You might think you can’t eat shrimp because you’re not supposed to be eating things that come from the ocean because of their mercury levels. But does shrimp really contain any mercury the way that things like mackerel and swordfish can?
As it turns out, shrimp is OK to eat while you’re pregnant, as long as you do so in moderation. If you’re a seafood lover you’ll be happy to know that you can indulge in your shrimp craving, as well as crab, cod, salmon, and Tilapia, as long as you don’t overdo it, and keep your frequency down to a few times a week.
When you’re pregnant it can sometimes seem like everything delicious is off limits. That’s why it’s nice to see that you can still enjoy a nice shrimp dinner once a week while you’re pregnant. If you enjoy seafood in general you can also have one more night of the week devoted to seafood.
Can I Eat Shrimp While Pregnant? Answer: Yes, In Moderation
So while you do have the green light on eating shrimp, you want to be careful not to go too far with it and head to Red Lobster for the all you can eat shrimp plate. Red Lobster is fine, but make sure you stick to a portioned meal, and make sure that the meal you choose has shrimp that is cooked, not raw. Since shrimp don’t contain harmful amounts of mercury, they’re considered alright, but that is also why you don’t want to eat a lot of it, because it can start to have a cumulative effect.
Cook That Shrimp
What you don’t want to do is eat things like shrimp cocktail, that contain raw shrimp in them. Be sure you go with options like shrimp scampi, or coconut shrimp so you know they’re cooked through. Cooking shrimp all the way through makes sure that you kill off any bacteria that could be lurking on it. That’s why you should avoid eating sushi and other uncooked seafood while pregnant. You definitely want to avoid things like oysters and clams, especially if served raw.
Other Foods to Eat
Now that you’ve got that issue cleared up, you might be wondering which foods from the ocean you can eat and also ones to avoid. You can eat things like tuna, and even the kind that comes in a can or a pouch. A lot of people think that tuna has excessive levels of mercury in it, but it’s the sort of tuna that you would find on sashimi, not that you would get out of a can. It’s the big fish that tend to have the most mercury, and these king size tuna are not the kind that go into the canned variety, as they can be sold for more money due to their large size. That’s why you should avoid eating albacore tuna while you’re pregnant, as these are larger sized tuna but still sold in cans.
We’ve also stated that crab is OK to eat, so all of you crab lovers out there will be happy. But be sure to limit yourself to a serving a week, and group all of your seafood into one category so that you’re only having seafood twice a week. You should avoid smoked fish while you’re pregnant.
It’s good that you include fish as part of your weekly eating plan, because it is a good source of Omega 3s, which are good to take in while you’re pregnant. They’re also found in things like chia seeds or flax seeds, so you can fill in on the days when you don’t eat seafood to get a consistent supply.
You want to enjoy your pregnancy as much as possible, so try to focus on the things you can enjoy while you’re pregnant, and don’t focus on the things you need to avoid. It can sometimes feel limiting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of foods that are good for both you and your baby, and many that you might not have tried before. It can be a time when you are broadening your palette and learning to appreciate new foods, or rediscover foods that you don’t eat as much of any more.