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Are my food cravings bad for me?
Q: I am in my second trimester and have had minimal cravings for certain foods. Lately, though, I crave bagels with lox and cream cheese spread. Is this bad for me? Should I stop eating it altogether?
Marie Little Ferry
A: Bagels and cream cheese with lox are fine to eat as part of a balanced diet. The bagels help to meet your requirements for nine daily servings of breads and cereals, while the cream cheese helps a bit toward your milk requirements (4–5 daily servings). However, cream cheese is high in fat, and in some communities, lox (or smoked salmon) has been linked to listeriosis—a serious infection that can be harmful in pregnancies. Check with your local health department to see if there are any health concerns about the lox in the cream cheese spread you use. Then, be sure to round out your diet with fruits (2–4 daily servings), vegetables (3–5 servings), and protein (3 servings which can include meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts). You could even add some tomatoes and greens to your bagel sandwich to make your cravings a bit more nutritious!
Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist