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Can pregnant women eat sour cream?

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Pregnant and craving a sour cream dish? Here’s information on eating sour cream when pregnant and foods you should avoid!

If you’re a first time mom, you probably have a lot of questions. Especially about what you can put in your body!

There are lots of do’s and don’ts, so it can get a bit confusing.

One question many pregnant women have is whether sour cream is safe to eat.

Thankfully, the answer is yes . . . in most cases!

Here’s everything you need to know about sour cream while pregnant, plus other helpful food tips for new moms!

RELATED: Can pregnant women eat feta cheese?

Sour Cream is Okay for Pregnant Women in Most Cases

Blonde woman scratches her head and she stands in front of open refrigerator doors.

Sour cream along with cream cheese and most cream cheese substitutes, creme fraiche, and other dairy products are safe during pregnancy.

Just make sure they’re pasteurized and from a major manufacturer. Pasteurized dairy is properly sterilized to kill harmful pathogens so it’s safe to eat.

How is sour cream made?

Safe sour cream is made by adding lactic acid bacteria to pasteurized cream. This allows the cream to safely thicken into the tangy condiment we know and love.

Major U.S. brands of sour cream are safe to eat including Daisy sour cream and store brands. Each of these brands uses pasteurized dairy in its manufacturing process.

However, sour cream from a farmer’s market or specialty grocery stores may not be pasteurized.

What about homemade sour cream?

If you’re used to making your own sour cream, hold off until after you’re no longer pregnant or breastfeeding. Homemade sour cream is fermented and more likely to be contaminated so it’s not safe while pregnant.

The Benefits of Sour Cream

Brown bowl filled with sour cream next to spoon with sour cream and brown towel.

A woman’s calcium levels deplete during pregnancy. And this happens as the body takes nutrients from the mother to provide for her growing baby.

Because of that, light sour cream can benefit pregnant women by providing needed calcium. It’s also low in calories so it won’t disrupt a healthy diet.

Increasing dairy and other calcium-rich foods helps pregnant women protect their bones and teeth.

And some sour cream brands contain probiotics that can help with digestion, ease heartburn, calm acid reflux, and manage other stomach-related issues during pregnancy.

Sour cream also provides important vitamins and minerals like:

  • Vitamin A
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Thiamine
  • Vitamin B6 and B12
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Copper
  • Riboflavin
  • Phosphorus

If you notice persistent stomach issues or other symptoms related to certain foods, be sure to make adjustments to your diet.

Always avoid any foods that make you nauseous, constipated, or cause reflux.

RELATED: Can pregnant women drink Gatorade?

Foods You Should Avoid While Pregnant

Pregnant woman sits on bed and holds a tub of white cream in one hand and a spoon with the cream on it in another.

While sour cream is safe during pregnancy, there are several foods you should avoid.

Most of the foods to avoid are those that are most vulnerable to contamination. And a common culprit is listeria.

This nasty bacteria may find its way into food during the growing stage, picking process, or manufacturing.

Because of that, you should always wash fresh vegetables and produce. Especially those that grow in soil like lettuce and spinach.

And listeria isn’t the only harmful bacteria that can hurt you or your unborn baby. There are plenty of other culprits like E.coli that can threaten your weakened immune system and even cause preterm labor, birth defects, or miscarriage.

Thankfully, these outcomes are uncommon.

But, you should always practice vigilance in what you eat.

Here’s a comprehensive list of foods to avoid while pregnant:

  • Unpasteurized milk and juices
  • Unpasteurized cheese spreads and soft cheeses like blue cheese and brie
  • Deli meats, especially meats cut behind the counter
  • Raw meat and raw fish
  • Fish with a high mercury content such as shark, tuna, marlin, swordfish, and mackerel
  • Runny or raw eggs
  • Homemade mayonnaise
  • Unwashed produce
  • Organ meat
  • Raw Sprouts
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and non-prescription drugs

Foods To Enjoy in Moderation

Here are some foods to eat on occasion. You don’t have to fully restrict yourself from your favorite treats and desserts. But, you should seek a healthy balance.

  • Ice cream and other sugary desserts
  • Soda
  • Caffeine
  • Fried foods and foods high in fat
  • Refined grains like white bread, rice, and pasta
  • Junk food like chips and crackers

These foods can elevate blood sugar levels. Which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. And it may lead to a condition called gestational diabetes.

Left unchecked, gestational diabetes can lead to:

  • Preeclampsia
  • An overly large baby
  • C-section
  • High blood pressure
  • Birth defects

RELATED: What To Eat Before Your Glucose Test

Healthy Foods to Include In Your Diet

Large bowl of grains with a variety of colorful healthy veggies on top.

In order to have a healthy pregnancy, you’ll need to make eating well a priority. Here are some nutritious foods that help maintain blood sugar levels. And they’ll also help with your baby’s development.

  • Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
  • Vegetables high in Vitamin A like leafy greens and bell pepper
  • Legumes 
  • Fresh fruits 
  • Healthy proteins like chicken breast and salmon
  • Nuts/nut butters and seeds 
  • Pasteurized milk products like cottage cheese and Greek yogurt

You should also drink plenty of water and incorporate moderate exercise into your weekly routine. Exercise can help regulate blood pressure and keep your body in shape for labor and delivery.

When to Be Concerned

If you happen to eat unpasteurized cream cheese while pregnant (or another risky food item), don’t panic!

This doesn’t necessarily mean you or your baby will get sick. However, you should be on the lookout for symptoms like an upset stomach, fever, flu-like symptoms, or symptoms of food poisoning.

If you experience any of these, seek medical care right away.

FAQs

Is sour cream always pasteurized?

Sour cream is not always pasteurized. But most sour cream products in the United States are. Major brands like Daisy and store brands are pasteurized.

If you’re not sure about a sour cream product, just check the label!

Is Daisy Sour Cream Pasteurized?

Yes, Daisy sour cream is pasteurized and safe to eat for pregnant women.

Is Taco Bell Sour Cream Pasteurized?

Taco bell sour cream is always pasteurized. So it’s safe for pregnant women to eat.

Is Chipotle Sour Cream Pasteurized?

Yes, Chipotle sour cream is pasteurized and safe to eat for pregnant women.

The Bottom Line

Pregnant woman in purple shirt Dips a carrot stick into sour cream dip.

Pasteurized sour cream is safe to eat for pregnant women. You can also eat any other pasteurized dairy or cheese product while pregnant.

If you’re not sure whether your sour cream is pasteurized, be sure to check the label. Or you can do a simple internet search to confirm.

And if you’re used to making homemade sour cream, hold off until you’re no longer pregnant or breastfeeding.

So go ahead and add some sour cream to your tacos, make your favorite sour cream dip, or sour cream cake!

Just remember to use moderation in your diet and try to add as many healthy foods as you can!

And always look out for signs of foodborne illness. If you do notice severe stomach pain, fever, or flu-like symptoms, always reach out to your doctor right away.

RELATED: Is elderberry safe during pregnancy?

Want More?

If this post was helpful, be sure to check out:

Did you also know that food plays a large role in conceiving a baby? Here are 26 Foods That Increase Sperm Count, including the foods your partner should avoid when trying to increase male fertility.

Your Turn

Did I answer all your questions about eating sour cream while pregnant? Let me know if I missed anything in the comments!

Pinterest graphic with text and pregnant woman eating veggies with sour cream.