Can You Eat Pretzels While Pregnant? Are They Healthy?

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Written by Gina Wagg BA, Dip.

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Pretzels are go-to snacks not only for pregnant women but for people of all ages. They are tasty, easy to eat on the go, and relatively healthy. But are they safe for pregnant women?

Pretzels are generally a healthy pregnancy snack for pregnant women to eat. However, it is better to choose pretzels that are low in sodium, and choose baked varieties over fried ones. Additionally, whole wheat or multigrain pretzels are better choices than those made with white flour.

So, is a pretzel a healthy snack food during pregnancy? What else do you need to be aware of when eating pretzels during pregnancy? Let’s take a closer look.

Are Pretzels Safe to Eat When You’re Pregnant?

Pretzels are a type of snack food typically made from dough boiled in salt water and then baked. Their salty taste means that pregnant women often crave them. Pretzels are generally safe to eat when you’re pregnant.

However, we’ve got some tips on when you’re munching on pretzels throughout pregnancy – and this includes all types, including the large, soft ones and the hard, baked small snacks:

You should try to moderate pretzels that are made with white flour. Instead, opt for whole wheat or multigrain pretzels. This is because white flour is not as nutritious as whole wheat or multigrain flour (source: International Journal of Food Science). Nutrients are essential during pregnancy, especially whole grains, which contain fiber and other beneficial nutrients for you and your baby. If you’re going to eat pretzels, this is an easy “food hack” to make a better nutritional choice.

pretzels in a transparent bowl

Pretzels that are fried are best eaten in moderation when you’re pregnant. Fried foods are generally high in unhealthy fats and calories. Oven-baked pretzels are a better choice.

Choose pretzels that are low in sodium, if you can. Too much sodium can cause water retention and high blood pressure, especially in pregnant women (source: The Journal of Clinical Investigation). Pretzels sprinkled with salt “corns” or “pearls” are often the highest in sodium.

The sweet variety of pretzels such as choco coated, honey glazed, etc. are also better in moderation. Examples are brands of pretzel-like Flipz and  Snyder’s Pretzel Pieces. You should limit your intake of sugary snacks during pregnancy. Too much sugar can lead to gestational diabetes (source: Nutrients Journal). On top of that, coated pretzels can easily give you too much sodium AND sugar in one go. They’re also delicious – and moreish, so although they’re safe to eat if you’re pregnant, it’s best to keep an eye on your intake, too.

Experts recommend that pregnant women consume no more than 30 grams of sugar, equivalent to seven sugar cubes per day (source: AptaclubUK).

These are the things to remember when snacking on pretzels to look out for, especially during pregnancy. Now let’s take a closer look at the nutritional value of pretzels.

Are Pretzels a Healthy Snack in Pregnancy?

Pretzels are a good source of complex carbs that provide energy (source: Oxford). The recommended carbohydrate intake for pregnant women is 175 grams per day (source: Food Science and Nutrition).

Forty-eight grams of carbohydrates are found in 10 pretzel sticks (source: USDA). They are also low in fat and calories, making them a good snack choice for pregnant women.

Female hand dipping pretzel in bowl with cheese dip

Additionally, whole wheat or multigrain pretzels provide fiber. So we recommend these types of pretzels over those made with white flour. If you are pregnant, you’ll need about 28 grams of fiber per day (source: Nutrients Journal). Ten pretzel sticks provide 2.04 grams of fiber.

You can improve the nutritional value of pretzels during pregnancy by pairing them with peanut butter or cheese for a healthy protein snack, too!

Overall, pretzels are perfectly fine to snack on during pregnancy, and we hope this has helped you make healthier pretzel choices when you get that salty, crunchy food craving!