Life during pregnancy can be filled with twists and turns. It takes quite a lot to house another person in the womb but it can be less complicated if you know and are willing to do the right things. You just need to be well aware of the things that you can do, cannot do, and what falls right in between during pregnancy. For example, while you should not drink energy drinks while pregnant, caffeine is allowed but in moderate amounts.
In the spirit of having expectant moms do the right things, this International Health Alliance nutrition will discuss if they can eat or should avoid hot dogs while pregnant. So, concerned ladies and people at large should read on to stay informed.
Are Hot Dogs Safe for Eating During Pregnancy?
How the hot dog is processed (cooked) is what determines if it is safe for eating during pregnancy. Pregnant women should not trust hot dogs that have been pre-processed and served right away to them. This is even if the sausages are taken right from hot water. The water might not just be hot enough as it needs to be steaming very hot to deal with the Listeria bacteria.
They need to take out time to cook the sausages or meats that make up the hot dog. Cooking it should be at the right temperature. This is to make it free of any food-poisoning bacteria that it might contain. This is even though it is not entirely in a raw state. For this reason, the cooking or grilling temperature should be as high as 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
One of the clear signs that you have cooked the hot dog well enough is the color change. Every bit of the pink color it is known to have will not be there. If you must eat hot dogs during pregnancy, make sure this is how yours is.
Tenable Reasons to Avoid Hot Dogs during Pregnancy
Some sources outrightly stress that hot dogs are one of those foods that should be kept at arm’s length during pregnancy. Well, the truth is that you will be saving yourself a lot of trouble if you choose to avoid hot dogs. Some of the reasons for this include the following:
The Possibility of Being Exposed to Listeriosis
This is a food poisoning that leaves serious health challenges that can even threaten healthy lives. The germ (bacteria) known as Listeria monocytogenes is the culprit behind it. Hot dogs, as well as other deli meat foods, have an increased risk of carrying the Listeria germ that causes Listeriosis.
Although it can affect almost anyone (gender and people at large), pregnant women are very vulnerable. For one, this is because their immune system is under lots of pregnancy-induced stress and may not be able to combat the Listeria germ.
The Baby Can Be Adversely Affected
By baby, we simply mean the fetus that is fast becoming a baby in the womb. Eating a hot dog meal with food poisoning – Listeriosis; can affect the baby in the womb. Some of the complications that can result from this include:
- Infant mortality
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
- Developmental impediments such as intellectual disability, brain impairment, kidney impairment, heart impairment, seizures, and paralysis
The aforementioned can be symptoms of Listeriosis. This is how complicated it can get when Listeria is a problem during pregnancy. So, doing all to avoid these dangerous bacteria is a step in the right direction.
Concerns with Sodium and Preservatives
We would not be objective enough if we said that hot dogs do not offer any form of nutritional benefits. Of course, they do besides being one of our great-tasting foods.
However, some of the things used in making these often pre-processed foods may not be good enough for pregnant women. For example, because of the way some hot dog recipes are cooked, a lot of salt and preservatives are involved.
For starters, sodium is a large part of what makes up salt and too much of it is not good during pregnancy. Sodium can further raise blood pressure levels which pregnancy can raise even on its own. Also, foods that contain preservatives such as nitrates are not ideal during pregnancy. So, you should do the best you can to avoid such foods.
Besides all these, hot dogs expose pregnant women to lots of fat. This is especially for those who eat it multiple times every week.
Just as you have to be extra careful with hot dogs while pregnant, you need to have the same approach towards some other foods. Seafood is one such as it has to be well cooked from its raw state. Also, some foods should be avoided, especially because of their undesirable effects on the baby. High-mercury fish is a very good example.
Other relevant articles can be accessed on the nutrition section of the International Health Alliance website. For example, you can read this article that reviews the Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test kit and discover if it helps you know your food allergies.