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Is it Safe to Eat Chinese food during Pregnancy?

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  • September 8, 2021
  • MKB Team

Chinese Food during Pregnancy

Ordering outside food has become a daily norm in our lives today whether we wish to entertain guests at home, take a break from our normal diet at home or experiment with new cuisine.

Thanks to the various food apps on offer, ordering food online comes as a blessing too. The ease and convenience of eating outside food sitting in the comfort of our homes is a blessing when one is pregnant as well.

However, you have to exercise great caution about what you are eating when you are pregnant. But then again, being pregnant means intensification in terms of food craving. There’s no harm in eating restaurant food as long as the source is trusted and you know what you’re eating is good for you.

Chinese food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world, and its Indian variant doesn’t taste too bad either. Just like all outside food, Chinese food is safe during pregnancy as long as you know what’s right and what to avoid. Ordering Chinese food from a reputed restaurant is recommended and street food stalls are a strict no no. The freshness of the ingredients used in the street stalls is questionable and consumption could be harmful both for you and baby.    

A substance known as Glutamate can be found in natural forms and is present in many fruits and vegetables as well as in breast milk. But MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is created artificially and must be avoided at all costs. This is because MSG is excitotoxic, meaning that it stimulates the growing brain and nerves when consumed during pregnancy. This can harm the baby as the body cannot differentiate between natural glutamate and MSG and metabolises both. Hence, it is advisable that pregnant women avoid Chinese food and ignore its cravings especially in the first trimester of pregnancy.

The Indian version of Chinese cuisine that is served at most restaurants except the few that claim to be serving strictly Chinese cuisine use MSG to enhance the taste of their food. MSG often brings about allergic reactions, headaches, and even hot flashes. This can make morning sickness even worse and lead to heart palpitations. MSG can also invade the placental barrier that protects the baby from the ill effects of acidic food. This exposes your baby to germs and bad bacteria. Regular consumption of MSG causes bloating, dehydration and high blood pressure because of the high sodium content and can cause complications. Stay away from Chinese food during your pregnancy if you have been allergic to MSG before. f

If you are consuming Chinese food during pregnancy, look for a restaurant that creates dishes with low levels of sodium and MSG. Noodles, steamed veggies and rice should be your chosen ones and fried Chinese food should be avoided strictly. The main bone of discontent with Chinese food during pregnancy is the high sugar content in the sauces used and the liberal use of vinegar in dishes like sushi.

Consult your doctor on what is suitable for your consumption during this period. 

However, there are certain Chinese foods that are beneficial during pregnancy. Scroll below.

  • Chinese/Green Tea: Green tea has certain antioxidants that are helpful both for your health as well as baby’s. But make sure you check the caffeine content present before consumption.
  • Chinese Ginger: Chinese Ginger is reputed for its anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. Its inclusion in your pregnancy diet is recommended as it revitalises the body and helps to relieve nausea.
  • Congee: Congee is a popular rice porridge that’s popular as breakfast in China and many Asian countries. It does have a bland taste, but is filling and packed with nutrients. It also helps control nausea during pregnancy.
  • Bean Sprouts: Bean sprouts are packed with proteins, phytonutrients and vitamins and is essential for baby’s health and brain development.
  • Fresh Tofu: Fresh Tofu is a type of paneer made out of soy milk, and is packed with proteins and antioxidants. This keeps you healthy during your pregnancy.
  • Coconut Milk: The potassium, magnesium, sugar and protein present in coconut milk enhance foetal development.

 

Benefits of Chinese Food

Chinese food offers healthy Carbohydrates, which in turn give the body the energy needed for the gruelling day ahead. It also ensures a nutritional balance with a proper mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and other nutrients into your diet. The cooking options are light and it’s easily digestible.

Can toddlers eat Chinese food?

It is recommended that Chinese food be given to kids once they’ve started on solids, when they are 6 months or older. But it’s true that Chinese food has a lot of variety and is very kid-friendly. Kids love noodles, egg rolls and wonton soup. But the icing on the cake is the introduction to vegetables as Chinese veggies have a charm of their own.

To sum up, if Chinese women can eat Chinese cuisine during pregnancy and still give birth to healthy babies, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. But do remember the dos and the don’ts and you’ll be fine!

 

Did you enjoy reading this article? Do write to us and tell us if you’d like to read about something specific related to pregnancy.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Is it OK to eat Chinese while breastfeeding?

How you flavour your food depends largely on your cultural cuisine. A breastfeeding mom could be consuming a garlicky or spicy dish, and her baby will be fine. Exposing baby to different tastes might make your child more open to flavours at a later stage.

 

Is Chinese food good for weight loss?

The Asian diet might help you lose weight. Research suggests people in Asian countries who follow this dietary pattern weigh less than their Western counterparts. That's because it's high in healthy foods that keep hunger at bay like whole grains, vegetables and bean products.

 

Disclaimer: Always consult your physician/paediatrician before beginning any program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate program for you and your child.

 


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MKB Team

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