Is Ahi Tuna Safe During Pregnancy?

Albacore, yellowfin, and canned light tuna, which includes skipjack, are all classified as “excellent choices,” while bigeye tuna, often known as ahi, is on the “avoid” list.

How much tuna is deemed safe to consume while pregnant?

The risk from mercury is cumulative, and the mercury content of each fish varies.

In light of this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises pregnant women to take 8 to 12 ounces (225 to 340 grams) of fish and seafood each week, with a maximum of either of the following exceptions (26):

  • Light tuna or another low-mercury fish, like anchovies, cod, tilapia, or trout, in a 12-ounce (340-gram) can
  • Yellowfin, white, albacore, or other medium-mercury fish, including bluefish, halibut, mahi-mahi, tilefish, or snapper, in the amount of 4 ounces (112 grams).

Additionally, bigeye tuna and other high mercury species including swordfish, shark, marlin, orange roughy, king mackerel, and tilefish are strongly discouraged for expectant mothers to consume.

The intake of tuna while pregnant has also been advised by numerous international food bodies. Although the sort of tuna considered safe for consumption differs between countries, many are relatively comparable to the FDA guidelines (27).

Each country has different guidelines for how much tuna is safe to eat while pregnant. In the US, women are advised to consume no more than 4 ounces (112 grams) of yellowfin or albacore tuna or more than 12 ounces (340 grams) of canned light tuna per week.

Can Women Eat Tuna While Expecting? Are You Safe? Revised 2022

Over the years, recommendations for eating tuna have undergone a number of changes. I understand if you are completely perplexed about eating tuna while pregnant and concerned about out-of-date information.

You may be confident that this page will always reflect the most recent information on tuna consumption and pregnancy for women in most nations, including the USA, Europe, Canada, and Australia.

Women who are pregnant should consume two to three servings of different kinds of fish each week. If the tuna is low in mercury, such as in canned, light varieties, this can be included. Although less commonly, some tuna varieties are okay to eat during pregnancy.

Now you’re undoubtedly asking, “But how can I know how much mercury is in tuna?” and “Can I eat different types?”

The most important thing to keep in mind is that fish is a fantastic pregnancy meal choice. If you select options with lower mercury levels, this includes tuna. In addition to long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish is a good provider of vitamins and other vital elements for pregnant women (source: PubMed).

Can Women Eat Tuna While Pregnant?

Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), protein, vitamins, and minerals like iron are all present in whole fish. These nutrients are crucial for good fetal, infant, and childhood development and are especially important for parents who are expecting and for children. While canned tuna is lower in mercury than most fish and greater in minerals and Omega 3s, many health experts advise against eating it while pregnant. Individual tuna can have wildly different levels of mercury (even smaller ones). Find out more about fish’s exposure to mercury.

For children and pregnant women, a new kind of tinned tuna called Safe Catch Elite is available. The only company, Safe Catch, developed innovative technology to test every fish for mercury content. The tinned tuna from Safe Catch Elite is just as pure as wild salmon or sardines.

The Safe Catch Elite, a dependable partner of Healthy Child, Healthy World, is the only canned tuna on the market that satisfies Consumer Reports’ “Low Mercury” criterion for children and pregnant women (an Environmental Working Group company).

We also suggest Safe Catch since it is one of a very few number of companies that does not pre-cook processing, retaining all of the nutrients contained in whole tuna fish. Precook processing, which is used by conventional canned tuna brands, removes up to 80% of the Omega 3s from the fish before it is canned. Non-GMO, BPA, additive, dolphin-safe, and sustainably caught are all characteristics of Safe Catch.

Using the chart, part I

Fish are a fantastic choice for everyone because they are low in mercury and give protein, healthy fatty acids, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Everyone should heed this advise, which is meant primarily for women who may become pregnant, are already nursing, or have young children.

Utilize the chart to assist you in deciding which fish to feed your youngster or consume each week. It’s healthier for you and your child to consume a variety of fish rather than the same kind of fish repeatedly.

You should consume two to three servings of fish per week from the “Best Choices” category as an adult who is or may become pregnant, or who is nursing, as part of a balanced, healthy diet.

The “Good Choices” category of fish can be eaten in one serving per week, but no other fish can be consumed that week.

Fish listed under “Choices to Avoid” should not be consumed by anybody, even children under the care of parents or other adults. But moving forward, pick fish with lower mercury levels if you do consume or serve fish that is included under the “Choices to Avoid” category.

2. How did you select the fish that were included in each category?

There are various tuna varieties, including albacore, bigeye, and yellowfin. Due to their tendency to have greater mercury levels, some tuna species that are larger or live longer fall into various groups. Therefore, albacore (or white) tuna and yellowfin tuna are in the “Good Choices” category, bigeye tuna is in the “Choices to Avoid” category, and canned light tuna is in the “Best Choices” category. Additionally, the mercury concentration in fish from the same species taken in various geographical regions can range. Because tilefish in the Gulf of Mexico have higher mercury levels than those in the Atlantic Ocean, they are divided into two categories.

