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Is It Safe to Eat Sushi During Pregnancy?

Question:

Is it safe to eat sushi during pregnancy?


No, you shouldn't eat sushi or raw fish while pregnant -- or any other kinds of fish that are not fully cooked, for that matter.

The reason being, raw fish including sushi and sashimi, and undercooked fish and shellfish are more likely to contain parasites or bacteria than cooked fish. A parasite is an organism that lives off its host and steals nutrients at your expense. The more nutrients go to the parasite, the lesser are going to you and your baby, and at this stage your nutritional status is extra critical to you and your developing child's health. The fish most likely to be infested with parasites are cod, Pacific salmon, and Pacific rockfish, so never order sushi containing these fish.

Pregnant women are also advised against eating fish with potentially risky levels of methyl mercury, even if they're cooked. These include the swordfish, king mackerel, shark and tilefish (golden bass or golden snapper). Mercury can be transferred to the growing fetus and cause serious health problems.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that pregnant women limit their fish consumption to 12 ounces of a variety of cooked fish per week that are lower in mercury, such as canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish.



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