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Is it safe to eat seafood during pregnancy? Expert advice on types and amounts to consider

There is no need to avoid it unconditionally, the type and amount are important… avoid raw foods.

Entered 2024.01.01 08:14 Views 69 Entered 2024.01.01 08:14 Modified 2023.12.31 11:15 Views 69

Consuming seafood during pregnancy is not a problem if you pay attention to the type and amount.[사진=클립아트코리아]When you’re pregnant, what you’re most concerned about and need to pay attention to is what you eat. In particular, many pregnant women wonder if they can eat seafood. This is due to concerns that mercury accumulated in seafood may have a negative effect on the fetus. However, you don’t have to give up seafood completely just because you’re pregnant.

Citing expert opinions, HealthDay, an American health information media outlet, introduced that seafood is a good source of nutrients needed by the fetus, and that there is no problem if you eat it in appropriate amounts, avoid any types that may be dangerous, and cook it properly.

Good source of nutrients such as omega-3

Seafood helps replenish various nutrients that may be lacking during pregnancy and promotes healthy development of the fetus. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eating fish can provide a variety of nutrients, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, iron, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and zinc.

Omega-3 fatty acids are especially noteworthy. According to a study published in the medical journal eBIOMedicine, the omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docoin during the first (1 to 13 weeks) and second (14 to 27 weeks) trimester of pregnancy. It was found that pregnant women with low levels of sahexaenoic acid (DHA) were 10 times more likely to give birth prematurely than those with high levels. There is also a study conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) that found that children of mothers who ate fish 1 to 3 times a week during pregnancy had better metabolic health indicators such as waist circumference, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to support fetal brain and visual development, reduce inflammation, and help with cardiovascular health.

The FDA lists anchovies, mackerel and croaker caught in the Atlantic Ocean, cod, herring, pollack, salmon, shrimp, squid, flounder, rockfish, sea bream, and mackerel as seafood that are safe to eat during pregnancy. Choose an appropriate amount of these, but eat too much at once. It is recommended not to eat or eat often.

Some fish may contain high levels of mercury, so it is best to avoid them altogether. Generally, large seafood can accumulate a lot of mercury, so avoid eating shark, flatfish, marlin, or swordfish. Eating shellfish itself is not a problem, but careful caution is required as some toxins can cause food poisoning and allergic reactions. You should also not eat seafood or seaweed produced in areas with high levels of contaminants that may have biological effects.

Even if you want to eat it, say ‘No’ to raw fish, you have to wash it well and cook it before eating it.

During pregnancy, avoid eating raw fish no matter how much you want to eat it. The FDA classifies sushi, raw fish, ceviche, and raw oysters as foods that pregnant women should avoid on the grounds that they may contain parasites and bacteria such as Listeria, which causes serious food poisoning. If you have food poisoning, you need to be even more careful because you cannot take any medicine during pregnancy.

The Mayo Clinic introduced that as a way to check if the fish is fully cooked, the outer surface should be opaque and the skin should be peeled off. Scallops, shrimp, and lobsters should be cooked until they are milky white, and clams should be cooked until their shells are completely open. In fact, even if it is not raw fish, it is better not to eat raw food of any kind for similar reasons.

A balanced diet is important… Just a little caffeine

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency emphasized that a balanced diet and physical activity are important for the health of the mother and the growth of the fetus during pregnancy. It is recommended to consume protein every day through meat, fish, eggs, and beans to prevent anemia and support fetal development, and to eat vegetables and fruits every day to consume fiber to prevent constipation and vitamins and minerals necessary for body metabolism. To help the fetus form bones and teeth, it is recommended to drink at least 3 cups of milk every day and eat cheese or anchovies frequently.

To avoid pregnancy-related high blood pressure, avoid foods that are too salty and reduce the intake of beverages containing caffeine such as coffee, cola, and chocolate. Caffeine is known to interfere with the absorption of nutrients such as calcium and iron. Alcohol consumption is of course prohibited as it increases the chance of miscarriage and can affect fetal development.

Reporter Kim Geun-jeong

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2023-12-31 23:15:24

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