Should expectant mothers eat salmon? Absolutely! It is especially strongly advised because of its rich protein content, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins like zinc, iron, and vitamin D.
However, there are several precautions to take when consuming salmon while expecting.
- Why is salmon “bad” for pregnant women?
- So, is salmon safe to eat while pregnant or not?
- Can a pregnant woman eat cooked salmon?
- Which fish should pregnant women avoid eating?
Everything You Need to Know About Eating Salmon While Pregnant
Women who are expecting are frequently aware of the importance of including fish and oily fish in their diet.
The suggested serving sizes and other details on whether salmon can contain pollutants like mercury are not always evident, though.
Salmon is a healthy fish with a low mercury content that is a wise choice for pregnant women and is typically safe to consume. But in certain nations, pregnant women are advised to keep their intake to no more than two portions per week. When pregnant, it’s crucial to stay away from some salmon varieties, especially those that are raw or cured.
This page covers a variety of topics regarding salmon consumption that are relevant to expectant mothers, such as acceptable (or unsafe) salmon preparations, levels of mercury content, and salmon nutrition.
If you’re seeking for information especially about smoked salmon, you might be interested in this other guide.
Is there a maximum amount of fish I can consume when pregnant?
Fish is a great source of essential nutrients such omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, and selenium. White fish can be consumed without restriction, but it’s advisable to limit oily fish (such sardines, mackerel, and salmon) to no more than twice per week while you’re pregnant. Smoked salmon is safe to consume during pregnancy in the UK, therefore there is no need to avoid it.
Although tuna is no longer regarded as an oily fish, it should nevertheless only be consumed in two fresh steaks or four cans a week due to the possibility of mercury contamination.
As long as the shellfish has been cooked sufficiently, it is safe to eat. Enjoy the king prawn curry, but pass on the oysters for the time being.
- British smoked salmon (and whether it was first frozen)
- Sushi that is vegetarian, made with cooked fish, shellfish, or uncooked wild seafood that has been frozen
- if the shellfish are cooked through completely
- Seafood that is uncooked
- Tuna (no more than two steaks or four cans per week)
How much salmon is safe to consume while expecting?
Salmon is a safe food that offers good and crucial nutrients, but pregnant women should still limit their consumption due to the fish’s mercury content. Mercury levels may rise to levels that are dangerous for the growth of a fetus if consumed more frequently than twice per week. Babies who are exposed to excessive mercury during pregnancy may experience brain damage as well as hearing or visual issues.
Pregnant women should have “no more than two meals of oily fish a week, such as salmon,” according to the U.K.’s National Health Service, and they can consume eight to 12 ounces of mercury-free fish each week, according to the U.S. FDA. (That translates to two to three portions as the FDA considers a portion to be four ounces during pregnancy.)
Eight ounces should be divided into two pieces rather than one if consumed all at once. So that no bacteria may develop on the salmon while you preserve it, it should be consumed immediately after cooking rather than as leftovers.
All that’s left to do is enjoy now that you know everything there is to know. Happy eating!
Fish Benefits During Pregnancy
- Omega-3 fatty acids may lower the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering blood pressure and triglyceride levels. They are known to inhibit blood clot development and blood vessel irritation, according to research (1).
- A fatty acid omega-3 DHA is believed to lessen the negative effects of any stress you may encounter in your late pregnancy. (2).
- Fish is an excellent source of protein that supports fetal growth (3).
- Salmon and other fatty fish are excellent sources of omega-3s, which support the development of the developing baby’s brain. According to Brandon L. Reynolds, an adjunct professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Utah, (4) “Fish contains larger amounts of the lipids that are utilized in brain development. We are aware of a link between the development of the brain and these kinds of important fatty acids.”
To reap the nutritional benefits of fish, you should consume fish that has a low mercury content. The proper intake volume is also important.
Salmon Recipe for a Baby
Salmon is safe to eat during pregnancy, but you should stay away from raw fish preparations like sushi since they may contain parasites or dangerous pathogens. Salmon fillets can be grilled, baked, or poached. Brown rice and veggies should also be served as a side dish. Salmon in cans is a more affordable alternative. Add canned salmon to a fresh salad or make a salmon burger by combining the fish with whole-grain bread crumbs and eggs.
When expecting, is poached fish safe to eat?
1. Is it harmful to consume one dish of a mercury-rich fish?
No, eating one dish of a high-mercury fish has no adverse effects. However, consuming it frequently and in big amounts could be dangerous.
2. Is it possible to limit your intake of fish to Omega-3 pills only?
You can choose alternative food sources if you want to avoid seafood. However, before taking any supplements containing omega-3, see your physician.
3. Can you eat fish in the first trimester?
Fish consumption during early pregnancy was linked to higher cognitive test scores and less autism-spectrum symptoms in children, according to a study conducted in Spain between 2004 and 2008. (13).
4. Can too much fish during pregnancy be harmful?
Overeating any meal, including fish, is not advised during pregnancy. To enjoy the benefits and prevent any negative consequences, consume everything in moderation.
5. Is sushi safe to consume when pregnant?
Raw fish, which is found in sushi, is likely to have bacteria and parasites. This could make food poisoning more likely. Therefore, it is wise to stay away from sushi when pregnant.
