What would you like to know?
Share this Story

FDA changes their mind about fish consumption during pregnancy

Newlywed, new mom and first-time home buyer, Sarah is currently playing out her exciting life in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently gave up her job in finance to stay at home with her baby girl, who between bath time and feeding time, keeps ...

Lower mercury fish recommended

Draft advisory by FDA states pregnant and nursing women should consume at least eight to 12 ounces of fish lower in mercury each week, which equates to two or three servings.

Woman eating salmon

Photo credit: webphotographeer/E+/Getty Images

Consuming fish during pregnancy used to be a no-no. But now, according to the FDA, fish that is low in mercury provides essential nutrients for developing fetuses, breastfed infants and even young children. We spoke with Rima Kleiner, M.S., R.D. and nutrition consultant to the National Fisheries Institute on the importance of fish in a pregnant woman's diet.

Fish contains vital nutrients that aren't found in many other foods — including omega-3s, protein, selenium and B vitamins. "During pregnancy, omega-3s like DHA and EPA are especially important for maximum baby brain and eye development. In fact, half of a baby's developing brain and 60 percent of a baby's retina are comprised of omega-3s! Because our bodies don't make omega-3s, it is essential that we get them from our diet and seafood is the premiere food source of DHA and EPA," Kleiner states.

Types to eat and types to avoid

Most of the fish Americans eat contains low amounts of mercury. According to the FDA, types that are safe include salmon, shrimp, tilapia, cod and even tuna (light canned). "Expectant mamas can — and should — enjoy their favorite fish," adds Kleiner.

Try this tuna salad recipe packed with veggies >>

The FDA says there are only four types of fish pregnant and nursing women should avoid — tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel. Also, limit albacore (white) tuna to six ounces per week.

Incorporating lower mercury fish into your diet

Even if you're used to avoiding fish like the plague, adding it back into your diet — and getting the new recommended amounts — doesn't have to be a challenge. "Picture this: A tuna and avocado sandwich, grilled salmon with veggies and sautéed shrimp skewers on mixed greens. It's that simple to get three servings of seafood each week. Another great way to "up" your seafood intake is to substitute fish for meat or poultry in your favorite recipes, like pouch salmon for "burgers" or canned tuna in spaghetti sauce," Kleiner says.

Try this griddle-cooked salmon with soy-ginger sauce >>

Griddle salmon with soy ginger sauce recipe

Healthy fish recipes

Spicy shrimp quesadillas with chipotle-avocado sauce
Surf and turf pizza
Pam-seared tilapia with chipotle-lime butter

Comments
Recommended for You
Hot
New in Health & Wellness
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!