different seafood in a platter on a table with ice placed in between.

Being pregnant comes with a lot of information, and sometimes it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. When it comes to seafood, there are many myths floating around that can leave expecting moms confused. Let’s dive in and debunk some of the most common ones!

Myth 1: All seafood is unsafe during pregnancy

Fact: Many types of seafood are safe and even beneficial to eat in moderation during pregnancy. Fish is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for your baby’s brain and eye development.

Myth 2: You shouldn’t eat any fish because of mercury

Truth: While it’s true that some fish contain mercury, the levels vary depending on the type of fish. Larger, predatory fish tend to have higher levels of mercury. Here are some safe, lower-mercury options to include in your pregnancy diet: shrimp, salmon, pollock, cod, tilapia, catfish, and sardines.

Myth 3: Eating shellfish can cause miscarriage

Truth: There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Shellfish can be a safe and healthy option for pregnant women, but it’s important to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly to avoid foodborne illness.

Myth 4: Fish oil supplements are superior to eating seafood during pregnancy

Fact: While fish oil supplements can be beneficial for providing omega-3 fatty acids, they do not offer the same range of nutrients as whole seafood. Eating a variety of fish and shellfish in moderation can provide a broader spectrum of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Myth 5: You can only eat cooked seafood

Truth: While raw fish can harbor bacteria and parasites that are harmful to pregnant women, some types of cooked seafood can also be risky. For example, commercially prepared sushi is generally safe because the fish is frozen to a temperature that kills parasites. However, it’s best to avoid homemade sushi or sushi made with raw fish that hasn’t been frozen properly.

nigerian fish peppersoup in a bowl on the table with a glass of water close to it with the fish cut into pieces

Seafood offers several important benefits for pregnant women due to its nutritional composition. some of these are:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout, contains Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). These fatty acids are essential for the development of the baby’s brain and eyes when pregnant.
  • Protein: Seafood is a high-quality source of protein, which is required for the baby’s growth and development, as well as the mother’s tissue repair and maintenance.
  • Iodine: Seafood is an excellent dietary supply of iodine, a mineral required for thyroid hormone production. Adequate iodine consumption throughout pregnancy is critical to the baby’s brain development and overall growth.
  • Vitamins and minerals: It contains several vitamins and minerals that are essential for pregnancy, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and selenium. These nutrients provide support
  • Low in saturated fat: It is a heart-healthy protein option for pregnant women due to its low saturated fat and cholesterol content, making it a healthier alternative to certain meat types.

Pregnant women can benefit from including seafood in their diet since it contains the necessary nutrients for the baby’s development. Choose low-mercury foods like salmon, shrimp, and trout, and avoid high-mercury fish like shark and swordfish. To lessen the risk of foodborne diseases, cook seafood properly, and incorporate a range of other nutritious items in your diet to support a healthy pregnancy. It is important to speak to your doctor for personalized advice on seafood consumption while pregnant.

If you’re concerned about seafood consumption during pregnancy, get onboard Hygeia HMO maternity plan talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you create a safe and healthy eating plan that meets your nutritional needs.

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