Pregnancy can be a time of excitement, anticipation, and a whole lot of questions. One of the most common questions expectant mothers have is what foods are safe to eat during pregnancy.
And if you’re from New Jersey, you might be wondering if it’s okay to indulge in your favorite pork product: Taylor Ham. The internet is full of conflicting information and opinions on the matter, leaving many pregnant women unsure of what to do.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the safety of eating Taylor Ham during pregnancy and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of Taylor Ham and pregnancy.
Can You Eat Taylor Ham When Pregnant?
The short answer is yes, you can eat Taylor Ham during pregnancy. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that the Taylor Ham you’re consuming is either safe or well-cooked. This means that if you’re purchasing it from a store or deli, you should check the ingredients to ensure that they are safe for consumption during pregnancy.
If you’re unsure about the safety of the ingredients, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming it altogether. Alternatively, if you’re preparing it at home, make sure that it’s cooked thoroughly to reduce the risk of any harmful bacteria.
It’s also worth noting that Taylor Ham falls under the category of processed meats, which have been linked to an increased risk of certain health issues such as cancer and heart disease. While there is no evidence to suggest that consuming Taylor Ham during pregnancy specifically increases these risks, it’s still important to consume it in moderation.
What Is Taylor Ham?
Taylor Ham, also known as pork roll, is a processed meat that is commonly available in New Jersey and neighboring states. It was developed in 1856 by John Taylor of Trenton and sold as “Taylor’s Prepared Ham” until 1906 when food labeling regulations required Taylor and all other manufacturers to label it “pork roll.” However, people in northern New Jersey still refer to it as “Taylor ham.” Pork roll/Taylor ham is made with a mix of spices, salt, a sugar cure, and preservatives that is smoked before being packaged. The original company that produced the product is responsible for its other name. Taylor ham is technically named John Taylor’s Original Pork Roll. The product is the same, but the name “Taylor ham” specifies the manufacturer. While other companies also produce it, Taylor Provisions is the originator and Jerseyans will tell you all other brands are impostors.
Nutritional Value Of Taylor Ham
When it comes to the nutritional value of Taylor Ham, a 64 g serving contains 200 calories, 18 g of fat, 10 g of protein, and 1 g of carbohydrate. It’s important to note that the carbohydrate content is only 1 g of sugar and does not contain any dietary fiber. Additionally, a serving of Taylor Ham contains 8 g of saturated fat and 40 mg of cholesterol.
However, it’s not all bad news as a serving of Taylor Ham does provide some nutritional benefits. For example, a serving contains 2.4 mg of vitamin C and 0.36 mg of iron. While these amounts may not seem significant, they can contribute to meeting daily nutritional needs.
It’s also worth noting that the nutritional information for Taylor Ham can vary depending on the brand and preparation method. If you’re concerned about the nutritional value of the Taylor Ham you’re consuming during pregnancy, it’s best to check the label or consult with a healthcare professional.
Potential Risks Of Eating Taylor Ham During Pregnancy
While it is generally safe to consume Taylor Ham during pregnancy, there are some potential risks to keep in mind. One of the main concerns is the risk of Listeria contamination. Listeria is a type of bacteria that can cause serious illness in pregnant women, including stillbirth or miscarriage.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women are 10 times more likely to contract Listeria than non-pregnant individuals. Processed meats like Taylor Ham have been identified as a potential source of Listeria contamination, as they are often consumed without being cooked.
To reduce the risk of Listeria contamination, it’s important to make sure that any Taylor Ham you consume has been cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165°F/75°C. Additionally, it’s best to avoid consuming Taylor Ham from delis or other sources where the meat may have been sitting at room temperature for an extended period of time.
Another potential risk of consuming Taylor Ham during pregnancy is the high sodium content. Processed meats like Taylor Ham are often high in sodium, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure and other health issues during pregnancy.
To minimize the risks associated with consuming Taylor Ham during pregnancy, it’s important to consume it in moderation and balance it with other nutritious foods. As always, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet during pregnancy.
Safe Ways To Consume Taylor Ham During Pregnancy
If you’re craving Taylor Ham during pregnancy, there are some safe ways to consume it:
1. Check the ingredients: Before consuming Taylor Ham, make sure to check the ingredients to ensure that they are safe for consumption during pregnancy. Avoid any products that contain unsafe ingredients.
2. Cook it thoroughly: If you’re preparing Taylor Ham at home, make sure to cook it thoroughly to reduce the risk of any harmful bacteria. The recommended temperature for cooked pork is 165°F/75°C.
3. Consume in moderation: While there is no evidence to suggest that consuming Taylor Ham during pregnancy specifically increases health risks, it’s still important to consume it in moderation. Processed meats have been linked to an increased risk of certain health issues such as cancer and heart disease, so it’s best to limit your intake.
4. Choose alternatives: If you’re concerned about the safety of consuming Taylor Ham during pregnancy, consider choosing alternatives such as turkey or chicken ham, which are generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy.
Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about consuming Taylor Ham or any other food during pregnancy, it’s always best to consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice.
Other Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
In addition to Taylor Ham, there are several other foods that should be avoided or consumed in moderation during pregnancy. These include undercooked or raw meat and fish, as well as foods that can carry a risk of infection. It’s important to avoid soft or blue cheese, both pasteurized and unpasteurized, unless they have been cooked until steaming hot. This includes cheeses like feta, brie, camembert, and blue cheese.
Other foods to avoid during pregnancy include cold cuts, deli meats, hot dogs, and other ready-to-eat meats. These can be safely consumed if they are heated to steaming and served hot. It’s also important to avoid pre-stuffed fresh turkey or chicken, steak tartare or any raw meat, rare cuts of meat, and undercooked meats.
Seafood can also be a concern during pregnancy. It’s important to avoid high-mercury fish like king mackerel, shark, swordfish, and tilefish. Smoked fish like cod, salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, and whitefish should also be avoided. Additionally, sushi or any raw fish or shellfish like oysters, clams, and mussels should be avoided.
Raw eggs and raw cookie dough should also be avoided due to the risk of salmonella. Similarly, unpasteurized milk and any cheese made from unpasteurized milk should be avoided.
Finally, it’s important to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy. Consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine per day (equivalent to one 12-ounce cup of coffee) can increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight. It’s also important to avoid alcohol during pregnancy as it can cause serious harm to the developing fetus.
By avoiding these foods and consuming others in moderation, pregnant women can help ensure the health and safety of themselves and their growing babies.