Raw ham during pregnancy: is it among the allowed foods?

Can raw ham be eaten during pregnancy or not? There are those who say there is no risk and those who think exactly the opposite, deciding to avoid this and other cured meats for all 9 months before giving birth. But where will the truth be? In this article we want to clarify by trying to explain any risks related to the consumption of raw ham during pregnancy, but first we leave you a video with the foods to pay attention to when you are pregnant.

Ham in pregnancy: calories and nutritional values

Raw ham is a food that contains up to 28% protein, which makes it extremely nutritious. The amount of fat varies greatly depending on the product chosen, it is mainly localized on the outside and can be easily removed. In this way, a reduced-calorie food is obtained. Ideal for sports nutrition, lean raw ham, however, contains an excessive amount of sodium which would make it unsuitable for those suffering from hypertension and also for pregnant women. Let's see in detail the nutritional values:

  • carbohydrates 0.30 Kcal (0.13%)
  • From fats 116.10 Kcal (51.83%)
  • From proteins 107.60 Kcal (48.04%)

See also

Ricotta in pregnancy: is it among the allowed cheeses?

Cooked ham during pregnancy: eat it or avoid it?

Weaning of the newborn: at how many months, with which foods and how to start weaning

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Can I eat cured ham when pregnant?

According to some studies, raw ham during pregnancy is a safe food for pregnant women. In fact, there are absolutely no contraindications to the consumption of raw ham during the months of gestation, in relation to the possible transmission of toxoplasmosis.

In particular, what the mother must pay attention to if she wants to avoid a possible infection such as toxoplasmosis, is the quality of the ham, preferring above all that of Parma. Compared to most other uncooked Italian cured meats, the pork for making Parma Ham is immediately stored in low temperature environments (between 0 and 4 ° C), for a period of at least three months.

Already at this stage, the survival of bacterial agents is to be excluded. Salting and curing are equally important to ensure the safety of raw ham during pregnancy: each piece is treated with an amount of salt that makes it completely impossible for the toxoplasmosis parasite to survive.

Furthermore, the curing of Parma ham must last at least 12 months, a period more than sufficient to prevent the survival of any bacteria responsible for toxoplasmosis.

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The risks associated with the consumption of raw ham during pregnancy

The cured meats to be considered raw are salami, raw ham, capocollo, pancetta, bresaola, speck.
In addition to not being cooked, this type of cured meat is subjected to a series of processes: salting, seasoning and smoking. All of these processes do not kill toxoplasma, which is why raw ham and other cured meats should be excluded for at least 9 months before giving birth.

The only exception that allows its consumption is the cooking of raw cured meats at high temperatures. For example, if salami or speck are used as ingredients in pasta casseroles or baked goods and are well cooked, they can be eaten without fear.
In this regard, it is good to pay attention to pizza: salami are usually added to the pizza after cooking, which means that, by not reaching the appropriate temperature, the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis may not have been killed.
A note of demerit goes to the raw sausage, often used in some culinary preparations: in this case it is a food that is really not recommended in pregnancy unless before having cooked it.

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Raw ham during pregnancy: the most frequently asked questions and our answers

Is it better to eat cured ham during pregnancy after it has been frozen?
In case of prolonged freezing or exposure to temperatures above 60 °, any food including raw ham, becomes safe and can be eaten during pregnancy without risk.

If I bake raw ham in the oven, can I eat it safely if I'm pregnant?
If you are pregnant and you do not want to give up the taste of raw ham, what you can do is use it in your recipes, especially in preparations that will then be cooked in the oven. The high temperatures reached by the home oven will avoid any risk of toxoplasmosis infection.

I ate raw ham when I was pregnant: is it dangerous?
If the raw ham is aged for more than 18 months, it should not cause any problems.
To find out if you are immune or sensitive to infection, a simple blood test is enough to detect the presence of antibodies against toxoplasma. The test can also be performed before conception, or as part of the first battery of tests that is recommended to the mother at the first pregnancy visit. If the woman is immune, she can stay calm for all nine months and there is no need to repeat the test.

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