Sunday, January 08, 2006

Straight Talk about Fish and Pregnancy

By now, most people are aware that there are concerns about dangerous levels of mercury in some fish, and the risks these fish pose to normal fetal development in pregnant woman. The FDA has issued warnings about 4 particular species of fish which can pose a significant risk of damage to the fetus: Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel and Tilefish.

However, concerns remain about other fish and how much it's safe to eat during pregnancy. Some women cut out fish entirely during pregnancy, but this can be less than optimal, as the nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids in particular are very important, both for the fetus and for the mother's health. Here are a few articles about the issue:

From AmericanBaby.com: Is Tuna Safe During Pregnancy?
Too much tuna and other fish may harm your nervous system. Find out how much fish is safe for you and baby.



From WebMD: Mercury in Fish No Problem in Pregnancy

Kids OK if Moms Eat Big Fish, but not Shark or Whale Meat


And from the Seafood Consumer Center: Straight Talk About Eating Fish During Pregnancy
By Joyce A. Nettleton, DSc, RD


Despite some difference of opinion about which fish are OK and which to avoid, most seem to agree that the following fish are safe to eat in moderation:

salmon (except from the Great Lakes)
farmed trout
flounder and sole
farmed catfish, tilapia
cod
crab, shrimp, scallops


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