For moms and those thinking about getting pregnant

For moms, expecting moms and those thinking about getting pregnant

If you are an expecting mom, current mommy or considering getting pregnant there are a few things you need to consider when it comes to eating seafood.

According to expert sources, there are some types of seafood that you should eat infrequently, if at all. Here is the reason—many of our oceans, lakes and rivers are polluted and, as a result, some of the fish that live in these waters are contaminated with mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and other toxins.

The good news is that the risk of mercury poisoning from eating fish and shellfish is not a health concern for most adults, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The risks depend on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury found within. Pregnant or nursing women and children, however, are the exceptions.

To provide insight on the topic, experts from the Fish 4 Health program (www.fish4health.net) offer consumers free wallet cards and a smartphone app designed to help pregnant or nursing women make informed decisions about the seafood that they consume. The Fish 4 Health program encourages pregnant or nursing women and women that will become pregnant to follow five recommendations that will keep their babies healthy:

  • Consume 8-12 ounces of fish per week.
  • Avoid eating seafood that is high in environmental pollutants, such as mercury or PCBs.
  • Consume fish that provides healthy omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., EPA and DHA).
  • Avoid eating raw fish when pregnant and avoid serving raw fish to infants or young children.
  • Use caution when eating locally caught seafood (i.e., seafood not purchased in a grocery store or restaurant).

The varieties of seafood with the lowest levels of toxins include:

  • anchovies,
  • butterfish,
  • clams,
  • cod,
  • Dungeness crab,
  • king crab,
  • snow crab,
  • crawfish,
  • haddock,
  • Atlantic herring,
  • Maine lobster,
  • Atlantic mackerel,
  • blue mussels,
  • oysters,
  • salmon,
  • sardines,
  • bay scallops,
  • shrimp,
  • pink squid and
  • tilapia

Check out the sources section in the back of this book for a detailed list of the best seafood to eat.

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