Is It Safe To Eat Hot Dogs While Pregnant?

Are you pregnant, and do you love hot dogs? Perhaps you have heard a few warnings about consuming hot dogs while pregnant. Are you worried about these warnings? If you can relate to these questions, then you should read on! 

Hot dogs are normally consumed around summertime, which means family vacations, barbecues, get-togethers, and of course, baseball games! It is during these times that all these summer activities have one thing in common. Yes, you guessed it right! It’s hot dogs! Nothing beats a grilled hot dog at a summer picnic or a baseball game. But is it safe to eat hot dogs while pregnant? Read on to find out more!

Do I need to avoid eating hot dogs if I’m pregnant? 

As a pregnant mother, you need to pay special attention to your diet and food intake. Doctors also recommend that expectant mothers stay away from ready-to-eat meals and processed foods because of the potential for harmful bacteria and/or other processed chemicals to be present in them. A hot dog is one such processed food. So, do you need to avoid eating it completely while pregnant? Not necessarily! All you have to do is follow some guidelines, and you should be fine. However, talk to your doctor before considering whether to include hot dogs in your pregnancy diet.

Can pregnant women eat hot dogs?

Risks Associated With Hot Dogs:

Listeria 

One of the main risks with pre-cooked meat is the possibility of microorganisms and bacteria. Listeria is a bacteria genus common in soft cheese and sausage products. The bacteria can lead to listeriosis, an infection that causes flu and gastrointestinal discomfort. Pregnant women and those with weak immune systems are easily prone to listeriosis. Listeriosis is quite dangerous during pregnancy as it can lead to premature delivery, miscarriage, infection, and stillbirth.

So you just need to make sure your hot dogs are cooked, as the high heat will eliminate the chances of you getting sick. 

Sodium nitrates

Another problem with hot dogs is the presence of sodium nitrate. Sodium nitrate is a compound that we use as a food preservative to extend the shelf life of the food and improve its color.

As a preservative, sodium nitrate prevents the formation of bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes. However, sodium nitrate is not necessarily good for you. Excessive consumption of sodium nitrate can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer.

High amounts of sodium:

Hot dogs are high in sodium. Yes, the recommended dose of sodium is slightly higher during pregnancy. However, try to eat natural foods rich in higher sodium levels. Not only is excess sodium bad for the heart, but pregnant mothers can experience complications and birth defects in the unborn child.

Choose Your Hot Dogs Wisely During Pregnancy 

When you eat a low-quality, highly processed hot dog at any time, not just during pregnancy, you could be asking for trouble. It is highly processed food and has many health risks including contamination, artificial chemicals, and so on. In addition, you never truly know all the components that went into making that hot dog. Hence, food quality is a major risk associated with hot dog consumption.

If you are going to give yourself the highest chance to answer the question of whether or not it is safe to heat hot dogs while pregnant, make sure you choose a natural, preferably organic, grass-fed hot dog that is minimally processed. 

Sensitivity to ingredients:

Another problem with hot dogs is the use of ingredients like condiments and cheese. Sometimes your pregnant body will refuse the mustard you loved so much, or you might want to add some extra ketchup. All of this is normal, but studies have found that ingesting ingredients like spices and certain types of cheese can lead to complications. For example, you may develop sensitivity to certain spices during the 9 months of pregnancy. In addition, consuming cheese can lead to allergic reactions such as flatulence and gas in the stomach, which is a burden for many women during pregnancy.

 

To sum things up, it is not necessarily a dangerous thing to eat a hot dog while pregnant, as long as the hot dog is cooked. However, hot dogs are normally highly processed and not a great food for your own health and for your developing baby. If you are going to eat hot dogs during pregnancy, try to choose a brand that is less processed and more natural. 

Sources: 

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/nutrition-during-pregnancy

https://www.elitebaby.us/blogs/news/diet-plan-for-breastfeeding-mothers-to-lose-weight?_pos=32&_sid=b9b94d47d&_ss=r

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