Can I Eat Fish When I’m Pregnant?

I get asked almost every day if fish is safe to eat in pregnancy. Fish is not only safe to eat but we should eat more whether we are pregnant or not!

Why is fish healthy and why should we eat more? Fish provides something called omega-3 fatty acids. Our body cannot make omega-3 fatty acid on its own so we must get it from our food. This type of fatty acid is extremely important in developing the brain and eyes in your unborn baby. Fish is the best and most abundant source, it is low in saturated fats, and is high in protein.

There are, however, a few types of fish that we should limit to one serving per week particularly in pregnancy. This is because some fish have a higher mercury content than others. High levels of mercury in our bodies can lead to a build-up of harmful toxins that can increase the risk of neurological damage to your unborn baby. These types of fish include Shark, Swordfish, Albacore tuna, King Mackerel, and Tilefish.

What kind of fish can I eat when I’m pregnant? Any white fish is safe in pregnancy as well as canned light Tuna, Salmon, Halibut, or Tilapia.

Whether we are pregnant or not we should understand that by eating raw or undercooked meat, fish or eggs we are at risk for food poisoning. In order to decrease this risk meats should be cooked thoroughly. Sushi lovers can still partake but make sure your restaurant is reputable.

Which fish are highest in omega-3 fatty acids? Try Anchovies, Sardines, Trout, Salmon and Atlantic Herring. If fish is not your favorite item on the menu, try walnuts, grape seed oil and food items fortified with omega-3 fatty acids such as eggs.

Try this basting sauce on some salmon next time you warm up the grill. Add some steamed asparagus or your favorite green vegetable and some orzo for a complete meal.

Honey-Balsamic Grilled Salmon

1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste
2 6-ounce salmon fillets

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Brush fish with mixture. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serves 2.

Nutritional Information:

Calories 256
Fat 10.7 grams
Protein 24.2 grams
Carbohydrates 14.1 gram