FDA Issues New Seafood Guidelines for Pregnant Women

To clear up any fish confusion, the Food and Drug Administration has issued new guidelines on what type, how much and how often pregnant or breastfeeding women should be consuming seafood.

January 31, 2017
By: Amanda Mushro

When it comes to what a pregnant woman can and cannot eat, the list of safe and unsafe foods are easy to find. However, figuring out what seafood is safe to eat, well that's been a little fishy. To clear up any fish confusion, the Food and Drug Administration has issued new guidelines on what type, how much and how often pregnant or breastfeeding women should be consuming seafood.

While a piece of fish may not satisfy your pregnancy cravings, seafood has a lot of great benefits like omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to enhance not only brain development but also fetal growth. However, if you eat too much of certain fishes, a mom-to-be runs the risk of consuming too much mercury which can impair fetal brain development.

So what fish is safe to eat? The FDA organized 62 types of fish into three different categories to show often a pregnant or breastfeeding woman should eat these types of fish. The categories are:

  • Best choices- eat two to three servings a week
  • Good choices- eat one serving a week
  • Fish to avoid- do not eat while pregnant or breastfeeding

While this handy chart does help to explain almost every type of fish you would consume, experts caution women to carefully look at their tuna choices. Since tuna has been split into three different categories, don't assume all tuna is safe. Bigeye tuna-- also known as ahi is on the "avoid" list. However, albacore and yellowfin are listed as "good choices," and canned light tuna, is listed as a "best choice."

Hopefully this new chart will help pregnant and breastfeeding women better understand the fish they should eat so they and their baby can enjoy the benefits of fish safely.

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