Q: I heard that it's better to avoid eating pork while you are pregnant. Is this true?
A: Pork denotes the meat of the domestic pig. It is served in cooked form, smoked or cured form. It is a usual ingredient in sausages and happens to be the most widely eaten meat in the world. It makes for 38% of the total meat production globally.
Pork may be high in thiamin and there is no clear recommendation eating pork during pregnancy - either for or against it. As long as it's well cooked it's safe.
During pregnancy you become more susceptible to food bourne illness and you will find that your digestive system can no longer handle those foods that you used to consume before being pregnant. Pork could be one of them. Undercooked pork is a potential health hazard for the expectant mother and the fetus as bacteria could lead to salmonella infection.
Pork is also high in cholesterol and saturated fats if the fat is not trimmed from the cut of meat. As such, it can cause gallstones and obesity. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy brings with it a train of related diseases like premature birth, preeclampsia and high blood pressure.
The pig also carries helminthes like round worm, hookworm and pinworm. It may also contain the most dangerous species of the tape worm namely Taenia Solium. When you consume untreated and undercooked pork these worms can be transferred to your intestines. Consumption of pink pork also puts you at the risk of contracting a parasitic disease called Trichinosis which is caused by pork that is infested with the larvae of the Trichinella Spiralis.
If you eat pork during pregnancy you will have to ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked right up to the core so that all parasites are killed. But since the risks associated with pork are high expectant mothers had better give up pork for those 9 months for the sake of their baby's good health.