Seafood Recommendations for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women and Young Children

The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) have issued new recommendations about eating seafood. The advice is specific for pregnant and breastfeeding women and caregivers of young children to help them make informed choices about fish and seafood.

Fish is a high-quality protein source and is rich in omega-3 fats. Americans, including pregnant women, are encouraged to eat 8–12 ounces of fish per week. The new guidelines categorize fish for safety and mercury content into three categories:

Best Choices—Eat 2–3 servings a week
Example: canned light tuna, salmon, cod, tilapia, shrimp

Good Choices—Eat 1 serving a week
Examples: halibut, snapper, grouper, tuna (yellowfin), albacore/white tuna, canned and fresh/frozen

Choices to Avoid—Highest mercury levels
Examples: King mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish (Gulf of Mexico), and tuna (bigeye)

To learn more about the recommendations, read Eating Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know, www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm393070.htm.

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