Now that you are pregnant, you often wish you could become a healthy diet expert overnight. After all, when you know for sure what to eat when you are pregnant, you can keep your baby safe and even start a healthier way of eating. Some food choices are well-known and logical, such as opting for lots of fruits and vegetables and avoiding fried greasy foods. But can you eat fish when pregnant? Hear what a medical doctor has to say about pregnancy and seafood below.
You need a lot of protein-rich foods when you are pregnant, that’s a fact any healthcare professional will confirm. Seafood is a great source of protein and iron – nutrients that are so important for your baby’s growth and development. Also fatty types like tuna, sardines and salmon offer omega-3 fats that are very good for your baby’s brain. You may think, why are most pregnant women so confused about whether it’s safe to eat seafood during pregnancy or not?
The thing is that certain types of fish (mostly large, predatory ones) can contain high levels of mercury – a toxin that may harm your baby’s brain. In the majority of cases, mercury in seafood is not a big health concern for adults. However, if you are pregnant (or planning to get pregnant), regular portions of fish high in mercury can be dangerous to your baby’s developing brain and nervous system.
How much fish can you eat when pregnant?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is safe for a pregnant woman to eat up to 340 grams (12 ounces) of seafood a week (2 moderate meals). Even though there are researches that consider these limits almost groundless, it’s best to follow them for the sake of your baby’s health and safety.
Or you can opt for seafood that’s low in mercury, such as:
- shrimp and crab
- salmon and Pollock
- catfish and cod
- tilapia and canned light tuna
As for fish you should avoid when you are pregnant, try to limit swordfish, tilefish, shark and king mackerel. Even though canned light tuna is low in mercury, it’s better to eliminate albacore tuna, tuna steak and chunk white tuna from your eating-while-preggo diet plan. If you’re wondering if you can drink coffee when you are pregnant, read our other posts.