Can you eat meringue when pregnant?

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

Can you eat meringue when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat meringue when pregnant but it has to be cooked. Uncooked meringue made with raw egg whites may contain salmonella bacteria that causes listeriosis. Salmonella is usually found in egg yolk but it is still not safe to eat egg whites raw. 

Eggs need to be pasteurized or cooked to 160 F to kill any bacteria. Meringues that are bought from bakeries and grocery stores are cooked, baked, and pasteurized and do not pose a risk. 

What is meringue?

Meringue is a type of dessert or candy that is often used in Swiss, French, and Italian cuisines. It is traditionally made from whipped egg whites and sugar. It can also contain lemon, vinegar, or cream of tartar. 

The formation of a good meringue depends on the protein ovalbumin, a protein in egg whites. It can be found in various flavors such as vanilla, apple juice, or orange juice. 

They are light, airy, and sweet confections. A uniform crisp texture may be achieved at home by baking at low temperatures for an extended period. 

There are different preparation techniques for making meringue

French meringue or basic meringue

It is the most used technique at home. White sugar is beaten with egg whites. 

Italian meringue

Is made by boiling sugar syrup which creates a more stable meringue without collapsing. The hot syrup is whipped into egg whites until stiff and until the meringue becomes cool. This type of meringue is safe to use without cooking. 

Swiss meringue

Is whisked over a bain-marie to warm the egg whites and then whisked steadily until it cools. Then it is baked. 

Vegan meringue

Is an imitation of meringue made with aquafaba and a small dose of vinegar and caster sugar. It can quickly burn if torched or baked incorrectly. 

Is it healthy to eat meringue when pregnant?

No, meringue is not healthy. One meringue or 22 grams of meringue contains 62 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of cholesterol, 12 mg of sodium, and 16 grams of carbohydrates of which 15 grams are from sugar, and 0.8 grams of protein. 

Meringue has way too much sugar. They can’t be considered healthy but when we talk about sweets, moderation is the key. If you are carving some meringue go for it, but try to stick to your healthy and balanced diet as much as you can. Remember, it needs to be cooked before you eat it. 

If you already have gestational diabetes, weight problems, preeclampsia, or high blood pressure the recommendation is to not eat any sweets to prevent more health problems.

What is the risk of eating meringue when pregnant?

If you eat meringue that has not been cooked there is a risk of food poisoning. According to the FDA, meringue can be contaminated with listeria or other food poisoning bacteria eggs still raw. You always need to fully cook it. 

Although nowadays it’s very difficult to catch an infection, raw egg products are a risk. The three main diseases you can contract are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

Listeria monocytogenes cause 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 

Follow this recipe for a safe Italian meringue recipe

Conclusion

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

Citation

https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/dessert-during-pregnancy/

https://www.netmums.com/pregnancy/can-you-eat-meringues-when-pregnant

https://www.livestrong.com/article/503889-is-meringue-safe-to-eat/

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