A pregnant woman can benefit greatly from fish in many ways. Ideally, you’ll eat low-mercury fish frequently while you’re pregnant. A tuna steak is a fantastic source of protein, essential fatty acids, and DHA, all of which will benefit your heart health and skin protection.
You simply can’t go wrong with how you prepare tuna, whether you bake, pan-fry, or grill it. The tuna should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, or until all of the flesh has changed color, started to brown, and the meat can be readily separated with a fork.
Be careful when selecting your cooking technique for tuna because many recipes call for only half cooked the fish, leaving the steak red in the middle. For the time being, you should only adhere to recipes that fully cook your tuna. Make sure your waitress knows you want it “well done” if you’re in a restaurant.
Food that hasn’t been fully cooked may include bacteria that are dangerous to a pregnant woman. The Colorado State University Extension recommends consuming tuna that has been cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit if you are pregnant. When pregnant, seared tuna that is frequently served rare in the centre may not be safe. If you’re cooking seared tuna at home, you can use a cooking thermometer to monitor the internal temperature, but you can’t be as sure if you’re cooking tuna from a restaurant, so go with another cooking method, such broiled or baked.
Seared or grilled tuna steak
Traditionally, tuna steaks are only lightly seared or blackened on the outside, not fully cooked. A tuna steak can be consumed when pregnant, but it must be thoroughly cooked to ensure safety. Some pointers are:
- Verify the species of the tuna steak because many fresh steaks come from larger species that may be on the list of fish with greater mercury levels (scroll up to find the table)
- Pregnant women are frequently advised to avoid eating raw seafood, including tuna steaks with uncooked centers. Cooking a tuna steak until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) can eliminate any bacteria. You’ll need a reliable food thermometer to measure this; see my picks here.
- If you reside in the UK, the NHS recommendations state that you may consume tuna steak that hasn’t fully cooked if the fish has first been frozen to destroy any potential parasites (source: NHS). If the steak is fresh, either freeze it for at least 4 hours before cooking it, or cook it thoroughly as described above.
- If you don’t want a fully cooked, dry tuna steak (and I wouldn’t blame you), use a lower-mercury fish like salmon that will still be juicy when grilled. Here is a link to my other article about salmon.
Overall, the advantages of eating seafood like tuna exceed the little danger of getting too much mercury while pregnant. You can consume tuna as part of a healthy pregnancy diet if you adhere to these rules.
- Put the ingredients, along with a little salt and pepper, in a container you can secure, then shake vigorously to produce the salad dressing.
- Place a reasonable amount of pepper and the sesame seeds on a big platter. Then make sure the tuna steaks are evenly coated by dipping them in.
- Over a medium heat, divide the oil between two big frying pans. Cook the tuna in two batches rather than cramming it all into the one huge pan if you have one.
- Depending on their thickness, grill the tuna steaks for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for a medium-rare result. (Eating partially cooked tuna while pregnant is safe as long as it has been refrigerated and completely defrosted beforehand2. Your tuna steaks can always be cooked longer. After being cooked, remove and reserve the tuna.
- After cooking the quinoa, rinse it with cold water and allow it cool completely. When it has cooled, combine it with the mango and spinach in a sizable serving bowl and season to taste.
- Distribute the salad among the four dishes (or four lunch boxes). Over each salad, place a slice of fish, then top with dressing.
Is it okay to eat tuna when expecting?
Yes, but when pregnant, try to cut back on your tuna intake. The same holds true if you’re attempting to conceive a child or are breastfeeding.
You should consume no more than the following each week, according to experts:
- four medium-sized tuna cans, each weighing 140g (5 oz) after being drained OR
- two steaks of fresh tuna (weighing about 170g, or 6oz, raw or 140g when cooked)
Therefore, if you enjoy both forms of tuna, you can consume a maximum of two cans and one steak every week.
These restrictions are necessary due to mercury in tuna, which won’t damage you but can affect your baby’s growing nervous system if consumed in excess.
Environmentally harmful substances like polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins have been found in tuna (PCBs). These may impede your baby’s development if consumed often over an extended period of time.
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It’s crucial to distinguish between canned and fresh tuna. Both are OK in moderation, but fresh tuna is considerably healthier for you and your infant. If you follow the aforementioned recommendations, fresh tuna is an oily fish that has a lot to offer in terms of nutrients.
It is a good source of critical omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for the growth of your baby’s brain and are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals.
When consumed in moderation, canned tuna is still healthy, although the canning process depletes it of more omega-3 fatty acids than fresh tuna. If you choose canned tuna, it will be best for you if it doesn’t have any salt added. To further minimize the salt content, you might also give the tuna a brief washing.
Other oily fish can have the same environmental contaminants as tuna. While you are pregnant, it is advised that you eat no more than two servings of any type of oily fish each week. You must also further restrict your intake of tuna that week if you’ve enjoyed some delectable salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, pilchards, anchovies, whitebait, or herring.