When it comes to what you can and cannot eat during pregnancy it’s easy to get confused.
Certain foods like unpasteurized cheese are a no-go, but when I discovered I was pregnant one of the first things I did was research if yogurt and Greek yogurt are safe for moms-to-be to consume, given they are morning staple in our household.
We can happily confirm that plain yogurt and Greek yogurt are indeed safe for pregnant women to consume, and are in fact one of the better, healthier foods to turn to.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of yogurt for pregnant women, whether it’s safe to eat in all trimesters, and everything else you need to know to stay safe while expecting.
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Can You Eat Yogurt While Pregnant?
Yes, virtually all yogurt (or yoghurt) that is commercially-made is safe to eat when you are pregnant.
This is because commercially-made yogurt is subject to strict quality controls, and because it has been made with pasteurized ingredients.
But the good news if you’re someone who enjoys eating the stuff as part of your morning breakfast, or if you have have a sudden pregnancy craving for some yogurt, is that this food group is not only safe to eat for moms-to-be, it also provides some notable benefits (more on these later).
And whether your preferred yogurt is “Greek”, “Greek-Style” or just “Plain” doesn’t make a difference when it comes down to safety, because these terms merely refer to the consistency of the yogurt or the texture.
So provided you opt for commercially-made, store-bought varieties rather than homemade yogurt, you can safely go ahead and tuck in.
Is Greek Yogurt Pasteurized?
Yes, Greek yogurt that has been commercially-made (i.e. the type you find in supermarkets and stores around the country) is made from milk that has been pasteurized, meaning it’s safe for pregnant women.
FDA regulations state that basic diary ingredients, which includes cream, milk, partially skimmed milk and skim milk, must all be pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized before they can be sold to the public.
These regulations are also the reason why ice cream is typically safe for pregnant women to consume.
Is Plain Yogurt Good For Pregnancy?
Both plain yogurt and Greek yogurt can be beneficial for pregnant women to eat – below are some of the main benefits for pregnant women.
Benefits of Yogurt In Pregnancy
- High In Calcium: Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, which is noteworthy because pregnant women should aim to increase their calcium intake to up to 1,000mg per day. Your body cannot produce calcium, so turning to foods or supplements is the only way to get this essential mineral.
- High In Protein: Yogurt is also high in protein – a 170g portion contains an impressive 17g of protein. Protein is important for pregnant women for several reasons, particularly because it helps promote the growth of new body tissue, produces antibodies that support your immune system, develops enzymes and hormones, provides you with vital energy and contributes to a healthy birth weight.
- Excellent Snack: If you’re looking for a good pregnancy snack you can’t go too far wrong with yogurt, because it’s easy to prepare, relatively inexpensive, highly nutritious and can help keep you full between meals.
Which Greek Yogurt Is Good For Pregnancy?
You might be forgiven for thinking that all yogurts or all Greek yogurts are the same, but this certainly isn’t true, particularly because some brands or flavors contain a lot more sugar or sweetener than others.
As with many foods, a good rule of thumb is to go with the product with the fewest ingredients and the least amount of added sugar / sweetener.
To help make the best choice, it’s a good idea to read the product label and check the ingredient list to see if a yogurt is sweetened or not, and if so, to see exactly what it’s sweetened with.
A good quality yogurt should contain only milk and live bacterial cultures, so it’s worth noting that anything else is added for flavor or texture.
If you want to make the healthiest possible choice, opt for a pure natural yogurt that contains no added sugar or sweeteners.
Unsweetened yogurts are typically much better for you and contain significantly lower sugar than flavored versions, and remember you can always sweeten the yogurt at home with honey, granola or fruit if you wish.
Can I Eat Yogurt During My First / Second / Third Trimester?
Yes, it is safe to eat yogurt at any stage of your pregnancy, so this includes pre-pregnancy and early pregnancy, as well as the first, second and third trimesters.
And given the benefits we mentioned above, yoghurt can be an excellent and nutritious breakfast or snack to turn to throughout your pregnancy.
Just be aware that as we discussed above, not all yogurts are created equal, and some brands or flavors contain a lot more sugar or sweetener than others.