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UPDATE: Pregnant Women and Fish

Last week there was an announcement from a health advocacy coalition (funded by the fish industry) that urged expectant and nursing mothers to eat more fish (12 oz. or more) for the safety of their babies. They said that the Omega-3s in fish are far more important to consume and that you shouldn't really worry about mercury levels.

The FDA and EPA however, are sticking to their stance. They feel these women should eat no more than 12 oz. of fish a week, and should be careful about mercury. Some fish contain high levels of this toxin, which could harm the nervous systems of developing fetuses and infants.

Fit's Tips: As a reminder, fish is a great source of Omega-3s, but it's not the only way to get your fill. If you do eat fish, stick to no more than two meals of it a week. Choose seafood with low levels of mercury such as salmon, tuna, sardines, oysters, and mackerel. If you're not into fish, flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, soy products, canola oil, and enhanced foods such as Breyer's yogurt.


Join The Conversation
Tamma1387 Tamma1387 9 years
I'm going to have to agree with the FDA and Fit on this one. omegas can be found somewhere else (although i do love fish and agree it is healthy). I'd really rather not take the risk with my baby.
loratidine loratidine 9 years
I always hear that fish oils are good and I love fish. But when eating fish, is it recommended to remove the skin? Since the oil is supposedly good...
fishfood fishfood 9 years
flaxseed doesn't provide nearly the same amount of EFAs as fish does. (It provides ALA which is converted to EPA/DHA only in limited amounts). People should be aware of both the risks and benefits of seafood. The decision of what fish to eat can be a challenge and often contradictory. At the very least, people should know that FDA and EPA have issued advisories about mercury contamination in commonly-sold fish. The problem is, this information is hard to find and is not usually available where it is most necessary: your supermarket. Oceana, a conservation group, is trying to get major grocery companies to post this government advice at their seafood counters. Thanks, in part to their work, Whole Foods, Safeway stores, and Wild Oats voluntarily agreed to post the FDA’s recommendations and they have had positive responses from customers and no loss in seafood sales. But other companies like Wal-Mart, Costco, and Giant have refused to do so. Oceana has a list of which companies care about their customers’ health enough to post this advice, as well as a list of companies that don’t. You can get the Green List and Red List at their website.
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
Better to be safe than sorry.
kgtg1 kgtg1 9 years
This is another example of how ANY industry can push their agenda through press releases and don't have to actually have scientific data to back it. It is really scary how many people hear these so called "studies" and believe them without checking a source. The meat and dairy industry do it ALL the time, so be skeptical when reading any new study that seems fishy (no pun intended!).
allisonblue allisonblue 9 years
Oh my goodness ... I think if I were planning a pregnancy, I'd still to flax seed oil supplements for my EFAs, just to avoid all the trouble! As a rule, can you really trust the mouthpieces for industry -- in this cases, the fish industry? Of COURSE they're going to downplay the risks and trump the benefits!
emalove emalove 9 years
I am surely going to be quite cautious when I get pregnant for the first time (which hopefully will be within the next year or two!)...but I am sure I will eat a little seafood because some of it is soooo good AND good for you.
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