If you are pregnant and love Chinese food and sauces, you may be wondering:
Can I eat hoisin sauce while pregnant?
I have good news on that front, most Chinese sauces including hoisin sauce are safe to enjoy during pregnancy.
So take a deep breath!
Knowing what to eat and not to eat during pregnancy is not easy.
Let’s jump in and talk about Hoisin sauce and how to enjoy it and other Chinese sauces safely while pregnant.
Can I eat hoisin sauce while pregnant?
Yes! Hoisin sauce is safe to eat during pregnancy, but according to our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD there are a few things you should know before using hoisin sauce on your food.
First, Hoisin sauce contains soybeans, which are a common allergen.
If you are allergic to soy, you should avoid Hoisin sauce.
Second, Hoisin sauce is high in sodium, so if you are watching your salt intake, you may want to limit your consumption of Hoisin sauce.
Hoisin sauce is made with soybeans, flour, sugar, water, spices, garlic, and chili, it is sweet and spicy and issued in many Chinese dishes
Most of us probably associate hoisin sauce with Peking duck.
But hoisin sauce is also an excellent dipping sauce, sometimes called Chinese barbecue sauce.
I love to dip egg rolls in hoisin sauce!
If you haven’t tried it it is sweet and tangy and sure to become a favorite once you do.
Hoisin sauce also marked a delicious marinade for chicken breasts.
And a condiment you may enjoy adding to your miso soup.
Hoisin sauce is also commonly used in stir-fries and noodle dishes.
Stir-Fry ideas: Try adding hoisin sauce to your next stir-fry.
A simple combination of chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms is delicious when seasoned with hoisin sauce.
You can also use hoisin in noodle dishes, like lo mein or pad Thai.
This Hoisin chicken and broccoli recipe are one of my favorites to make when craving hoisin sauce and Chinese food.
Hoisin sauce can be found in your local grocery store and is available in a variety of sizes.
What sauces can you eat when pregnant?
The good news is you can enjoy a variety of Asian sauces while pregnant including teriyaki, orange, chili, oyster, soy, and duck sauce.
However, you should be careful as some sauces are high in sodium so watch your salt intake.
Hoisin Sauce can be enjoyed while pregnant but you may want to limit your intake due to its high sodium content.
Just remember to check the labels of other sauces and make sure that they do not contain any allergens or too much salt.
What sauces can you not eat when pregnant?
In general, you should avoid sauces that contain high amounts of sodium like fish sauce and hot bean paste.
But they are safe in small amounts.
If you drink plenty of water when enjoying a high-sodium dish you should be fine.
That assumes you have no issues with high blood pressure.
Additionally, if you have an allergy or sensitivity to any of the ingredients in a particular sauce, it is best to avoid eating it when pregnant.
You need to avoid all sauces made with unpasteurized dairy products.
Choose fermented sauces that are commercially made vs ones that are homemade.
You are less likely to contract a food-borne illness from a commercially prepared sauce.
Can I eat Vietnamese food while pregnant?
Yes, Vietnamese food is safe to eat during pregnancy!
Vietnamese cuisine includes a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs, which are high in vitamins and minerals.
It also includes fish, chicken, pork, and beef which can provide you with important nutrients like protein.
Beef Pho is a popular Vietnamese dosh and you’ll be happy to know is safe for you to eat during pregnancy!
Is soy sauce safe during pregnancy?
Soy sauce is generally safe to enjoy during pregnancy, just be sure to check the label for allergens and high levels of sodium.
Soy sauce is made with soybeans, salt, and wheat, and it is fermented.
It is high in sodium so be sure to use it in small amounts and to drink plenty of fluids when eating foods that contain soy sauce.
Is Teriyaki sauce OK to eat while pregnant?
Yes, Teriyaki sauce is safe to enjoy during pregnancy.
Teriyaki sauce is usually made with a combination of soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and water.
It is often used as a marinade or basting sauce and can be used to add flavor to stir-fries, grilled vegetables, noodles, or meat dishes.
Is Chinese food ok when pregnant?
Just be sure to check the ingredients list for any allergens and watch your salt intake.
As always, listen to your body and if something doesn’t agree with you, it’s best to avoid it.
Chinese food can sometimes be greasy and that can increase symptoms of morning sickness during your first trimester.
It can also be spicy and that can trigger symptoms of heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy.