If a species of fish that you are looking for is not listed on the chart, such as mussels, it signifies that we lacked sufficient trustworthy mercury data to include it. If additional data become available and as resources allow, we want to update the webpage.

When I’m pregnant, can I eat seared ahi tuna?

Make sure the tuna is completely cooked. Tuna should never be consumed raw, smoked, or seared since it could become listeria-contaminated. Talk to a healthcare professional if you have any more queries or worries about consuming tuna while expecting.

Is it safe to eat tuna when expecting?

While eating tuna has many obvious advantages, because it may contain some mercury, it can be challenging to determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks for women who are pregnant. Despite the Cleveland Clinic’s advice to avoid eating any raw or undercooked fish or seafood owing to the possibility of contracting listeria, cooked fish shouldn’t be fully avoided.

In conclusion, eating tuna is safe as long as it is done so in moderation. According to Healthline, pregnant women shouldn’t consume more than 12 ounces of canned skipjack tuna or 4 ounces of albacore tuna each week. According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant parents are also advised to steer clear of tuna kinds including yellowfin, bluefin, and bigeye that have a reputation for having higher mercury levels.

According to What to Expect, eating seafood that is lower in mercury, like as cod, salmon, and crab, can also be a source of important nutrients. However, if your pregnancy cravings are for tuna salad, know that it will be safe for both you and the unborn child as long as you don’t overindulge.

How frequently is tuna safe to consume when expecting?

1. What distinguishes albacore (white) tuna from light tuna in cans?

Compared to the fish often used to make canned light tuna, albacore, or white tuna, is bigger and lives longer. In contrast, canned light tuna may contain a combination of different, mostly smaller tuna species, most frequently skipjack.

2. Due to how reasonably priced canned light tuna is, I consume a lot of it. Is this alright?

Yes. Two to three servings of canned light tuna per week are acceptable because it is one of the “Best Choices” options. We advise you to eat a range of fish. You might want to try some of the other reasonably priced fish in the “Best Choices” section, including frozen fish or fresh fish that is on sale, canned salmon or sardines, or frozen fish.

3. Although I eat a lot of tuna, albacore tuna is my favorite type. Is this alright?

White tuna, sometimes referred to as albacore tuna, typically has mercury levels three times higher than canned light tuna. You should only consume one serving of albacore tuna or any other seafood from the “Good Choices” category per week.

Is it safe to consume raw ahi when expecting?

Yes, but avoid sushi that uses raw fish. It is advised that you only eat fish and shellfish that has been cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees F while you are pregnant. This temperature kills any potentially dangerous parasites and pathogens in fish (other disease-causing organisms such as bacteria and viruses).

Due to the weakened state of your immune system during pregnancy, it is crucial to stay away from potentially harmful foods. You are more prone to food-borne diseases like listeriosis. Additionally, foodborne diseases during pregnancy can have a major detrimental impact on both you and your unborn child.

It should be noted that eating raw fish while pregnant is unsafe, even if it has previously been frozen. Frozen food can eliminate potentially dangerous parasites but not pathogens.

Ahi tuna is it raw?

If you only order seared tuna when you go out to dine because you’re afraid to make it yourself, fear no more. Fish searing is a pretty easy method. The quality of the fish is perhaps the most crucial factor. the best comes first, and the fish takes care of the rest. The ideal way to prepare ahi tuna, also known as yellow-fin, is to lightly sear the outside while leaving the interior soft and downright raw. You must begin with the absolute best, sushi-grade ahi since the fish should be raw rather than rare. Save this dish for another day if you can’t obtain high-quality ahi. Regarding nutrients, it is well known that tuna is a good source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, control blood pressure, and guard against heart disease.

You’ll appreciate the flavor of this Asian-inspired marinade, which is a tangy combination of soy sauce, sesame, lime, ginger, and garlic with citrus-spiked ponzu sauce. Prior to searing, the tuna can be marinated in the mixture for up to an hour (any longer would cause the fish protein to “cook” in the acidic components).

Mix the ponzu sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and mustard in a shallow plate. Add the tuna steaks to the ponzu mixture after seasoning them on both sides with salt and pepper. To coat both sides, turn (when marinating, cover the fish with plastic and refrigerate for up to 1 hour).

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. When the pan is heated, add the tuna steaks and fry for 30 to 45 seconds on each side, or until the outsides are seared and the centers are still raw.

Place the 1/4-inch thick tuna slices on a serving plate after slicing them crosswise. Add chopped green onions on top.

How nutritious is seared ahi tuna?

It could make you heart healthier. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in ahi tuna steaks and help lower cholesterol and enhance heart health. If you regularly consume highly processed meats like bacon or sausage, you might think about substituting ahi tuna fish for them for improved health.