UP the Fish Intake During Pregnancy
It is important during pregnancy to take care of yourself because, after all, you are growing a little person! That means: adequate sleep, ways to reduce daily stressors, an excellent fluid intake, a daily walk, and of course, attention to what and how much food you eat. It is very hard to get in all that you need if meals are skipped.
As pregnancy moves along, several nutrients are needed in higher amounts, including protein. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are going to release new advice for pregnant and breast feeding women, recommending MORE fish to be eaten each week. Here is the scoop:
Weekly Fish Recommendations during pregnancy and nursing: 6-8 ounces per week or 2-3 small servings per week of low--mercury fish.
Low-mercury fish: canned light tuna, salmon, tilapia, cod, shrimp, pollock, catfish, sardines, haddock, sole
AVOID these fish during pregnancy and breastfeeding – they are the highest in mercury content: shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.
An FDA assessment of fish consumption data found that 21% of pregnant women had not eaten any fish at all in the previous month. Of course, part of that could be because of a dislike of fish, but many women restrict fish completely because they think the mercury content is too high. But research shows that reasonable servings of low mercury fish is important for the growth and development of the fetus, babies and young children.
So think about including a few more fish meals each week. An additional tuna salad sandwich or white fish chowder at lunch is quick to pull together. Salmon cakes or shrimp on the grill are tasty and easy additions to dinnertime menus.