Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Eat Tuna?

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Eat Tuna

There is a lot of conflicting information out there about what pregnant women should and shouldn’t eat. This can be especially confusing when it comes to seafood. Some people say that all types of seafood are safe for pregnant women to eat, while others say that they should avoid eating fish altogether. So, what’s the truth? In this blog post, we will take a look at the safety of eating tuna for pregnant women.

Is Tuna fish safe to eat during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are often advised to limit their consumption of certain foods, including tuna, due to the potential for mercury contamination. However, recent studies have shown that the health benefits of eating tuna during pregnancy may outweigh the risks.

Tuna is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are important for a healthy pregnancy. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, have been shown to play a role in fetal brain development.

While tuna does contain mercury, the amount is generally low enough that it is not considered a major health concern. However, pregnant women should still limit their tuna intake to no more than 12 ounces (340 grams) per week.

Pregnant women should also be sure to choose tuna that is low in mercury, such as light tuna or canned skipjack tuna. Albacore (white) tuna has a higher mercury content and should be avoided.

In general, it is safe for pregnant women to eat tuna in moderation. However, they should be sure to choose low-mercury varieties and limit their intake to 12 ounces (340 grams) per week.

Mercury level categories:

The categories on the list are determined according to the following mercury levels in the flesh of the tested fish.

  • Lower Mercury: Less than 0.29 parts per million
  • High Mercury: More than 0.3 parts per million

Mercury-rich seafood that should be avoided

Seafood can be a fantastic source of protein, and many fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help your baby’s brain and eye development. The mercury levels in some fish and shellfish, however, may be harmful. The developing neural system of your child could suffer from too much mercury.

The likelihood of mercury content increases with fish size and age. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that you abstain from during pregnancy:

  • Bigeye tuna
  • King mackerel
  • Marlin
  • Orange roughy
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Tilefish

What then is safe? Some varieties of seafood don’t have much mercury in them. Two or three servings of seafood per week, or 8 to 12 ounces (224 to 336 grams), are advised by the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Consider:

  • Anchovies
  • Catfish
  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Light canned tuna
  • Pacific oysters
  • Pollock
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Shad
  • Shrimp
  • Tilapia
  • Trout

However, limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces (168 grams) a week.

Why is methylmercury dangerous to pregnant women?

Methylmercury is a type of mercury that can be found in certain types of fish. It is dangerous to pregnant women because it can cross the placenta and enter the developing baby’s bloodstream. Methylmercury can cause serious health problems for the developing baby, including brain damage and developmental delays.

Pregnant women should limit the amount of fish they eat

Pregnant women are advised to consume 2-3 servings of fish each week for their own health as well as the wellbeing of their unborn child. However, those who are expecting or who want to become pregnant within the following six months should exercise caution when choosing the fish they eat. Some fish varieties have high mercury concentrations, which can harm a fetus that is still developing.

Pregnant women should:

  • Limit to one serve (150g) per fortnight – billfish (swordfish, broadbill and marlin) and shark (flake), with no other fish eaten in that fortnight.
  • Limit to one serve (150g) per week – orange roughy (deep sea perch) or catfish, with no other fish eaten that week.
  • Eat 2–3 serves per week – of any other fish or seafood (for example, salmon or tuna).

Note: 150g is equivalent to approximately two frozen crumbed fish portions.

Women should not be worried if they’ve had the odd meal of fish with high levels of mercury. It is only a potential problem when that type of fish is eaten regularly, which causes a build-up of mercury in the mother’s blood.

You should avoid the following seafood:

It’s critical to know that not all seafood is safe to eat while pregnant. You should avoid the following types of fish and shellfish.

Seafood containing a high level of mercury. There are some fish that are high in mercury, which can harm your baby’s developing nervous system. According to studies, mercury exposure during pregnancy can cause delays in brain functions in children. It is generally accepted that the larger and older the fish is, the more mercury it can contain. During pregnancy, it is recommended that you avoid the following:

  • Shark
  • Marlin
  • Orange roughy
  • King mackerel
  • Bigeye tuna
  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish

Seafood that is low in mercury includes:

  • Light canned tuna
  • Anchovies
  • Cod
  • Catfish
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Pollock
  • Pacific oysters
  • Trout
  • Shad
  • Talapia
  • Shrimp

You should limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week.

