Eating Asiago Cheese While Pregnant: Is It Safe?

Eating Asiago Cheese While Pregnant: Is It Safe?

Who doesn’t love some delicious cheese? Asiago cheese is a treat that many add to classic dishes such as pasta, casserole recipes, or on a pizza. Cheese can be a satisfying snack to help you satisfy your pregnancy cravings—if you do it the right way. Not only is cheese one of our favorite savory food items, but cheese can provide you and your baby with some essential nutrients to ensure a healthy pregnancy. But some cheeses can put you both in harm’s way.

Are you wondering if you can eat Asiago cheese during your pregnancy?

The answer depends on how it’s prepared. Asiago cheese should not be consumed in its raw form, which could have dangerous consequences for you and your baby. However, cooked Asiago cheese is safe to eat, and you can enjoy it in moderation.

Here are a few more points that explain why pregnant women should avoid raw Asiago cheese and cheese substitutes and why your body may be nudging you to eat more cheese than usual.

How Can Eating Cheese Be Dangerous?

You may be wondering how something so delicious can ever have the potential to harm you. But, consuming raw Asiago cheese can put pregnant women and their unborn babies in danger. Eating Unpasteurized cheese can expose you and your baby to a dangerous pathogen called Listeria. If consumed, the pathogen can cause severe complications for the baby, which can include

  • Fetal Tuberculosis
  • Blood infections in the fetus
  • Preterm Labor
  • Increased risk of Miscarriage
  • And Stillbirth

Why Do I Want To Eat Cheese All The Time?

As your body changes and your baby continues to grow, you may have noticed that you’ve been craving particular foods constantly. Your hormones can pull you in many directions regarding what you want to eat, but it’s crucial to understand the reasoning behind desiring some foods. If you’ve been battling cheese cravings, there may be an underlying cause that your doctor can help you uncover. 

For instance, cheese and other dairy products are high in calcium, a vital nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. But pregnancy can quickly deplete your calcium resources and leave you vulnerable to long-term bone issues. Your body may crave cheese to help address the issue of calcium deficiency. If you’ve been craving cheese, speaking with your OB-GYN can help determine if you have a calcium deficiency and administer supplemental vitamins if need be.

How to Safely Enjoy Asiago Cheese During Pregnancy

Consuming unpasteurized Asiago cheese can be dangerous, but you can still enjoy Asiago cheese if you take the necessary precautions. First, make sure you buy pasteurized Asiago cheese to reduce your risk of unintentionally consuming the Listeria bacteria. 

Next, checking if the cheese you’re considering bringing home has been given enough time to mature is crucial. Some cheese variations have specific timetables on when they’ve reached the optimum consumption point in their aging process. An example of this is how Asiago d’Allevo cheese has a 4-month aging timetable, making it safe to eat for pregnant women.  Other variations of Asiago cheese, such as Asiago Pressato, is dangerous for pregnant women to consume since it is only aged for a short time. A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that Asiago cheese must age for 60 days before it is considered safe for pregnant women to eat.  

You’ll know when cheese is safe to eat because you can check the label to make sure the cheese is pasteurized and if it has been properly aged. 

Although you’ll have to do some detective work to ensure your cheese is safe to eat, it can be worth it to make sure that you don’t have to give up one of your favorite foods during your pregnancy. B

What Kinds of Cheese are Off Limits?

While Asiago cheese can be safe if you follow a few guidelines, there are some cheese variations you must avoid at all costs.

Along with the unpasteurized form of Asiago cheese, it’s crucial to stay away from all other raw, unpasteurized cheeses. Consuming raw cheese can heighten your risk of Listeria complications.

During your pregnancy, it’s best to avoid 

  • Danish blue cheese
  • Gorgonzola
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Roquefort
  • And chèvre

But feel free to enjoy hard cheeses such as cheddar, Gruyère, and parmesan and soft cheeses like mozzarella, ricotta, and cottage cheese. But make sure you get pasteurized variations of these products to stay safe.

The Last Word

Asiago cheese can be a delicious compliment to many dishes.  But pregnant women must take the necessary precautions to avoid putting themselves and their unborn children in harm’s way. 

Taking the extra step and checking for pasteurized Asiago cheese can help protect you from dangerous pathogens and life-threatening complications. As long as you do this, you can enjoy Asiago cheese throughout your pregnancy and beyond. 

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