Chinese food is usually made with MSG which helps enhance the flavor.
MSG is not dangerous to eat during pregnancy but, it can cause headaches and hot flashes so it is best to order your Chinese food without any added MSG.
Chinese food during pregnancy’s first trimester
Yes, Chinese food is generally safe for pregnant women to eat during the first trimester.
It is important to avoid dishes that contain added MSG, high sodium levels, or unpasteurized ingredients.
Additionally, it is important to ensure the food you are consuming is cooked properly and thoroughly.
Finally, Chinese food that is spicy or fried may lead to an increase in nausea and vomiting.
So it is best to eat small portions and eat your food slowly.
Should Chinese food be avoided during pregnancy?
No! Chinese food is very pregnancy-friendly and most dishes are safe to eat during pregnancy.
Chinese food is usually made with lean proteins and fresh vegetables.
As long as you avoid dishes made with raw fish or shellfish, undercooked meats, or unpasteurized dairy in the Chinese food you make to order out you should be fine.
The best way to enjoy Asian food during pregnancy is to choose dishes made with lots of fresh veggies, light sauces, and lean proteins like chicken or shrimp.
What Chinese food is safe during pregnancy?
Most Chinese food is safe during pregnancy.
Some of my favorite pregnancy-safe Chinese foods are:
- Beef with Broccoli: Lean beef cooked in hoisin sauce with fresh broccoli and served with steamed rice.
- Kung Pao Chicken: Chicken stir-fried with vegetables and peanuts in a spicy sauce.
- Vegetable Lo Mein: Delicious stir-fried noodles with fresh vegetables
- Chicken with Broccoli: Chicken cooked in a flavorful hoisin sauce with fresh broccoli.
- Orange Chicken: Delicious chunks of chicken coated in a sweet, tangy orange sauce. This dish can be sweet or hot so be cautious when ordering and stick to the milder versions during pregnancy.
- Honey Sesame Chicken: A sweet and savory dish with tender chicken, broccoli, and sesame seeds.
- Egg Drop Soup: A classic Chinese soup made with eggs, stock, and vegetables. The soup is typically flavored with hoisin sauce, and it can also be garnished with green onions or cilantro.
- Fried Rice: A Chinese dish made with cooked rice, eggs, and vegetables. It often includes meat such as chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp.
- Steamed white or brown rice: An excellent side dish to go with your meal.
- Steamed vegetables: Healthy and light, steamed vegetables are a great side dish.
- Spring rolls: A great appetizer made with fresh vegetables, noodles, and rice paper. Hoisin sauce is a delicious way to add flavor to your spring rolls.
- Egg rolls: An all-time favorite, egg rolls are delicious when dipped in hoisin sauce. Egg rolls are made from seasoned pork, cabbage, and other vegetables wrapped in a thin dough.
- Chicken Teriyaki: A popular Chinese dish made with chicken, teriyaki sauce, and vegetables.
- Chow Mein: A delicious noodle dish made with stir-fried noodles, vegetables, and meat.
- Steamed Fish: A healthy and delicious steamed fish served with a light soy sauce.
- Sweet and Sour Chicken: A classic Chinese dish made with chunks of chicken cooked in a sweet and sour sauce.
- Peking duck: A popular Chinese dish consisting of roasted duck served with pancakes, hoisin sauce, and spring onions.
List of foods to not eat when pregnant:
- Foods that are unpasteurized– 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.
What should a pregnant woman eat daily?
A pregnant woman needs to consume various nutrients every day to support her health and the development of her baby.
Protein is essential for building new tissue and can be found in meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and eggs.
Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth and is especially important during the third trimester when the baby’s skeleton is rapidly developing.
Pregnant women should aim to get 1000 mg of calcium per day from low-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Iron is also important for the formation of new blood cells, and pregnant women need about 27 mg of iron per day.
How to choose healthy meals during pregnancy:
Eating healthily during pregnancy is essential to the development of your baby.
Here are some tips to help make sure you are getting the nutrients you need:
- Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This will help ensure you get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need.
- Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine. These can all lead to unhealthy weight gain and other problems during pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important for both your health and the baby’s health.
- Don’t skip meals. Eating small, frequent meals will help to keep your energy up and prevent you from overeating later on.
- Eating small frequent meals can help decrease morning sickness and heartburn