Is It Okay To Eat Seafood While Pregnant

Is It Okay To Eat Seafood While Pregnant – Seafood is an excellent food choice during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and is packed with many beneficial nutrients! However, many women are concerned about what seafood they should eat, especially mercury in seafood. Here’s what you need to know.

In Australia, pregnant and lactating women are advised to eat fish/seafood 2-3 times a week, especially as it is an important source of dietary iodine.

Is It Okay To Eat Seafood While Pregnant

Is It Okay To Eat Seafood While Pregnant

However, there are many types of fish that should not be eaten regularly due to the high mercury content in these fish. Women are advised to limit their intake of the following foods:

Study: Eating Fish During Pregnancy Protects Against Mercury Toxicity

All fish and seafood contain some level of methylmercury. However, some fish have higher mercury levels than most because they live longer (so have more time to accumulate higher mercury levels) and/or they are predators (so – before other fish and accumulate more mercury).

Now, before you start getting too worried, most fish served in Australia is low in mercury.

However, the government has specific health advice for (1) women trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding and (2) children under 6 years of age. This is because excess mercury can affect young people, developing nervous systems, so these groups should be careful.

The reason for the lower price of canned tuna is that the tuna used in canning are usually smaller species and are caught when they are less than a year old. (Source: Food Standards Australia New Zealand)

Sushi Recipes You Can Eat While Pregnant

Also, just a reminder, this has nothing to do with mercury. If you’re pregnant, be sure to avoid all raw fish, cold-smoked fish (such as lox), and frozen ready-to-eat peeled shrimp. This is a matter of food hygiene – these foods have a higher risk of contamination!

Are you ready to plan a nutritionally balanced diet to support your fertility, pregnancy or postpartum journey? Please contact us and book a free 15 minute call so we can discuss how we can help you. Pregnancy is full of blanket statements, especially about what to eat and what not to eat. As an expectant mother who wants to provide the best possible nutrition for her growing person, following these “general food rules” without thinking is always the easiest and safest option.

Unfortunately, following some of these dietary rules can cause you to miss out on important nutrients that will positively contribute to your baby’s development and long-term health. With that said, let me talk about eating fish during pregnancy.

Is It Okay To Eat Seafood While Pregnant

My goal is to dispel the myth that pregnant women shouldn’t eat fish and help you understand how to make informed choices about the fish you eat during pregnancy so you can continue to enjoy these foods with confidence that you are giving your baby solid food. will benefit their overall health now and in the future!

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First, where does the general statement that pregnant women should not eat fish come from? It all stems from concerns about mercury levels in seafood and the increased chance of foodborne illness when seafood is eaten raw. While it is true that fish at the top of the food chain, such as albacore tuna, shark, tilefish, swordfish and mackerel, contain high levels of methylmercury that can harm developing, extremely sensitive fetuses, other types of fish, including wild AK. salmon, grouper and black cod pose no such threat. In fact, on many levels, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Now, eating raw fish that doesn’t pose a mercury threat, like AK wild salmon, is a matter of personal choice. If your salmon is from a reliable source, many women choose to stick to salmon sushi rolls or poke bowls. Others choose to boil the fish to avoid the risk. If you eat raw fish, you can take extra steps to make sure it’s frozen and handled well to avoid potential foodborne illness. As with all foods, it’s important to buy from a source you trust!

Now that we know there are some delicious fish that can be included in a pregnant woman’s diet without the risk of mercury exposure, let’s review some of the more obvious benefits of including AK salmon and other fish in your diet:

The importance of omega-3 fats, especially DHA, increases during pregnancy. This is because DHA is necessary for the development of the baby’s brain and eye tissue. Our body cannot produce DHA, so we must get it from our diet.

Mercury In Fish

Current guidelines recommend at least 300 mg of DHA per day during pregnancy, but some studies suggest that up to 2,200 mg may be beneficial. A 3-ounce serving of Alaskan king salmon provides 1,476 mg of DHA, and Alaska grouper provides 300 mg of DHA per 3 ounces.

Studies have shown that eating food sources of omega 3 fats, such as wild Alaskan salmon, also has a positive effect on reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, lowering the rate of premature birth and even the risk of depression. to the mother.

In addition to the benefits of Omega-3 and DHA, wild Alaskan salmon, Alaska grouper and Alaskan black cod in the prenatal diet provide a lean source of protein and a valuable dose of selenium (supports thyroid function), potassium (important for hormone management). and B vitamins (which play an important role at many levels of child development).

Is It Okay To Eat Seafood While Pregnant

As a nutritionist, I hope the most common statement about fish consumption during pregnancy is that pregnant women should add more fish to their diet. However, as with all foods, it is wise to be selective about where to get these fish and what is best for us. As someone who is currently 8 months pregnant, I am very conscious of adding Wild Alaskan Salmon, Alaskan Grouper and Alaskan Black Cod to my diet – now more than ever.

Eat Seafood While Pregnant: All Benefit, No Harm Says Harvard Professor

For more information and research on this topic, see the Alaska report: “Alaska Seafood and Healthy Moms and Babies.”

Guest Author: Uriell Carlson, RDN. You can check out more great nutrition tips and advice at her company, Inner Wild Nutrition

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