Pregnancy can be a time of joy and excitement, but it also comes with a lot of questions and concerns.
One of the most common questions that many pregnant women have is what they can and cannot eat. With so much conflicting information out there, it can be hard to know what’s safe and what’s not.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at flour tortillas and whether or not they’re safe to eat during pregnancy. So if you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine and wondering if you can still indulge in your favorite dishes, keep reading to find out!
Can I Eat Flour Tortillas While Pregnant?
The short answer is yes, you can eat flour tortillas while pregnant. In fact, they are a great source of carbohydrates and can be a part of a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that raw flour can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli. So it’s crucial to make sure that the tortillas are cooked thoroughly before consuming them.
Additionally, it’s important to choose whole grain flour tortillas whenever possible. These types of tortillas are high in fiber and other important nutrients that are essential for a healthy pregnancy.
What Are Flour Tortillas Made Of?
Flour tortillas are typically made from a mixture of flour, water, salt, and fat. The type of flour used can vary, but it’s usually wheat flour or a blend of wheat and other grains. Some brands may also include additional ingredients such as baking powder or preservatives.
The fat used in flour tortillas can also vary. Traditional recipes call for lard, but many modern brands use vegetable oil instead. It’s important to note that while lard may be higher in saturated fat, it can also be a good source of vitamin D.
Nutritional Value Of Flour Tortillas
Flour tortillas are a good source of energy and contain important vitamins and minerals that can help ensure proper fetal development. They are low in fat and contain no refined sugar, making them a healthy choice for pregnant women.
One flour tortilla (approximately 45 grams) contains around 120 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and less than 1 gram of fat. Flour tortillas are also a good source of B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. These vitamins are essential for the healthy development of the nervous system and can help prevent birth defects.
In addition, flour tortillas contain minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. Calcium is important for the development of strong bones and teeth in both the mother and the baby. Iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the baby. And magnesium is important for the healthy functioning of muscles and nerves.
It’s important to note that while flour tortillas can be a healthy part of a balanced diet during pregnancy, they should not be consumed in excess. Eating too many carbohydrates can lead to excessive weight gain during pregnancy, which can increase the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Risks Of Eating Flour Tortillas During Pregnancy
While flour tortillas are generally safe to consume during pregnancy, there are some risks that should be taken into consideration. As mentioned earlier, raw flour can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli, which can lead to food poisoning and other serious health complications.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure that the tortillas are cooked thoroughly before consuming them. This means heating them until they are crispy and browned on both sides. It’s also important to avoid consuming tortillas that have been left out at room temperature for an extended period of time, as this can increase the risk of bacterial growth.
Another risk associated with consuming flour tortillas during pregnancy is their high calorie and carbohydrate content. While carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet, consuming too many can lead to excessive weight gain and other health complications such as gestational diabetes.
To mitigate this risk, it’s important to choose whole grain flour tortillas whenever possible. These types of tortillas are higher in fiber and other important nutrients that can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent excessive weight gain.
Benefits Of Eating Flour Tortillas During Pregnancy
Flour tortillas offer several benefits for pregnant women. They are a good source of energy and contain important vitamins and minerals that can help ensure proper fetal development. Flour tortillas are low in fat and contain no refined sugar, making them a healthy choice for pregnant women who want to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Moreover, flour tortillas are versatile and can be served with a variety of different toppings or fillings to create a nutritious, delicious meal. They can be filled with vegetables, beans, lean protein, and healthy fats such as avocado or olive oil. This makes them an excellent option for pregnant women who want to enjoy a tasty meal while also ensuring that they are providing their growing baby with essential nutrients.
Flour tortillas are also a good source of folic acid, which is important for fetal development. Folic acid plays a vital role in stopping the development of severe brain and spinal cord defects during pregnancy. Since the 1990s, U.S. born babies with neural tube defects have dropped to 1,300 babies because of mandatory fortification, according to the CDC. However, Hispanic women have not had much luck due to their staple food – tortillas. Tortillas don’t contain folic acid because current FDA rules have ruled that “tortillas, corn chips and other foods made with corn masa flour can’t be fortified with folic acid.” A union of groups, which include the National Council of La Raza and the March of Dimes Foundation, want to change this.
Safe Ways To Enjoy Flour Tortillas While Pregnant
To safely enjoy flour tortillas during pregnancy, follow these tips:
1. Choose whole grain flour tortillas: Whole grain tortillas are a healthier option as they are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy.
2. Check the labels: Make sure to read the labels on the tortillas to ensure that they are made with healthy ingredients. Avoid tortillas that contain refined sugar, high levels of sodium, or unhealthy fats.
3. Cook thoroughly: Raw flour can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli, so it’s important to cook the tortillas thoroughly before consuming them. This will ensure that any harmful bacteria are destroyed.
4. Pair with healthy toppings: Flour tortillas can be enjoyed with a variety of delicious and nutritious toppings such as grilled vegetables, lean meats, beans, and avocado. Avoid toppings that are high in calories, sodium, or unhealthy fats.