Ah, pregnancy. The time when a woman's body goes through so many changes it's like she's transformed into a completely different creature altogether. One moment you're craving pickles and ice cream, the next you're projectile vomiting all over your bathroom sink. It's truly a magical time.
One question that often comes up during pregnancy is whether certain foods are safe to eat or not. Today we'll be tackling the question of mayo - that creamy condiment that some people love and others... well, nay.
What exactly is mayo?
Mayonnaise (or "mayo" for short) is a thick, smooth sauce made from oil, egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, and seasonings such as salt and pepper. It has been beloved by sandwich lovers for centuries - or at least since 1756 when French chef Marie-Antoine Carême first invented it.
So what's the deal with mayo during pregnancy?
The concern around eating mayo while pregnant stems from the fact that raw eggs can carry salmonella, which can pose a risk to both mom and baby if consumed in large quantities (read: please do not consume raw eggs on purpose).
However, most store-bought mayonnaise found in North America is made with pasteurized eggs, making it perfectly safe to eat during pregnancy (more on this later).
Wait... what does 'pasteurized' mean?
Pasteurization involves heating food products to kill off any harmful bacteria before packaging them for sale in stores. This process destroys active enzymes present in unprocessed/raw dairy products but protects against bacterial growth from bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes ("Listeria"), Salmonella Enteritidis (“Salmonella”) among other pathogens commonly associated with foodborne illnesses.
Basically: You don't want those bacterias invading your uterus during your precious gestational period.
Are there any other possible risks?
While it's rare, some mayonnaises (typically those made from scratch or in local delis) might contain unpasteurized eggs. If you're unsure if the mayo you're about to eat contains pasteurized eggs, we suggest taking a pass. Play it safe by asking either staff at that restaurant / deli where they source their mayo and egg products and opt for store-bought brands which clearly label whether the product has been processed using Pasteurization method- to avoid potential risk throughout your pregnancy journey.
Another concern is the fat content of mayo. Let’s not beat around the bush: Mayo does contain a decent amount of calories due to its high oil content - But honestly, when helpings are watched carefully, consuming moderate amounts shouldn't hurt both momma bear nor baby bear. Plus some healthy fats like Omega-3s improve cognitive function leading up to birth!
How much mayo should I consume?
There aren’t any set guidelines on how much mayonnaise pregnant people can or should eat (aside being reasonable), but just as with everything else during pregnancy: Moderation is key here! A serving size usually range between 1 teaspoon to approximately 2 tablespoons per sandwich depending on style; keep this in mind while drenching that B.L.T with extra 'glory', gotta aim for goldilocks Just right’ portions!!
A balanced meal together with exercise support sufficient nutrition intake and reduce binge eating behaviours during this critical time period.
Gotcha! So what types of sandwiches condiments can be substituted for mayo?
If despite all that information provided above you feel uneasy about adding more calorie dense condiment onto your sandwich ventures...consider swapping traditionally mayonnaise-laden sandwiches with alternatives like mustard seed-based spreads, homemade hummus recipes, yoghurt based dressings etc… without causing worry for both mother-to-be and future baby’s safety. So try out alternatives available in the store offered without concern like whipped dressings, vinaigrettes or even cranberry sauce.... okay we're kidding! Stick to a well-stocked mustard/ hummus selection at your nearest grocery store.
So what does all this mean? Mayo made with pasteurized eggs is safe to eat during pregnancy as long as it's consumed in moderation – just like everything else! It absolutely should not be avoided altogether (the humanity!!) - Don't fret Mayonnaise lovers; let yourself have some much needed joyful moments with its creamy tang!
Remember: Always double check ingredients before downing any homemade deli spreads lest that sandwich-mustard could pack an atomic spicy kick you weren’t ready for...
Now who wants to split one of those giant subs with us?! (Wink)