Can You Eat Turkey While Pregnant?

Can You Eat Turkey While Pregnant

Last Updated on April 21, 2024

Yes, you can eat turkey while pregnant. Turkey is a safe and nutritious option for expectant mothers.

Turkey is a popular protein choice, especially during holidays like Thanksgiving. Many pregnant women wonder if it is safe to consume turkey during pregnancy. The good news is that it is perfectly fine and even beneficial for expectant mothers to enjoy turkey as part of a balanced diet.

Turkey is not only a lean source of protein but also rich in essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, which are crucial for the healthy development of the baby. However, pregnant women should ensure that the turkey is cooked thoroughly to eliminate the risk of foodborne illnesses. By following proper cooking techniques and hygiene practices, pregnant women can safely enjoy turkey as a nutritious addition to their diet.

Nutritional Value Of Turkey During Pregnancy
source / pexels

Nutritional Value Of Turkey During Pregnancy

Turkey is a nutritious choice for pregnant women as it is high in protein, iron, and vitamins. It can be safely consumed during pregnancy, providing essential nutrients for both the mother and baby’s development.

Protein-Rich Source For Fetal Development

  • Turkey is an excellent source of protein, which is crucial for the healthy development of your baby during pregnancy.
  • Protein helps in the formation of cells and tissues, aids in the production of enzymes and hormones, and supports the growth of your baby’s muscles and organs.
  • Consuming an adequate amount of protein from sources like turkey can promote the proper growth and development of your baby during pregnancy.

Essential Vitamins And Minerals

  • Turkey is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for both you and your baby during pregnancy.
  • It is a rich source of vitamin B6, which is essential for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.
  • Vitamin B12 in turkey aids in the formation of red blood cells helps to prevent anemia, and supports the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Turkey also contains minerals like iron, which is important for the production of red blood cells and to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
  • The selenium content in turkey supports your immune system and plays a crucial role in the healthy development of your baby.

Low In Fat And Cholesterol

  • One of the advantages of consuming turkey during pregnancy is that it is low in fat and cholesterol.
  • Turkey provides a lean source of protein without the added unhealthy fats that can contribute to weight gain and other health issues.
  • The low-fat content in turkey makes it a good option for those who are mindful of their weight and cholesterol levels during pregnancy.
  • By choosing turkey as a protein source, you can enjoy a nutritious and satisfying meal without compromising your health or the health of your baby.

Remember, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet during pregnancy is crucial for the well-being of both you and your baby. Incorporating turkey into your diet can provide beneficial nutrients while ensuring a tasty and enjoyable meal option.

Potential Risks And Precautions

Turkey is a popular choice during pregnancy, but certain precautions should be taken. It is important to ensure the turkey is cooked thoroughly and to avoid any raw or undercooked turkey products, which can pose a risk of foodborne illnesses like salmonella.

Eating turkey during pregnancy is a common concern for many expectant mothers. While turkey is a nutritious source of protein, there are potential risks involved if it is not handled, cooked, or stored properly. In this section, we will address the concerns with undercooked turkey, the possibility of foodborne illnesses during pregnancy, and the safe handling and cooking guidelines to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Concerns With Undercooked Turkey:

  • Undercooked turkey may contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or Campylobacter, which can cause foodborne illnesses.
  • These bacteria can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, posing potential risks for both the mother and the baby.

Foodborne Illnesses During Pregnancy:

  • Pregnant women are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses due to changes in their immune system.
  • Foodborne illnesses during pregnancy can lead to more severe complications, including premature birth, miscarriage, or stillbirth.
  • The developing fetus is at a higher risk of experiencing health issues or developmental problems if the mother contracts a foodborne illness.