If you enjoy eating fish, there’s no reason to give it up during pregnancy. It’s rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are good for prenatal growth. However, as not all fish is safe for expectant mothers, you should exercise caution when choosing which fish to eat while pregnant. It is advised to cook it properly and eat it in moderation to enjoy the taste and benefits. Fish can be eaten grilled, steamed, or poached, but raw and undercooked fish should be avoided.
Is it safe to have salmon regularly when expecting?
Even though omega-3 fatty acids are really great for the growth of a new person, it’s advisable to keep your seafood consumption during pregnancy to 8 to 12 ounces per week.
All fish contain some mercury, and too much mercury during pregnancy could be harmful to your unborn child. So choose fish that contains less mercury, including salmon.
The good news is that salmon is lower in mercury than many other species and is listed on the FDA’s “Best Choices” list for seafood that is safe to eat during pregnancy.
If you follow the 8-ounces-per-week recommendation, you can continue to consume salmon without having to be concerned about any negative effects.
Does pregnant women have to fully boil salmon?
Eating fish that is raw or undercooked, such as cold-smoked salmon, can result in a number of bacterial, viral, and parasite diseases.
Pregnant women, who are up to 18 times more likely than the general population to get Listeria, are particularly susceptible to this. Through the placenta, this illness can spread directly to a fetus (7, 8, 9).
Listeria monocytogenes bacteria are the source of this foodborne sickness. Although the sickness can have severe and even deadly adverse effects on unborn children, pregnant women themselves only have mild to moderate symptoms (7, 10).
Flu-like symptoms, fever, exhaustion, and muscular aches are a few indications of Listeria in pregnant women. If you experience these symptoms while pregnant and suspect that you may have Listeria, call your healthcare physician very away (8).
Avoiding raw or undercooked fish, such as cold-smoked salmon, as well as other sources such deli meats while pregnant will help lower your risk (12, 13, 14).
Even hot-smoked salmon should be heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) before consumption to ensure Listeria germs have been eliminated (11, 15).
Can a pregnant woman eat salmon that is medium-rare?
Although listeria poses a greater threat to pregnant women, parasites can occasionally result in problems. This means that sushi carries a little amount of risk. Fish that has been partially cooked, such as medium-rare salmon, is also a little dangerous, though not significantly so. Therefore, this is a matter of personal preference.
How should salmon be prepared while expecting?
- Set the oven’s temperature to 400.
- Put the salmon fillets on an oiled baking sheet or in a skillet that can go in the oven (cast iron works well).
- Salmon should be baked for 10 to 12 minutes, or until done.
- Before serving, generously squeeze some lemon juice on top.
How much salmon is safe to eat while expecting?
The majority of fish you’ll find in stores and restaurants are acceptable to consume when you’re pregnant at two to three servings (8 to 12 ounces) per week, despite the lengthy list of fish to limit during pregnancy. These consist of:
- untamed salmon
- Pacific perch
- canned tuna light
- Sea bass, black
get conflicting advice about eating salmon while pregnant? One of the best sources of DHA in nature is unquestionably salmon. However, choose wild salmon (which also includes more of those beneficial omega-3 fats) or organic farmed salmon to avoid the increased levels of PCBs frequently seen in farmed salmon.
Can pink salmon be eaten?
Keep an eye out for the salmon’s color to transition from a dark pink to a lighter shade while it is still cooking. The inside of a cooked salmon will be a translucent pink tint on the outside and an opaque pinkish white color on the inside.
Your fillet needs to cook longer if the outside is still dark pink. It is overcooked if the interior has turned a pale, opaque pink.
Can I eat raw salmon from the grocery store?
If you like sushi or sashimi, you are aware that it is created with raw fish of the highest quality for sushi. Some individuals are now wondering what exactly qualifies as “sushi-grade” fish and whether or not grocery store salmon may be consumed uncooked.
So I made the decision to do some research, and this is what I discovered:
Yes, salmon purchased from high-quality supermarket stores that has previously been frozen can be consumed raw. There isn’t a legal definition for “sushi grade.” Simply put, the grocery shop decides whether something is suitable for raw consumption. Fish can have parasites, therefore purchasing previously frozen salmon assures that any parasites have been eliminated.
After all, there are other varieties of salmon, including coho, sockeye, and Atlantic, that can be wild-caught, farm-raised, or both. And if you’re eating it raw, some can be better than others.
Therefore, we’ll discuss them all in this post along with the best ways to guarantee that the food you eat is both healthy and delicious.
Is fish that is a little undercooked okay?
Salmon is a popular raw ingredient in many cultural dishes since it is safer to consume raw than other animal proteins like pork (especially in Norway and Japan).
But it’s not completely risk-free. Salmon may be contaminated with several microorganisms and other pollutants. Salmonella and helminths are two of the most prevalent, although there are many others that can be found in the environment. Avoid eating raw salmon if your immune system is still growing or is already impaired.
Salmon can be eaten raw, but it should never be served undercooked. Additionally, stay away from salmon that has gone bad. You can tell if salmon has gone bad by its slimy texture, gray color, and its fishy or ammonia-like odor.
Consume your raw salmon within one to two days after storing it in the refrigerator in a sealed container. It can also be frozen for up to three months. Although it’s a common misconception that you should wash or rinse it before preparation, science doesn’t truly advise it.