One of the most frequent queries from expectant mothers is “Can I eat tuna when I’m pregnant.” The quick response is yes. The more comprehensive response: Women should consume tuna throughout pregnancy and can eat a range of fish, including canned light and white tuna, while doing so. During pregnancy, avoiding seafood may result in a deficiency in essential nutrients like omega-3s.
Eating wisely during pregnant
It is commonly known that eating a lot of seafood is good for your heart. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that seafood has a wide range of other health advantages and is crucial for women who are expecting or nursing. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is abundant in seafood, is a crucial component of our brains and eyes, two organs that develop significantly during pregnancy and the first few years of a child’s life.1 Seafood is also a good source of vitamin D, the antioxidant selenium, and B vitamins, all of which are crucial for a developing child.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, all pregnant women should consume 8 to 12 ounces of food daily. of seafood each week2, although expecting mothers often consume less than 2 oz. a week, showing that the majority of women and children in America are deficient in these brain-boosting nutrients.3
What prevents expectant mothers from consuming enough of this crucial protein? While the nutritional advantages of seafood are well known, a recent study published in the Nutrition Journal found that many women receive conflicting advice about eating it due to worries about contaminants, such as methylmercury (mercury).4 For instance, an FDA and EPA advisory from 2004 suggested that pregnant and nursing women avoid some seafood and limit their intake of other types due to their methylmercury content and the potential for neurodevelopment. Unfortunately, this suggestion led to women consuming less or no fish at all.
A Quantitative Assessment of the Net Effects on Fetal Neurodevelopment from Eating Commercial Fish (As Measured by IQ and also by Early Age Verbal Development in Children) was published by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014. This study examined both the developmental consequences of methylmercury exposure and the cognitive gains children obtain when their moms consume a range of commercially available fish. Children of mothers who consumed 12 ounces or more showed cognitive gains. a week of seafood during their pregnancy. According to the study’s statistics, 12 ounces of food provided the greatest IQ benefits. a week eating seafood without experiencing any negative effects.3
These findings have been verified by additional study. An link between moderate seafood consumption (600g/week, or about 21 oz. or 4 servings) during pregnancy and cognitive development at age 5 was discovered in a recent Spanish research of more than 1500 mothers and children. The study covered every sort of seafood, including high-fat fish, shellfish, lean fish like canned tuna, and overall seafood consumption. Methylmercury was shown to be associated with seafood eating but did not appear to be neurotoxic.
Docosahexaenoic acid is an n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid. Is it necessary for the development of proper brain function? An overview of evidence from cognitive and behavioral tests in people and animals. (2005) 82(2): 281-295.
2 The 2015 edition of the American Dietary Guidelines. U.S. United States Department of Health and Human Services Ministry of Agriculture 2015 – 2020. 8th Edition. 2015 December.
3 FDA. A Quantitative Evaluation of the Net Effects of Eating Commercial Fish on Fetal Neurodevelopment (As Measured by IQ and also by Early Age Verbal Development in Children). Drug Enforcement Agency. 2014; Silver Spring, MD.
OK to consume STARKIST TUNA?
Hello moms! I used to eat the pouches of the starkist hickory smoked tuna on a whole wheat bagel before I was pregnant, and I’m currently approximately eight and a half weeks pregnant and have a need for some. I’ve had trouble eating because nothing tastes nice. I know that tuna is a wonderful source of protein and other necessary elements, therefore I’ve recently been craving some. But mercury is the problem; I’ve done my homework, and like most other things, I’m finding conflicting opinions. Some claim that eating is good, but not all the time. No more than 12 oz per week, according to some; severe risk, according to others. Can somebody from experience provide me with a more certain answer? Thank you, women
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.
How much tuna, and how frequently, should I eat while pregnant?
Depending on its location on the mercury table above, you can consume different amounts of tuna while you’re pregnant. You shouldn’t consume more food while pregnant than:
- 8 to 12 ounces (225 to 340 grams) of canned light, canned, fresh skipjack tuna or other fish or seafood every week. This is around two to three skipjack steaks, if fresh. This would only equal four ordinary cans of skipjack or light tuna if it were canned.