Safe Handling And Cooking Guidelines:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw turkey to reduce the risk of contamination.
  • Ensure that the turkey is stored at a safe temperature to prevent bacterial growth. Refrigerate or freeze it promptly.
  • Thaw frozen turkey in the refrigerator or under cold running water, avoiding thawing at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth.
  • When cooking turkey, use a food thermometer to verify that the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C) to destroy harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards, utensils, and plates for raw and cooked turkey.
  • Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking and consumed within a few days.
  • If eating turkey at a restaurant or any other external establishment, ensure that the turkey is thoroughly cooked before consumption.

By following these precautions, you can enjoy turkey while pregnant without compromising your health or the well-being of your baby. It’s crucial to prioritize food safety and make informed choices to mitigate the potential risks associated with undercooked turkey during pregnancy.

Recommended Serving Size And Moderation

Turkey can be safely consumed during pregnancy as long as it is cooked thoroughly and consumed in moderation. It is important to follow the recommended serving size and practice moderation to ensure a healthy and balanced diet during this period.

Appropriate Portion Size For Pregnant Women:

  • Pregnant women can safely indulge in turkey during their pregnancy, as long as they pay attention to the portion size and moderation.
  • Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for the health of both the mother and the baby.
  • The recommended serving size of turkey for pregnant women is about 2 to 3 ounces, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards.
  • Consuming a moderate portion of turkey ensures that the mother gets the necessary nutrients without overindulging.
  • It is essential to include a variety of other nutrient-rich foods in the diet along with turkey to ensure a balanced intake.

Avoid Excessive Consumption:

  • While turkey is a good source of protein, it is essential to avoid excessive consumption during pregnancy.
  • Excessive consumption of turkey or any other food can lead to weight gain and other health issues.
  • Consuming large quantities of turkey may increase the risk of foodborne illnesses due to bacteria like Salmonella.
  • Pregnant women should also be mindful of their calorie intake and the potential impact on their overall weight gain.
  • Moderation is the key to enjoying turkey while pregnant without compromising on health.
Balancing Turkey With Other Nutrients
source / gettyimages

Balancing Turkey With Other Nutrients:

  • Turkey is a lean meat that provides essential nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc.
  • However, it is essential to balance the intake of turkey with other nutrient-rich foods to meet the dietary requirements during pregnancy.
  • Incorporating foods rich in carbohydrates, such as whole grains and fruits, and sources of healthy fats, like avocados and nuts, can help maintain a well-rounded diet.
  • Vegetables and legumes should also be included for their fiber and vitamin content.
  • Consulting with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian can help pregnant women create a personalized meal plan to ensure a balanced intake of all necessary nutrients.

Remember, while turkey can be a part of a healthy diet during pregnancy, moderation and portion control are vital. By balancing turkey with other nutrient-rich foods, pregnant women can enjoy their meals while ensuring they meet the required nutritional needs for a healthy pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Eat Cooked Turkey While Pregnant?

Yes, you can eat cooked turkey while pregnant without any issues.

Can I Have A Turkey Sandwich While Pregnant?

Yes, having a turkey sandwich while pregnant is safe and nutritious for you and your baby.

Why Can’T I Eat Turkey While Pregnant?

Eating turkey may not be safe during pregnancy due to the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Can A Pregnant Woman Eat Chicken And Turkey?

Yes, a pregnant woman can eat chicken and turkey as they are good sources of protein and nutrients during pregnancy.

Can You Eat Turkey While Pregnant?

Yes, eating turkey while pregnant is safe as long as it is cooked thoroughly.


Eating turkey while pregnant can be a safe and nutritious choice for expectant mothers. Turkey is a lean source of protein and provides essential nutrients such as iron and zinc. However, it is crucial to ensure that the turkey is properly cooked to avoid the risk of foodborne illnesses.

By following proper cooking techniques and guidelines, pregnant women can enjoy turkey without any concerns. It is also important to consider personal preferences and any specific dietary restrictions or allergies. Consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable to address individual circumstances.

Ultimately, making informed choices about food during pregnancy is key to ensuring the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby. So, go ahead and savor that delicious turkey while being mindful of your health and enjoying this special phase of life.

Cookies Notice

Our website use cookies. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this.