- Posted November 9, 2013 by
Is it Safe to Eat Seafood and Fish During Pregnancy?
Many people heard and knows that mercury is present to a wide variety of fishes, even those that we eat. And naturally, it would be logical to think that it might affect pregnancy. We would worry about the child’s welfare more than asking yourself with questions such as how to cook salmon or deciding on which fish recipes you should try tomorrow. We would ask these questions instead:
Should I eat fish while I'm pregnant?
Many pregnant women struggle with this question. They would encourage themselves to eat food and one of them would be fish. Even if you don't care for seafood, you've probably heard that fish is a major source of omega-3 fatty acids (specifically DHA and EPA), which are important for your baby's brain and eye development. Fish is also low in saturated fat and high in protein, vitamin D, and other nutrients that are crucial for a developing baby and a healthy pregnancy. Therefore, it’s safe to say that your healthy food recipes that contain fish are still healthy for your baby.
On the other hand, you've probably also heard that some types of fish contain contaminants such as mercury. In high doses, this metal is harmful to a baby's developing brain and nervous system.
Most experts agree that pregnant women should eat some fish. But it can be hard to figure out which ones are safe and how much to eat.
How much seafood is recommended?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) say pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces (340 grams) of seafood a week. Similarly, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week for pregnant women — or about two average meals.
Not all researchers agree with these limits, however, citing a study that noted no negative effects for women who ate more seafood than the FDA-approved guidelines.
What's safe to eat?
But some types of seafood — particularly large, predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish — can contain high levels of mercury. Seafood that's low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids are:
Atlantic and Pacific mackerel
Other safe choices include shrimp, pollock, catfish and canned light tuna. However, limit albacore tuna and tuna steak to no more than 6 ounces (170 grams) a week.