Can you eat Iberico ham when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat Iberico ham when pregnant, what is Iberico ham, is healthy to eat Iberico Ham when pregnant, what are the risks of eating Iberico ham when pregnant, and how to reduce the risk of food poisoning, and how to properly store Iberico ham. 

Can you eat Iberico ham when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat Iberico Ham when pregnant as long as it has been cured for more than 18 months. Also, you can check in the package, if it says ready to eat you can safely eat Iberico Ham when pregnant. 

What is Iberico Ham?

Is a type of ham that comes from Iberico pigs that have a normal life that comes from Spain. According to the denomination of origin, Iberico ham must be made from purebred or crossbred pigs as long as they are at least 50% black Iberian in their ancestry. They can be

  • 50% black Iberian
  • 75% black Iberian
  • 100% black Iberian

There are two factors to consider

  • The genetic characteristic that is the grade of purity must be at least 50% black Iberian and 50% white duroc 
  • Type of nutrition they received

Iberian pigs must receive nutrition from acorns, roots, pasture, and other resources. There are two types of pigs depending on their nutrition

  • Ham of cebo de campo: animals fattened with a combination of outdoor pasture and grain feed on the farm.
  • Iberico ham de cebo: pigs fattened only with grain 

You can find in the market 4 colors to differentiate Iberico Ham’s degrees of quality. Black is the highest quality 

White
Green
Red
Black

Is Iberico Ham healthy to eat when pregnant?

Iberico Ham has different nutrition benefits than other hams because of the quality of the food the pigs get. The meat is high in protein and minerals, vitamin B, and vitamin E. It is easy-to-digest meat. 

7 slices (28 g)
Calories118 calories (76.3 % from fat)
Total Fat10 g
Saturated Fat3.4 g
Cholesterol9 mg
Sodium380 mg
Potassium122 mg
Carbohydrates0 g
Protein7 g
Iron 0.5 mg (7%)

Iberico ham is very rich in protein and amino acids. They go through a process of curing that exposes the proteins to ‘proteolysis’ which degrades proteins and makes them easy to digest. 

When the protein is easiest to digest, there is more nutrient absorption and assimilation. It also has a high content of intramuscular fat. It is high in fatty acids and may help to increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol. 

Compared to other cured hams, Iberico Ham is very high in vitamin E because of its maturation process and has a much lower content of sodium. 

What is the risk of eating Iberico ham when pregnant?

Iberico Ham goes through a maturation process that reduces the risk of food poisoning. According to the NHS, as long as cold meats have been mature enough, they are safe to eat but there is a small risk. 

Although nowadays it’s very difficult to catch an infection, the three main diseases you can contract if you eat uncooked deli meat are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

Listeria monocytogenes are the main bacteria that can be found in deli meat. It causes listeriosis. If you let the bacteria go too far, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and other health problems. 

According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 2,5000 people will get infected with listeria every year.

It means that it’s very rare to get infected but pregnant women are in a more delicate condition and need to be a little more careful because it could lead to fatal health conditions. 

Toxoplasma Gondii is the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. For a normal, healthy person, it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms but for pregnant women, it’s too risky, it can cause serious health problems.  One important thing to add is that once you contract toxoplasmosis you can’t contract it again. 

Salmonella is a bacteria that can be very dangerous in pregnant women. It also causes digestive symptoms like the other pathogens listed above. One important thing about salmonella is that it can cause bacteremia, a condition where there is bacteria in the blood and can be fatal to pregnant women. 

So why are pregnant women more likely to get infected? Because their immune system is compromised and does not work as well as for a healthy person. Also, remember that while the baby is not fully developed, the baby it’s at risk too. 

Symptoms include

  • Náusea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills and fevers
  • Muscle pain
  • In pregnant women, it may cause flu-like symptoms with fever and chills 

How to properly store Iberico Ham?

Hang in a dry place or use a ham holder at a temperature from 10 to 18 degrees. Once you cut the slices, cover with the excess skin and cover the area. Cover the rest of the ham with a dishcloth or a cotton rag. 

How to add Iberico Ham to my diet?

Iberico Ham is a mouth-watering food. You can simply eat it with some slices of cheese and bread or here are some recipes for you to enjoy.

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat Iberico ham when pregnant, what is Iberico ham, is healthy to eat Iberico Ham when pregnant, what are the risks of eating Iberico ham when pregnant, and how to reduce the risk of food poisoning, and how to properly store Iberico ham. 

Citation

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x568572/is-it-safe-to-eat-cured-meats-during-pregnancy

https://www.jamonprive.co.uk/ham-and-pregnancy-can-iberian-ham-be-included-in-pregnant-women-s-diets#:~:text=Another%20study%2C%20in%20this%20case,that%20decreases%20the%20risk%20of

https://jamonpasion.com/gb/blog/can-a-pregnant-woman-eat-serrano-ham-n23

https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/nutrition/iberico-ham,3137459/

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.