Raw or undercooked seafood. The changes in your immune system during pregnancy make you more susceptible to bacteria and parasites in raw or undercooked seafood. There is a much higher risk of miscarriage and preterm delivery if these illnesses occur during pregnancy.

Despite not feeling sick, some foodborne illnesses, like Listeria and Toxoplasma gondii, can infect your baby. It is recommended that all seafood be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. A well-cooked fish is transparent and flakes easily when it is not seen through. When cooked, shrimp, lobster, and scallops should be milky white. When cooking clams, mussels, and oysters, the shells should be opened. The following should be avoided:

  • Sushi
  • Sashimi
  • Raw oysters
  • Raw clams
  • Ceviche

Avoid refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is canned, shelf-stable, or cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The following food labels fall into this category:

  • Jerky
  • Smoked
  • Kippered
  • Nova-style
  • Lox

Seafood listed on fish advisories. Every state and territory in the U.S. issues a warning about fish caught in local waters that may be contaminated with pollutants or mercury. These warnings tell you which fish you can safely eat. The warnings are based on the levels of five toxins that may be present in lakes, rivers, and coastal waters. These include:

  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Mercury
  • Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT)
  • Chlordane
  • Dioxins

Make sure you eat a variety of seafood

Mercury exposure can be reduced by eating a variety of seafood. Seychelles, a country of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, has followed children since the mid-1980s as part of the Seychelles Child Development Study. In Seychelles, people eat an average of eight seafood meals per week, which is much more than anywhere else in the world. They eat a wide variety of seafood since they are an island nation.

Considering that many fish contain mercury, the study is trying to find out if eating so many fish has any negative effects. As of now, there is no evidence of abnormal or delayed development in the children, many of whom have become adults.

Other Foods and Beverages You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

Some foods should only be eaten occasionally, while others should be altogether avoided. Here are some foods and drinks to avoid or consume in moderation when expecting.

Undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs should be avoided

When you are pregnant, you have a higher risk of getting bacterial food poisoning. It is possible that your reaction would have been more severe if you were not pregnant. The effects of food poisoning on infants are rare.

To prevent foodborne illness:

  • Fully cook all meats and poultry before eating. Use a meat thermometer to make sure.
  • Cook hot dogs and luncheon meats until they’re steaming hot — or avoid them completely. They can be sources of a rare but potentially serious foodborne illness known as a listeria infection.
  • Avoid refrigerated pates and meat spreads. Canned and shelf-stable versions, however, are OK.
  • Cook eggs until the egg yolks and whites are firm. Raw eggs can be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Avoid foods made with raw or partially cooked eggs, such as eggnog, raw batter, and freshly made or homemade hollandaise sauce, and Caesar salad dressing.

Don’t eat unpasteurized foods

Many low-fat dairy products, like skim milk, mozzarella cheese, and cottage cheese, might be beneficial to your diet. However, anything made with raw milk is forbidden. Foodborne sickness may result from these goods.

Unless they are clearly labeled as pasteurized or made with pasteurized milk, avoid soft cheeses like brie, feta and blue cheese. You should also avoid drinking juice that has not been pasteurized.

Don’t eat unwashed fruits and vegetables

All raw fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed to get rid of any dangerous bacteria. Steer clear of raw sprouts of any kind, including mung bean, alfalfa, clover, radish, and sprouts made from radish or radish. Ensure that sprouts are properly cooked.

Avoid excessive caffeine consumption

Although caffeine can pass the placenta, it is unclear how it will affect your unborn child. To be safe, your doctor may advise avoiding caffeine during pregnancy or limiting your intake to less than 200 milligrams (mg) per day.

For perspective, an 8-ounce (240-milliliters, or mL) cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine, an 8-ounce (240-mL) cup of brewed tea contains about 47 mg and a 12-ounce (360-mL) caffeinated cola contains about 33 mg.

Steer clear of herbal tea’s

Little information exists regarding the impact of certain herbs on unborn children. Therefore, refrain from consuming herbal tea unless your doctor approves of it, especially the kinds of herbal tea targeted specifically towards pregnant women.

