Is it Safe to Eat Pizza from Fast Food Chains in Pregnancy?
The tempting decoration and the amazing taste make Pizza a universally loved fast food. But, it is safe for you during pregnancy; especially in India considering the pollution, transportation and the hygiene followed by the Pizza chains? Well, this article can help you out in taking a decision.
1. Check These Ingredients
A pregnant woman requires a decent diet full of healthy fat, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. Even a selection of Pizza types caters to this requirement.
But, most of the non-veg Pizzas, even from the reputed chains, contain MSG or Monosodium glutamate, a tastemaker found in many junk foods. It’s the MSG which makes the Pizzas irresistible. MSG enhances the taste but it’s not at all good during pregnancy.
Moreover, Pizzas contains many chemicals, especially in the processed meats. Also, during baking, many Pizza brands add chemicals to the flour. And, sometimes, the Pizza boxes also have a wax coating which is also harmful to the health.
A Pizza containing sausage or meat should be avoided, especially in India where enough care during transporting these items is usually no taken. You can’t expect fresh sausage or meat every time from a Pizza brand. The same thing goes for the Paneer Pizza. If possible, make Pizza at home or go for the brands that offer fresh stuff.
2. Whole Wheat Vs Fine Wheat:
The quality of Pizza differs from one Pizza chain or brand to another. Some of the Pizzas are made of whole wheat whereas some are made of fine or refined wheat. Whole wheat pizzas contain fiber and essential nutrients. Bran, germ and endosperm are the three major components of the kernel. Whole wheat mainly comprises of all the three components while the refined wheat only contains the endosperm part for better longevity.
Refined wheat is not good for health and digestion, especially when you are pregnant. So, it’s better to avoid it and go for the whole wheat pizzas.
3. Expired/Not-Maintained Sauces
It may be difficult to know whether a restaurant or Pizza brand uses good-quality sauces. When pizzas are made on a large scale, many pizza makers overlook the shelf life of the sauces used in the pizzas and that can be a threat to the health of the consumers. If possible, check if the restaurant uses the fresh and non-expired sauces. It may trigger indigestion and loose motion if bad-quality sauces are consumed. It’s better if you personally know a restaurant that prepares fresh sauces and ingredients for Pizzas and place your order there only. Say yes to the restaurants that use fresh dough, sauces and other ingredients for making Pizzas rather than going for the big names and risk your health.
4) Be Aware of Hygiene Care at the Restaurants
Hygiene should be the first preference while ordering any food from a restaurant during pregnancy. It’s not just about your own health but the health of the baby breathing inside you is also of a big concern.
There are two parts of making a pizza – baking and topping. In many restaurants, in order to meet the order timelines, the cooks overlook the hygiene aspects. Contamination can occur during making the dough, storing the ingredients, adding tastemakers and garnishing with the toppings. Unwashed kitchen tools or contact with the microorganisms-affected foods can cause cross-contamination.
Cheese Types to Avoid
In the case of cheese pizzas, brie, chevre, and camembert are the types of cheese that every pregnant woman should avoid. These are soft type cheeses and though they taste amazing; they are very much prone to germs and bacteria.
Use of cold, raw or uncooked meat while making pizzas is also harmful to the health of an expectant mother. The bad quality of water or wrongly stored meats are affected by some parasites that cause infectious diseases. Always try to get fresh meat toppings while ordering a pizza. The same thing happens with the uncooked or not properly cooked shellfish toppings.
The Basic Precautions
• High temperature cooking
• Eat pizza when it’s hot
• Prefer hard cheese over soft one
• Ensure use of the soft cheese only made form pasteurized milk
• Meat should be properly cooked
• Ensure that kitchen tools and utensils are clean
• Ensure whole wheat, clean water and fresh ingredients are used
Today, Pizzas are easily available at any nearby restaurant or Pizza chain. Pregnancy is a phase when women want intense tastes and pizzas are the perfect treats. It’s not necessary to give up completely on the pizzas but ensuring the above-mentioned points and following the precautions can make your pizza experience amazing and safe.
This article is specially written for the Indian women, considering the weather, transport ways and fast food chains of Pizza in India.