Can I Eat Seafood During Pregnancy?

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Seafood can be an important part of a balanced diet for pregnant women. It is a good source of high quality protein and other nutrients and is low in fat. However, some fish contain high levels of a form of mercury called methyl mercury that can harm an unborn child’s developing nervous system if eaten regularly.

By being informed about methyl mercury and knowing the kinds of fish that are safe to eat, you can prevent any harm to your unborn child and still enjoy the health benefits of eating seafood.

Highest Mercury – AVOID Eating

Grouper
Marlin
Orange roughy
Tilefish
Swordfish
Shark
Mackerel (king)

High Mercury – Eat no more than three 6-oz servings per month

Bass saltwater
Croaker
Halibut
Tuna (canned, white albacore) See tuna chart below
Tuna (fresh bluefin, ahi)
Sea trout
Bluefish
Lobster (American/Maine)

Lower Mercury- Eat no more than six 6-oz servings per month

Carp
Mahi Mahi
Crab (Dungeness)
Snapper
Crab (blue)
Herring
Crab (snow)
Monkfish
Perch (freshwater)
Skate
Cod
Tuna (canned, chunk light)
Tuna (fresh Pacific albacore)

Lowest Mercury-Enjoy two 6-oz servings per week

Anchovies
Butterfish
Calamari (squid)
Caviar (farmed)
Crab (king)
Pollock
Catfish
Whitefish
Perch (ocean)
Scallops
Flounder
Haddock
Hake
Herring
Lobster (spiny/rock)
Shad
Sole
Crawfish/crayfish
Salmon
Shrimp
Clams
Tilapia
Oysters
Sardines
Sturgeon (farmed)
Trout (freshwater)

(Obtained from the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC); data obtained by the FDA and the EPA).

2 Comments to “Can I Eat Seafood During Pregnancy?”

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