Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.
Bak kut teh is a popular Chinese dish of pork ribs stewed in a herbal soup.
It is traditionally eaten with rice and other side dishes.
A frequently-held belief is that bak kut teh is a no-no for expectant mothers.
But is this really true? Can a pregnant lady eat bak kut teh? Let’s take a closer look.
Can pregnant ladies eat bak kut teh?
Yes, but in moderation. Bak kut teh is generally safe for pregnant women to eat, but there are a few things to keep in mind. The main ingredient in bak kut teh is, of course, pork ribs.
Pork is generally considered safe for pregnant women to eat if cooked thoroughly. However, a few things to remember when eating pork during pregnancy.
First of all, pregnant women should avoid consuming undercooked or raw pork, as this could lead to food poisoning. Secondly, cured pork, such as bacon or ham, may also be unsafe for pregnant women to eat, as it may contain high levels of sodium and nitrates.
The other ingredients in bak kut teh are herbs and spices. Some of these, such as star anise and cloves, are generally considered safe for pregnant women to consume. However, others, such as fennel and cinnamon, should be avoided during pregnancy.
They may stimulate uterine contractions, which could lead to premature labor.
So, it is always best to check with your healthcare provider before consuming any food during pregnancy to be safe.
Should Chinese food be avoided during pregnancy?
There is no need to avoid Chinese food altogether during pregnancy. Some Chinese foods are considered to be beneficial for pregnant women. For example, certain soups and teas help with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
However, with all meals, it is crucial to eat in moderation and to consult your healthcare professional before eating anything during pregnancy.
Can breastfeeding moms eat bak kut teh?
Yes, but again, in moderation. Bak kut teh is generally safe for breastfeeding women to eat, but it may affect your baby’s sleep patterns. The herb fennel, sometimes used in bak kut teh, can have a mild sedative effect.
As a result, it’s better to limit one’s intake of large quantities of bak kut teh if you are breastfeeding. If you do eat it, be sure to drink plenty of water afterward to stay hydrated.
Can I eat Vietnamese food while pregnant?
Vietnamese foods are fine to eat while pregnant because Vietnamese cuisine emphasizes fresh, healthy ingredients. There’s no need to avoid Vietnamese food altogether while pregnant. Still, as with any cuisine, some dishes are better avoided than others.
For example, dishes that are very high in salts can lead to high blood pressure, which can pose a threat to both mother and child.
So, can pregnant ladies eat bak kut teh? The answer is yes, but in moderation. Bak kut teh can help to satisfy cravings and is packed with nutrients, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Be sure to avoid undercooked pork or food containing high levels of sodium or MSG. If you have any worries, always consult your healthcare professional before eating anything during pregnancy.