Can you eat Jaffa cakes when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat Jaffa cakes when pregnant, what are Jaffa cakes, are Jaffa cakes to eat when pregnant, what happens if I eat too many Jaffa cakes, how much weight can you weigh when pregnant, and what diet you should follow when pregnant. 

Can you eat Jaffa cakes when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat Jaffa cakes when pregnant but you need to eat them in moderation. Jaffa cakes are biscuits that are considered dessert, they usually contain high amounts of sugar and do not give any health benefit.

As with any other biscuit or cookie, if eaten in moderation, together with a balanced and healthy diet there should not be any problem.

If you have gestational diabetes or insulin resistance, you should not eat Jaffa Cakes or any other cookies or biscuits with high sugar content. 

What are jaffa cakes?

Jaffa cakes are biscuit-sized cookies made by McVitie and Price in the United Kingdom. They are made with three layers: 

  • A genoise sponge base
  • A layer of orange-flavored jam
  • Coating of chocolate

They are also sold as bars or in small packs and in larger and smaller sizes. The original and first made Jaffa Cakes came in packs of 10, 20, 30, or 40 now you can also find mini pods, pocket sizes, and rolls. 

McVitie did not register the name as a trademark, so other manufacturers and supermarkets have made similar products under the same name. In 2012, Jaffa Cakes were ranked the best-selling cake and biscuit in the United Kingdom. 

Are Jaffa Cakes healthy to eat when pregnant?

Jaffa Cakes are not exactly healthy but if eaten in moderation, they should not have a negative impact on your health. 

According to the brand, one Jaffa Cake is made with 

  • Glucose-fructose syrup, dark chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Palm oil, Shea oil, Butter Oil (Milk), Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, E476, Natural Flavoring, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Calcium, Iron, Niacin Thiamin, Whole Egg, Water, Dextrose, Concentrated Orange Juice, Glucose Syrup, Sunflower oil, Palm oil, Glycerine, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ammonium Bicarbonate, Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Dried Whole Egg, Sodium Citrates, Natural Orange Flavoring, Curcumin, Soya Lecithin, Product contains the equivalent of 8% Orange Juice
One Jaffa Cake (12.2 grams)
Calories46 calories
Fat1 gram
Saturated Fat0.5 grams
Carbohydrates6.1 grams
Sugar6.1 grams
Salt0.03 grams

If you eat two or three Jaffa Cakes it can be considered a good portion. It is all about not overeating because the ingredients do not give any health benefits. 

What happens if I eat too much Jaffa Cakes?

Jaffa Cakes can lead to rapid weight gain because of their sugar content. If you gain too much weight during pregnancy there are several complications mom and baby can suffer.

  • Gestational Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Complications during birth
  • Baby health 

Gestational Diabetes

You can develop gestational diabetes, a condition where glucose or sugar in the blood is way too high and insulin can’t work correctly. You may need to take medication and the mother can develop diabetes even after the baby is born. 

High Blood pressure

You can develop eclampsia and preeclampsia. Both can lead to mother and baby complications and even death. 

Complications during birth 

If you gain too much weight it’s more likely that you end up in cesarean because vaginal birth tends to be more difficult with excess weight. Also, babies of mothers who gain too much weight are usually bigger. 

Baby health 

Moms that gain too much weight tend to have babies with high birth weight and these babies have more risk of being obese and developing diabetes when older. 

How much weight can I gain?

This is a table that can guide you on how much weight you should gain. Remember, that dieting while pregnant is very dangerous. It is very important to always include all food groups. Just limit your intake of sugar and junk food. 

BMI at beginning of pregnancy (kg/m2)Recommended weight gain during pregnancy (kg)
18.5 underweight12.5 -18.0 kg
18.5 – 24.9 healthy11.15 – 16 kg
25.0 -29.9 overweight7.0 – 11.5 kg
more than 30 overweight5.0 – 9.0 kg

What diet should I follow when pregnant?

In general, when pregnant you should follow a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. A few nutrients need special attention during pregnancy, like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids. 

  • Ideally, 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day
  • Increase your intake of whole grains and cereal foods. Choose high fiber options
  • Milk, hard cheese, and yogurt are great options because they are high calcium foods.
  • Choose low-fat options and good fats: fats from vegetable sources like almonds, olive oil, and avocado. 
  • Choose lean proteins and choose low mercury fish options. 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Always stay active

Weight gain should be closely monitored because the mother and baby’s health depends on it. 

If you still want to indulge in Jaffa Cakes with no guilt, try this recipe sugar-free and with fewer calories. 

Other FAQs about Cake that you may be interested in.

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This article answered can you eat Jaffa cakes when pregnant, what are Jaffa cakes, are Jaffa cakes to eat when pregnant, what happens if I eat too many Jaffa cakes, how much weight can you weigh when pregnant, and what diet you should follow when pregnant.