- You can also consume up to 6oz (170g) of fresh or canned albacore, as well as fresh or frozen yellowfin/ahi. This is equivalent to no more than 2 ordinary cans of albacore or roughly 1-2 servings of small fresh ahi/yellowfin/albacore steaks.
- The aforementioned totals can be combined, but not added to. For instance, you cannot add albacore to the maximum 4 cans of light tuna that you have. You could probably just eat one can of light tuna the rest of the week if you had a fresh yellowfin tuna steak.
- Any type of tuna with a higher mercury content is not advised to be consumed while pregnant. This is due to the fact that the mercury content of different fish can vary greatly depending on the location and size of the fish at the time of capture. Even though a single bluefin tuna steak is probably not dangerous, it’s advised to avoid them.
Tuna in a can
I am aware that pregnant women should generally avoid fish, but how harmful is canned tuna? I am 24 weeks pregnant and have only had it maybe 7 or 8 times, but I have been desiring it a lot lately. Just how awful is it?
White/albacore tuna should only be consumed in moderation due to its high mercury content. No more than once a month, according to my doctor. Since chunk light tuna has a very low mercury content, it can be consumed more regularly. Once or twice a week, according to my doctor, was fine. As low mercury fish is excellent for the baby’s brain development, she really advises eating it twice a week; however, avoid raw fish.
In fact, pregnant women should consume salmon once a week (serving size: about 6/8 oz). Outstanding omega-3s for infant brain development
I exclusively use the 2.6 oz starkist tuna pouches (chunk light only). I also occasionally use the ready-to-eat tuna salad pouches that are 3 oz in size, but some of those contain mayo and relish, so the actual volume is still closer to 2.6 oz.
This information is provided by American Pregnancy.org. They give a list of fish to stay away from and suggested serving amounts.
That’s okay. Of course, you shouldn’t eat it every day, but if you do, you’ll be alright. I’ve also eaten tuna a few times.
Avoid canned tuna if you’re pregnant.
June 5, 2006 — Because it’s unclear whether eating any canned tuna while pregnant poses a danger of mercury contamination to growing fetuses, Consumer Reports this week published recommendations advising against it.
The guidelines are more stringent than the guidance provided by the federal government two years ago. The FDA then encouraged women and small children to reduce their use of canned tuna due to contamination, but not to completely forego it.
However, according to the magazine’s experts, women should completely avoid the popular food item due to FDA research suggesting that some canned tuna may have higher levels of mercury than previously believed.
According to Urvashi Rangan, PhD, a toxicologist and senior scientist at Consumer Reports, “What we did was look more closely at the data.”
Is tuna in cans healthy during pregnancy?
As long as you limit your intake, eating albacore, yellowfin, and light tuna in canned form is safe and advantageous for both you and your unborn child if you enjoy eating tuna. Additionally, it is not advised to fully eliminate fish in order to avoid mercury pollution.
Can I consume two tuna cans while pregnant?
Eat no more than two 6-ounce tuna cans per week until the FDA suggests otherwise, she advises. She informs WebMD that other options, such as flounder, shrimp, catfish, and salmon are also okay to eat while pregnant. There truly is no limit on those fish because of the amount of mercury in them.
Which tuna brand is safe to eat 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.
Can I eat tuna when pregnant?
When used sparingly, it’s safe. According to Healthline, pregnant women shouldn’t consume more than 12 ounces of canned skipjack or 4 ounces of albacore tuna per week.
Is StarKist tuna good for you?
When tested, albacore tuna performed better than yellowfin or skipjack. Our group like this delicate, flaky tuna from StarKist the most. Our experts discovered big, flaky fish chunks inside the capsule.
The albacore from StarKist was delicious, vibrant, and salted just so. This particular type is extremely healthy because it has 17 grams of protein, 60% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin 12, and only 80 calories per packet. If you’re attempting to eat healthfully and would want to include a little extra fish in your diet, that’s pretty darn fantastic.
This fish, according to our testing team, is good enough to eat simple but would also go well in any lunchbox. The ideal place to begin is with this green salad with white beans and tuna.