Stay away from alcohol

There is no proven safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The best option is to completely avoid alcohol.

Analyze the dangers. Alcohol use increases the chance of stillbirth and miscarriage during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome, which can lead to facial abnormalities and intellectual incapacity, may also be brought on by alcohol consumption.

Consult your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about the alcohol you consumed before finding out you were pregnant or if you believe you need support to stop drinking.

Food poisoning can be dangerous for you and your baby

Food poisoning is a serious illness that can be very dangerous for pregnant women. In fact, food poisoning during pregnancy has been linked to several birth defects, stillbirths and infant mortality. If you have food poisoning during your pregnancy it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that your doctor can monitor the health of both you and your baby.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s especially important to avoid getting sick with food poisoning because you could pass the infection on to your baby if you become very ill during your pregnancy (or breastfeeding).

Types Of Food Poisoning

Pregnant women are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses for a few reasons. First, their immune systems are weaker than usual, making it harder for their bodies to fight off germs. Second, they tend to eat more often and have more contact with food, increasing the chances that they’ll come into contact with bacteria or other contaminants. Finally, pregnancy can change the way the body responds to food, making it more likely to develop an infection.

You can get food poisoning when you eat foods contaminated with:

  • Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Certain chemicals

There are many types of food poisoning. Some are more common, and more dangerous when you’re pregnant.

  • Listeriosis. This is caused by listeria bacteria. Listeria infection is 13 times more likely to affect pregnant women than other persons. It can be found in prepared foods like cold cuts and hot dogs. Additionally, dairy products, seafood, and poultry can also carry it, particularly if they haven’t been pasteurized. Even items that are chilled in the refrigerator can support its growth.
  • Toxoplasma. Toxoplasmosis is a common infection that is usually harmless. The chances of getting toxoplasmosis for the first time during pregnancy are thought to be very small. But if you get toxoplasmosis for the first time while you’re pregnant, or a few months before you conceive, there’s a small risk the infection could cause miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects, or problems after the baby is born – this is very rare You won’t usually develop any obvious symptoms yourself.
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli). Your digestive system normally contains this bacteria. However, certain kinds of E. coli in unpasteurized milk and fruit juices can get you sick if you consume them, along with infected fruits and vegetables, raw or undercooked meats, and several other foods.
  • Norovirus. This type of virus can cause an infection called gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is a serious infection that can be deadly, especially for young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. The symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Norovirus is most often found in contaminated food. You can also get it if you eat food that has come into contact with vomit or feces. To reduce the risk of infection, you should wash your hands thoroughly after handling any food that may be contaminated with Norovirus. If you think you may have been exposed to Norovirus, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Salmonella. Salmonellosis is brought on by this bacteria. You typically contract it via eating unpasteurized food, raw or undercooked meats, eggs, or poultry. You can also contract it if you consume food that has come into contact with salmonella-infected soil or animal waste.
  • Campylobacter. The main way you get it is by eating contaminated chicken or unpasteurized foods. It can also be spread through contact with animals, such as cows, pigs, and sheep.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning During Pregnancy

It can be tricky to know when food poisoning is to blame for your sickness. Sometimes, germs from food can make you sick right away. Other times, they hang around in your body for days or even weeks before you have symptoms.

Usually, it causes:

It can be tricky to know when food poisoning is to blame for your sickness. Sometimes, germs from food can make you sick right away. Other times, they hang around in your body for days or even weeks before you have symptoms.

Usually, it causes:

  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dehydration

Often, food poisoning can feel like the flu, because you might have fever, headache, and body aches along with your other things.

  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps

Often, food poisoning can feel like the flu, because you might have fever, headache, and body aches along with your other things.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately as food poisoning can be serious, especially for pregnant women. If you are pregnant and develop food poisoning, you may be at risk for dehydration, which can be dangerous for both you and your baby. Therefore, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

More on pregnancy foods:

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Eat Shrimp?

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Eat Hot Dogs?

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Eat Sushi?

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Eat Tuna?

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Eat Crab?

 

 

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