Pregnancy Nutrition: Foods to Avoid during pregnancy: Seafood

More foods affect your health or your baby's than you might realize. Find out what foods to avoid during pregnancy. 

You want what's best for your baby. Thats why you add sliced fruit to your fortified breakfast cereal, put extra veggies in your favorite recipes and eat frozen yogurt for dessert. But do you know what foods to avoid during pregnancy

Start with the basics in pregnancy nutrition. understanding what foods to avoid during pregnancy can help you make the healthiest choices for you and your baby. 


Avoid see food high in mercury

Seafood can be a great source of protein and iron, and the omega-3 fatty acids in many fish can help promote your baby's brain development. In fact, research shows that skimping out on seafood during pregnancy may contribute to poor verbal skills, behavioral problems, and other developmental issues during childhood. However some fish and shellfish may contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury. To much mercury may damage your baby's developing nervous system. 

The bigger and older the fish the more mercury it may contain. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourage pregnant woman to avoid. 

Some examples are:

  • Swordfish
  • Tuna 
  • Shark 
  • Tilefish
  • Marlin


So Whats Safe?

Some types of seafood contain little mercury. Although concerns have been raised about the level of mercury in any type of canned tuna, the FDA and EPA say pregnant woman can safely eat up to 12 ounces (340 grams) a week or two averaged-sized portions of:

  • shrimp
  • canned light tuna (limit albacore tuna and tuna steak to no more than 6 ounces - 170 grams a week)
  • Salmon
  • Pollock
  • Catfish
  • Cod




  • Avoid RAW and UNDERCOOKED seafood as it may be contaminated and to avoid ingesting harmful bacteria or viruses. 
  • It is especially important to avoid raw oysters and clams. 
  • Avoid refrigerated smoked fish, such as lox. it's okay to eat smoked fish if its an ingredient in a casserole or other cooked dish. Canned and shelf stable versions are also safe. 


Understand Local Fish Advisories 

If you eat fish from local waters, pay attention to local fish advisories - especially if water pollution is a concern. Larger game fish contaminated with chemical pollutants may potentially harm a developing baby. if advice isn't available, limit to amount of fish from local waters. Eat unto 6 ounces (170 grams) and don't eat ant other fish that week. 


Cook Seafood Properly

Cook fish to an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C). The fish is don't when it separates into flakes and appears opaque throughout. 

Cook shrimp, lobster, and scallop until they are milky white

Cook clams, mussels, and oysters until their shells open. Discard and that do not open

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