pork pie, it’s best to avoid it altogether.
Nutritional Benefits Of Pork Pie
While pork pies may not be the healthiest food option, they do offer some nutritional benefits. Pork is a good source of protein, which is essential for the growth and development of your baby. It also contains important vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.
The pastry crust in pork pies is typically made from flour, butter, and water. While it’s not the healthiest option, it does provide some carbohydrates, which are necessary for energy during pregnancy.
However, it’s important to note that pork pies can be high in saturated fat and salt. Consuming too much saturated fat can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol and heart disease. Additionally, too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can be dangerous during pregnancy.
Therefore, while it’s okay to indulge in a pork pie every once in a while during pregnancy, it’s important to do so in moderation and balance it out with other healthy food choices. Opt for leaner cuts of pork and try baking your own pork pies using healthier ingredients such as whole wheat flour and leaner meats.
Risks Associated With Eating Pork Pie During Pregnancy
While pork pies are generally safe to eat during pregnancy, there are still some risks associated with consuming them.
One potential risk is the presence of parasites in cured meats, including pork pies. Cured meats are not cooked, so they may contain parasites that cause toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite found in raw and undercooked meat, among other things. It can cause serious complications, particularly early in pregnancy, which can lead to miscarriage.
Another risk associated with consuming pork pies during pregnancy is the high calorie and fat content. Eating too many high-calorie foods can lead to excessive weight gain during pregnancy, which can increase the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes and hypertension.
It’s also important to be aware of any additional ingredients that may be present in the pork pie. Cheeses that are usually served in pork pies are not advisable to eat during pregnancy unless they have been cooked. Some pork pies may also contain game meats that may contain lead shot.
To minimize these risks, it’s essential to ensure that the pork pie is thoroughly cooked and that any additional ingredients are safe for consumption during pregnancy. It’s also important to consume pork pies in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
Precautions To Take When Consuming Pork Pie While Pregnant
While it’s safe to eat pork pie during pregnancy, there are some precautions you should take to avoid any potential risks. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Check the ingredients: Before consuming a pork pie, check the ingredients list to ensure that it doesn’t contain any ingredients that are not safe to eat during pregnancy. Avoid pork pies that contain cheeses like feta, brie, camembert, blue cheese, or panela unless the label says “pasteurized.”
2. Ensure the pork is cooked thoroughly: As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to ensure that the pork in the pie is cooked thoroughly. When making a pork pie from scratch, cook the meat until it’s steaming hot with no trace of pink or blood. If you’re buying a pork pie, check that the meat is pre-cooked before consuming it.
3. Store and reheat properly: If you have leftover pork pie, store it in the refrigerator and reheat it to an internal temperature of 165°F before consuming it.
4. Enjoy in moderation: Pork pies can be high in calories and saturated fat, so it’s best to enjoy them in moderation.
By following these precautions, you can safely enjoy pork pie during pregnancy without any risk to your health or your baby’s health.
Alternatives To Pork Pie For Pregnant Women
If you’re not comfortable eating pork pie during pregnancy, there are plenty of alternatives to consider. Here are a few options:
1. Chicken or Turkey Pie: Poultry pies are a great alternative to pork pies. They’re high in protein and other essential vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy choice for pregnant women. Plus, they’re easy to make at home or can be purchased pre-made from the grocery store.
2. Vegetable Pie: If you’re looking for a meat-free option, vegetable pies are a great choice. They’re packed with nutrients and can be made with a variety of vegetables, such as spinach, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes.
3. Quiche: Quiches are another popular savory pie that can be enjoyed during pregnancy. They can be made with a variety of fillings, including vegetables, cheese, and meat, making them a versatile option.
4. Shepherd’s Pie: This classic dish is made with ground beef or lamb and topped with mashed potatoes. It’s a hearty and satisfying meal that’s perfect for pregnant women.
5. Savory Tart: Savory tarts are similar to quiches but are usually served in a pastry crust without the egg filling. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as cheese, vegetables, or meat.