Can you eat lox when pregnant?

In this article, we are going to answer can you eat lox when pregnant, what is lox, is it healthy to eat lox when pregnant, what is the risk of eating lox when pregnant, and how can you safely eat lox when pregnant. 

Can you eat lox when pregnant?

No, lox is not safe to eat when pregnant. Even if lox is healthy because it contains a lot of vitamins and minerals it can be contaminated with food poisoning bacteria. Any raw or uncooked seafood is not safe to eat.

Pregnant women are more at risk for suffering the worst symptoms and side effects of food-borne illness. 

Lox is also very high in sodium content. A diet high in sodium during pregnancy has been linked to increasing the risk of gestational high blood pressure and preeclampsia. 

What is lox?

Lox or belly lox is a type of salmon that has been cured with salt. Lox is usually made from salmon sides and sometimes flavors can be added to the process of brine. 

The main difference between smoked salmon and lox is that smoked salmon or nova salmon has been cured and smoked while lox has only been cured with salt. Because lox is only preserved in salt, the flavor is very different from smoked salmon even if they look very similar and have a similar texture. 

Is it healthy to eat lox when pregnant?

Lox is healthy lean meat but it contains very high amounts of sodium that can be very dangerous to pregnant women. 3 ounces of lox, 85 grams, contains 99 calories, 3.7 grams of fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 1700 mg of sodium, 149 mg of potassium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and 16 grams of protein. 

Pregnant women should not eat more than 2500 mg of sodium per day, 3 ounces of lox gives you 1700 mg of sodium. It gives you more than half the RDI of one day. 

What is the risk of eating lox?

Eating lox can increase the risk of food-borne infection. Food-borne illnesses in pregnant women present a more serious health risk. 

Although nowadays it’s very difficult to catch an infection, lox presents a high risk of bacteria contamination. The three main diseases you can contract if you eat lox are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

Listeria monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes cause listeriosis. If you let the bacteria go too far, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and other health problems. It can cause respiratory tract symptoms, septicemia, and encephalitis. 

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. 

Listeria has been linked to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, septicemia, and pneumonia in the newborn baby. 

Toxoplasma Gondii

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. 

It has been linked with poor health of the unborn baby with problems such as chorioretinitis, mental retardation, hearing loss, blindness, or epilepsy. 


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. 

Symptoms include

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

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. 

Another risk of eating lox is the sodium content. When pregnant, you need to watch your sodium intake, especially in the last trimester. Sodium can lead to weight gain, water retention, swelling, and increased blood pressure. 

Sodium is a mineral that is part of many metabolic processes in our body. It is one of the minerals responsible for the correct fluid distribution. If you eat too much sodium, the amount of fluid or water in your body goes up and your heart works harder to pump more blood. This means blood pressure goes up. 

If you have gestational diabetes, gestational high blood pressure, preeclampsia, swelling, or fluid retention problems it is best to avoid lox because it can worsen these conditions. 

How can you safely eat lox when pregnant?

Lox can only be eaten if it is fully cooked. Raw or uncooked lox should not be eaten when pregnant. The heat in the cooking process is the only way to kill any food poisoning bacteria that lox may have. Here is a recipe with fully cooked lox to eat safely. 

Other FAQs about Salmon that you may be interested in.

Can you eat salmon out of a can without cooking it?

Can you eat salmon raw from the grocery store?

Can you eat salmon without cooking it?


This article answered can you eat lox when pregnant, what is lox, is it healthy to eat lox when pregnant, what is the risk of eating lox when pregnant, and how can you safely add lox when pregnant.