Mayonnaise is safe to eat during pregnancy when it is made from pasteurized eggs. Usually, mayonnaise available in commercial markets is safe because they are made from pasteurized eggs and milk. Therefore, any existing bacteria are killed during the manufacturing process. The bacteria in question here are salmonella and listeria. Salmonella can cause dehydration in the mother, contaminate her bloodstream and cause food poisoning. The listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis, an infection that leads to the development of neural tube defects in a baby. However, these risks are associated only with unhygienically obtained mayo. Otherwise, mayo does have several nutritional benefits for the mother and baby. For instance, the vitamin E found in mayonnaise helps maintain your blood sugar levels during pregnancy and reduces the chances of miscarriage. The vitamin K eases labor as it helps in clotting and prevents excess bleeding. Even your baby requires vitamin K for its development.
Avoid homemade mayo, or mayonnaise found in restaurants and open markets as it can carry the aforementioned pathogens. However, it is important to remember that since mayonnaise is a processed product, it contains saturated fats, preservatives and additives that don’t really make it the healthiest food option. There are other natural, nutrient rich substitutes for mayonnaise. Remember to eat it in moderation.
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