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Updated April 8, 2022
It’s a question that many pregnant women have – can I eat ranch dressing while pregnant?
We reached out to our OB/GYN Dr. Doug Penta, MD, and asked him the question “Can pregnant women eat ranch dressing?’
His answer is generally yes, you can eat ranch while pregnant, but it’s important to make sure that the ranch dressing you’re eating is made from pasteurized ingredients and choose a low-calorie option if it is available.
You should also talk to your own doctor or midwife about your specific pregnancy and individual diet needs.
Everybody is different and each pregnancy is different.
So let’s jump into answering some of your most often asked questions about ranch dressing and pregnancy, as well as share some tips for making sure your ranch dressing is healthy and safe to eat.
Can I Eat Ranch While Pregnant?
I had to find out because my cravings for cool creamy ranch dressing during my pregnancy were not forgettable.
It was the craving that I couldn’t shake.
Ranch dressing, specifically Buffalo Wild Wings ranch dressing, during my entire pregnancy.
I had read online that it was a common craving for pregnant women and most of the time it was because we were missing something in our diets.
But what could I be missing? I ate plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as protein and dairy.
And yet, the craving persisted.
I mentioned it to my husband a few times, but he didn’t understand the struggle and said that I should probably just give in and go get some ranch dressing.
He didn’t get how serious this craving was to me. It wasn’t like I wanted a little bit, I needed it…like really needed it.
So, I caved.
I went out and had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings.
I had the buffalo chicken wrap with fries and a side of ranch…and it was amazing!
The craving was finally gone.
But then the guilt set in.
I had just eaten unhealthy food for no reason other than to satisfy a craving.
Was that okay?
I talked to my OB/GYN about it and he said that as long as I was eating other healthy foods, there was no reason why I couldn’t eat ranch dressing while pregnant.
Ranch dressing is packed with healthy fats, protein, and vitamins, all of which are essential for pregnant women.
Just make sure to avoid any ranch dressings that are made with unhealthy additives or preservatives.
If you’re looking for a healthy and safe ranch dressing to eat while pregnant, these are a few tips:
- Look for dressings that contain real ingredients like buttermilk, yogurt, herbs, and spices. Avoid dressings that contain artificial flavors or colors.
- Make sure the dressing doesn’t contain any added sugar or salt.
- Avoid dressings that are made with high fructose corn syrup, MSG, or other unhealthy additives.
- Check the nutrition label to make sure the dressing is low in calories and contains no harmful chemicals or toxins.
- Choose ranch dressings that are made with pasteurized dairy products.
Now you know ranch dressing is safe to enjoy during your pregnancy.
Here are 10 of my favorite healthy pregnancy snacks with ranch dressing:
- Apple slices with ranch dressing for dipping
- Cucumber slices with ranch dressing for dipping
- Carrot sticks with ranch dressing for dipping
- Tortilla chips with homemade ranch dressing
- Salad with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers topped with ranch dressing
- Grilled chicken salad with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers topped with ranch dressing
- Roasted turkey and avocado sandwich on whole-wheat bread with a side of pickles and carrots dipped in ranch dressing
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole-wheat bread served with a side of grapes and carrot sticks dipped in ranch dressing
- Greek yogurt topped with granola and berries mixed together along with some ranch dressing for flavor
- Sliced bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes served with hummus and ranch dressing as a dip.
- Fried pickles with ranch dressing for dipping.
Can I eat hidden valley ranch while pregnant?
The answer to this question is yes, you can eat Hidden Valley Ranch while pregnant.
Plus, Hidden Valley Ranch is a versatile dressing that can be used in salads, sandwiches, or as a dip.
Is hidden valley ranch pasteurized?
Yes, Hidden Valley Ranch is pasteurized.
If you are planning to use hidden valley ranch bottled dressing, you are good to go.
If you are making your ranch dressing using Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix make sure that the base you use for your dressing is pasteurized.
All of the dressings made by Hidden Valley are made with pasteurized ingredients to ensure that they are safe to eat.
Can I eat Wingstop ranch while pregnant?
The answer to this question is yes, you can eat Wingstop ranch while pregnant.
The best way to handle the question of “Can I eat Wingstop ranch while pregnant?” is to reach out to the restaurant.
Ask them if their ranch dressing is pasteurized.
So that’s exactly what we did we reached out to our local Wingstop restaurant and asked.
As we expected their ranch dressing is pasteurized and therefore it is safe to eat while pregnant.
Now Wingstop wings are delicious! No question!
However, depending on how you order them and what sides you have with them, it can be a high-calorie meal and high in sodium
It is important to watch your portions and drink plenty of water with your meal.
Can I eat Italian dressing while pregnant?
The answer to this question is yes, you can eat Italian dressing while pregnant.
However, it’s important to make sure that the dressing you’re eating doesn’t contain any raw eggs or unpasteurized cheese, both of which can pose a risk of foodborne illness.
I did not know that some Italian dressings had raw eggs in them.
Check the labels on bottled dressing and ask if homemade Italian dressing has raw eggs in it.
You are most safe if you choose an Italian dressing made with oil and vinegar.
Our other caveat with Italian dressing is that pregnant women can be more likely to get heartburn and Italian dressing is a culprit for many of us.
There are lots of options in Italian dressings so there is no need to give it up during pregnancy.
Another question our OB/GYN said he has been asked often is
“Can I eat Olive Garden dressing during pregnancy?”
Yes, you can eat Olive Garden Italian dressing while pregnant! You can enjoy the bottled dressing sold in the grocery store or the dressing served in the restaurant.
Is ken’s ranch dressing pasteurized?
Yes, Ken’s ranch dressing is pasteurized.
All of the dressings made by Ken’s are made with pasteurized ingredients to ensure that they are safe to eat.
It makes sense that most bottled dressings are made with pasteurized ingredients, they may sit on a shelf in a warehouse or store for weeks or months before being purchased.
Can I eat light ranch dressing while pregnant?
The answer to this question is yes, you can eat light ranch dressing while pregnant.
Just make sure it is pasteurized light ranch dressing.
Light ranch dressing is a great way to add some extra flavor and nutrients to your pregnancy without all the extra calories.
Can I eat caesar dressing while pregnant?
Caesar dressing is a popular salad topping, but many pregnant women wonder if it is safe to eat.
Caesar dressing generally contains raw eggs, which can be a source of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
However, as long as the eggs are pasteurized, the risk of food poisoning is very low.
Pasteurized eggs are safe to eat during pregnancy, and most brands of Caesar dressing are made with pasteurized eggs.
In addition, Caesar dressing contains anchovies, which are a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
These fatty acids are important for the development of the baby’s brain and eyes.
Look for bottled Caesar dressings that are pasteurized.
List of foods not to 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, undercooked shellfish, raw oysters.
- Raw eggs including homemade mayo, hollandaise sauce, and eggnog.
- Undercooked meats – lunch 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 there is no ice or refrigeration source keeping the food cool, take a pass.
- Caffeine- soda, chocolate. (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 simply avoid them. Green tea is OK.)
The verdict is in: you can eat ranch while pregnant.
In fact, not only is it safe for expectant mothers to consume dairy products like ranch dressing but they are also encouraged to do so because consuming them provides important nutrients for both the mother and baby.
So go ahead and enjoy your favorite creamy ranch salad dressing!