When you are expecting a baby, you might be wondering: can I eat vegetarian sushi while pregnant? When a woman is pregnant, all the foods she previously enjoyed before the baby came along are often viewed with trepidation as she wonders whether food like sushi is safe to eat. Thankfully for your taste buds, vegetarian sushi is no more dangerous to eat than any other food on the menu.
What is sushi? Sushi is cold cooked rice molded into different shapes and garnished with raw or cooked seafood, plus vegetables. Like lots of Japanese food, sushi is very low in fat and healthy, and is therefore an ideal food for pregnant women to enjoy.
But can I eat vegetarian sushi while pregnant?
In Japan, sushi is a staple part of the diet. Japanese women routinely eat sushi during pregnancy and most consider it the ideal food. Indeed, lots of Japanese pregnancy books heartily recommend sushi as part of a low fat healthy diet. Japanese people actually think that “sushi bans” for pregnant women in other countries are rather insulting to the Japanese culture, but although sushi is considered safe for the most part, there are a few issues you need to be aware of.
As with all food, the main thing you really need to avoid is any contamination by bacteria. The three main pathogens found in food are toxoplasma, listeria monocytogenes, and salomonella enterica. All three can cause serious problems if passed to the unborn baby. Fortunately, as long as basic food hygiene practices are followed in the sushi restaurants you choose to eat at, you should be fine to enjoy vegetarian sushi while you are pregnant without the risk of illness.
One of the biggest concerns with eating sushi while pregnant is the danger from mercury contaminated fish. Eaten in any kind of quantities, mercury is known to cause poisoning and birth defects, but if you are happy to only eat vegetarian sushi you will be in no danger at all. If you do fancy a change from vegetarian sushi, it is ok to eat sushi containing cooked fish. California rolls containing steamed crab are fine, and so is cooked eel.
Is it ok to eat vegetarian sushi at restaurants? As long as you are sure that the restaurant food preparation areas are hygienic, it will be perfectly safe to enjoy a tasty meal of vegetarian sushi.
If you are at all concerned about eating out in restaurants, you could spend some time during your pregnancy learning how to prepare vegetarian sushi. Making your own sushi can be great fun and is really very simple to do. The main ingredient in sushi is cooked rice, but you can add all kinds of other ingredients to your sushi such as cooked chicken and vegetables, so experiment and try a few different combination’s.
But if you are feeling tired and stressed, let your partner do the cooking while you put your feet up and enjoy being pregnant. Food always tastes much nicer when somebody else prepares it!