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Can I Eat Duck Sauce While Pregnant? [An OB/GYN Answers]

If you are pregnant and love Chinese food and sauces, you may wonder: Can I eat duck sauce while pregnant?

You are not alone!

During my pregnancies, I worried (often needlessly) about what I could and could not eat.

Duck sauce is a must-have when eating Chinese food and you’ll be happy to know that duck sauce is safe to eat while pregnant.


Can I eat duck sauce while pregnant?


Can I eat duck sauce while pregnant?

We asked our OB/GYN Dr.Doug Penta, MD who said duck sauce is safe to eat while pregnant.

Duck sauce is usually made from a combination of fruits (usually apricots and plums), sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.

It is also known as a plum sauce.

There is no duck in duck sauce. 

All of the ingredients in duck sauce are the same to consume during pregnancy.

Duck sauce is generally used as a dipping sauce for chicken, egg rolls, and pork.

It is essential that the meats you will be dipping in the sauce are cooked thoroughly.

Do not eat raw or undercooked meats or seafood during pregnancy.

So unless you have a specific allergy or intolerance, it should be safe to enjoy duck sauce while pregnant. 

Of course, if you are not sure you can always call your doctor or midwife’s office during regular office hours and ask them.

And remember to enjoy in moderation – too much sugar can lead to unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Duck sauce is made with fruit and sugar is added to the recipe, which makes it sweet, delicious, and calorically dense.

I have to remind myself that duck sauce is a condiment and not a food group.

If you are anything like me and you love sweet Chinese sauces be mindful to not overeat them during pregnancy.


Did you know you can make your own duck sauce at home?

That is great news if you are nervous about the ingredients in store-bought or restaurant duck sauce.

 I know that during my own pregnancies I felt safer when I could make sauces from scratch.

The duck sauce recipe that I love is from Simply Seasonal and it is indeed simple to make.


can I eat duck sauce while Pregnant?


Is hoisin sauce safe in pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to consume hoisin sauce while pregnant.

Hoisin sauce is usually made from fermented soybeans, spices, garlic, red chili peppers, flour, water, and sugar.

Hoisin sauce can be spicy so if you have problems with heartburn during pregnancy it is probably best to skip it.

You can always substitute duck sauce, orange sauce, or soy sauce if you find hoisin sauce is too spicy.

I did experience quite a bit of heartburn with my last pregnancy and I did find that I was OK with eating duck sauce and orange sauce, but I did need to back off the spicy sauces like hoisin.


Is Chinese food ok when pregnant?

Yes! It is safe to eat Chinese food when pregnant. 

Chinese food is usually made with fresh ingredients including vegetables which should be part of a healthy pregnancy diet. 

You should avoid raw seafood and make sure all the food you order is cooked thoroughly.

Here are a few popular Chinese dishes that are generally considered safe to eat while pregnant.

  • Soup – A big bowl of piping hot soup is perfect for a winter’s day. Just make sure to avoid any soups with MSG or high sodium content. Good soup choices include Egg drop soup. This delicious soup is packed with protein and nutrients, making it a perfect choice for expecting mothers. Plus, it’s easy on the stomach – perfect if you’re suffering from morning sickness in your first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Chicken and vegetables – This is a healthy and well-rounded dish that provides you with some protein and essential nutrients. Chicken and vegetable dishes include orange chicken, chicken and broccoli, and chicken low mein. Chicken is low in fat and calories. Making it an excellent choice during pregnancy. 
  • Egg rolls – These are fried, so they may not be the healthiest option, but one or two won’t hurt. Just watch out for the dipping sauce, as it can be high in sugar. 
  • Fried rice – Another fried dish, but this one includes rice which is a good source of carbohydrates. You can have shrimp, pork, chicken, beef or vegetable fried rice. I usually go for pork fried rice as a different protein choice to my main chicken dish. 
  • Steamed dumplings – These are usually filled with veggies or meat and make for a delicious and satisfying snack. 

When choosing what Chinese food dishes to eat while pregnant, it is important to consider both taste and nutrition. 

Some of the safest and most popular options include soup, chicken and vegetables, egg rolls, fried rice, and steamed dumplings.


orange chicken and white rice

Photo credit: Maternity Comfort Solutions


Is it safe to eat hibachi while pregnant?

When it comes to pregnancy, every woman has different dietary needs. 

Some cravings are harmless, while others could put both mother and child at risk.

So, is it safe to eat hibachi while pregnant? Hibachi refers to a style of Japanese cooking that involves grilled meat and vegetables. 

While the food itself is generally considered safe, there are a few potential risks to consider.

Sushi is often served as part of a hibachi meal. 

However, sushi made with raw fish can contain harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. 

Additionally, the grill used for hibachi cooking can be used to cook a variety of foods and cross-contamination is possible. 

If you have any food allergies you may want to skip eating at a hibachi restaurant during pregnancy.

If you’re craving Japanese cuisine, it may be best to opt for cooked dishes instead.


Is soy sauce harmful during pregnancy?

Soy sauce is considered safe to enjoy in moderation during pregnancy.

However, soy sauce is high in sodium.

It contains 879 mg of sodium in a tablespoon which is 40% of your daily requirement.

They do make a lower sodium soy sauce and it is sold in most grocery stores.

If you are eating in a restaurant you can ask your server if they have a low-sodium soy sauce available. 

If you are preparing Chinese food at home it would be better to use a low-sodium version of soy sauce during pregnancy.

Soy sauce is another food additive that I tend to overuse and need a reminder to enjoy in moderation.

It can also make you feel thirsty and dehydrated which can make your morning sickness worse or cause Braxton hicks contractions in some women.

I had awful Braxton hicks contractions and it was usually caused by being dehydrated.

So watch the salty sauces and salty foods while you are pregnant.


What sauces can you not have when pregnant?

When you are pregnant you’ll want to avoid sauces that contain alcohol, raw seafood, and any sauce made with raw eggs, including bearnaise, hollandaise sauce, and homemade mayo. 

Any sauces made with unpasteurized dairy products should also be avoided during pregnancy.


List of foods to not eat when pregnant:

  • Foods that are not pasteurized– certain types of cheese like soft cheeses, Brie, Blue Cheese, etc.
  • Certain types of fish– shark, swordfish, anything high in mercury
  • Raw eggs including egg nog, hollandaise sauce, homemade mayonnaise, homemade eggnog, and runny eggs.
  • Undercooked meats– lunch meats. Deli meats.
  • Hot foods that are not “hot”, avoid hot foods that have been sitting out without a warming source. Same for foods that should be eaten cold. If no ice or refrigeration source is keeping the food cold, take a pass.
  • Caffeine– soda, chocolate, and energy drinks. (Limit your caffeine to less than 200 mg a day)
  • Herbal Teas (There are so many ingredients in herbal teas so it is best to avoid them simply. Green tea is OK.)
  • Alcohol: There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. Avoid sauces made with alcohol, desserts made with alcohol, and all alcoholic beverages.


List of Foods you should eat during pregnancy:

  • Avocado
  • Oatmeal
  • Pinto Beans
  • Black beans
  • Arugula
  • Bananas
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Eggs
  • Lean Meats
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp


Final Thoughts

Bottom line – you should check with your doctor before eating anything out of the norm while pregnant, but in general, duck sauce is safe to eat in moderation.

You can enjoy it with your spring rolls and egg rolls without worry.

So if you’re like me and can’t get enough of that sweet and savory goodness, go ahead and enjoy some with your next Chinese food meal – just don’t forget to ask your OBGYN or midwife if you still have questions!


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