Can You Eat Tuna Fish While Pregnant?

Now that you are expecting a baby, perhaps you may feel that you need to become a nutritionist in an instant. After all, what you eat or drink, as well as what you avoid, will all influence one way or another, the development of your baby. Some choices are quite easy and logical to understand, like eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, or avoiding to drink alcohol. But how about in terms of tuna?

Can You Eat Tuna Fish While Pregnant

If you may feel confused whether it`s allowed or not to eat fish, you should know from the start that you aren`t the only one. This particle article should help you understand what are the recommendations when it comes to tuna during pregnancy.

Table of Contents

Can You Eat Tuna Fish while Pregnant?

According to most experts in the field, seafood and fish in general represent an important source of omega-3, iron and protein. All these specific nutrients are essential in the fetal development, especially when it comes to the development of the brain.

However, regular consumption of fish rich in mercury might lead to an accumulation of mercury in the blood, which might ultimately affect the developing brain of the baby as well as his nervous system. So, are we allowed to consume tuna while pregnant? If it`s in moderate amounts, tuna consumption during pregnancy is perfectly safe.

How Much Tuna is Safe to Eat while Pregnant?

While it`s recommended to avoid any fish rich in mercury, tuna usually have small amounts of this chemical substance, and canned tuna even less. You should maintain a consumption of around 2 servings per week, anything around up to 340 g and you should be fine. All seafood comes into this amount, not only tuna or salmon.

The reason isn`t only related to mercury, but fatty fish like trout, herring, salmon or mackerel, might contain pollutants, like polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins.

You`ll most likely be fine if you eaten 1 serving of fish with high-content mercury. Still, it`s best to try and avoid them during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Can You Eat Canned Tuna Fish while Pregnant?

There`s an article in Consumer Reports that wants to clarify a specific issue, and make things easier for women when deciding whether or not they are allowed to eat canned tuna during pregnancy.

It`s almost common knowledge by now that albacore tuna, also known as white tuna, represents a choice of higher mercury, and shouldn`t be eaten in excessive amounts while expecting a child. However, “light” canned tuna, a species of tuna with lower content of mercury, is still approved by the FDA to be consumed during pregnancy is limited quantities are maintained. Still, Consumer Reports has questioned this decision, and advises pregnant women to avoid all tuna.

A recent announcement from the FDA and EPA advises to not consume more than 2 – 3 servings each week, meaning around 12 ounces, of canned light tuna. Because tuna consists of lean protein, omega-3 fats and very low in saturated fat, and also including selenium and vitamin D, the overall research suggested to the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency review everything according to which the benefits of consuming canned tuna are more significant than the possible dangerous effects from mercury.

Is It Safe to Eat Tuna from Subway while Pregnant?

Restaurants, like Subway, advise that expecting mothers are allowed to eat tuna as long as they maintain a limit of up to 2 servings per week. Eating out at particular restaurants which offer certain type of dishes isn`t always recommended for women who expect a baby since they weren`t able to check how those dishes were prepared. Also, it`s also recommended not to eat smoked seafood unless it`s contained in a cooked dish, like a casserole.

It`s Ok to Avoid All Tuna and Just Take Omega-3 Supplements?

Omega-3 supplements offer a great deal of benefits during pregnancy. However, if you`ll choose to avoid all fish, you`ll most definitely be missing out on many other important nutrients. It`s best if you`ll be eaten a wide range of fish that are low on mercury. Additionally, you can always take omega-3 supplements as well. Nordic Naturals represents a brand recommended by specialists.

How Much Mercury Is Safe during Pregnancy?

This will very much depend on the body weight of the expecting mother. If she has a higher body weight, she`ll be able to tolerate a higher amount of mercury. This is also the reason for which children are generally at higher risk of illnesses related to mercury. And due to the fetal developing brain and nervous system, expecting mothers are at a higher risk.

Just as with any other type of food, moderation is the main key. When it comes to pregnant women, being aware of the changes in the fish supply around their community is very important to making healthier choices for them and their baby. Choosing to consume moderate amounts of fish with low mercury content can be a health plus for pregnant women or children. And it isn`t even a daunting task, as there are so many fish and seafood choices with low mercury content.

Image courtesy of americanpregnancy.org

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