Updated: Mar 20
Halloumi is a unique cheese that does not melt when heated and is used for various recipes that involve frying or grilling. It is a kind of cheese most pregnant women crave for and that is why they keep asking, “is halloumi safe to eat during pregnancy?”
Halloumi is safe to eat during pregnancy because it is a semi-hard type of cheese just like mozzarella and feta cheese. Hard types of cheese are suitable for eating since they are extremely dry matured enough which makes it difficult for any bacteria to grow on. It also has a high acidity level. Different types of cheese are recommended for consumption during pregnancy, however, there are those that should be avoided outrightly. Among those to be avoided is soft cheese which is made with unpasteurized milk.
The nutritional fact of halloumi cheese
· Halloumi contains about 166 calories in a 0.1 Pounds serving. If you go for the less fat types, you will get 68 calories from one ounce.
· Halloumi contains 0.02 Pounds of total fat per ounce serving while the less fat type contains 0.01 Pounds of total fat.1
· You can find about 0.01 Pounds of protein in a regular halloumi cheese and 0.02Pounds in the reduced fat cheese.
· One ounce serving of halloumi cheese contains about 20 % daily value for a 2000 calorie diet
· You could find 0.01 Pounds of sodium in a 0.4 Pounds packet of halloumi cheese. The high salt content is due to the brine used in preserving it.
How to safely eat Halloumi during pregnancy?
Halloumi is a delicious kind of cheese which contains essential nutrient such as calcium which is needed for the development of strong bones of the fetus. It also contains protein which is essential for the tissues, cartilages and overall bodybuilding of the body. The lightweight or reduced fat contains lesser calories than other types of cheese, but there is a problem with its high sodium content.
Although salt is needed during pregnancy to maintain fluid levels which help the cell to function properly, the high sodium content in halloumi cheese could pose a lot of problem especially for the pregnant woman who has a history of high blood pressure.
The Institute of Medicine has recommended that pregnant women take 0.01 Pounds of salt per day, but an ounce of halloumi cheese contains much more salt and could put your pregnancy at risk. Majority of pregnant women are diagnosed with chronic hypertension before their 20th week of pregnancy, and a high sodium diet might trigger it.
This will hinder blood, nutrient and even oxygen from getting to your fetus in the womb thus could lead to complication such as preeclampsia.
Although medication can manage hypertension, you will need to cut down on your salt intake. Comfort foods such as halloumi should be eaten once in a blue moon and should be eaten with fresh vegetables to help stabilize the salt content.
When purchasing your halloumi cheese, make sure it is pasteurized. Although this does not matter since it’s a semi-hard cheese, then, you can never be too careful.
You can eat your hot halloumi cheese with pasta, fruits and vegetables. Avoid eating too much halloumi because of the high sodium content which could cause a pregnant woman to develop high blood pressure. The daily recommended value for sodium is 0.01 Pounds.