FDA report tells pregnant women to eat more fish

By Marie Blake,

The FDA now says pregnant women and children should eat more fish that are low in mercury, as it can provide necessary nutrients for development.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the report with the Environmental Protection Agency involving the amount of seafood consumed by pregnant women.

The updated report states that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as young children, should eat more fish that are low in mercury.

The FDA previously provided a cap of 12 ounces of seafood to be consumed weekly, and have recently added a minim of 8 ounces, meaning all pregnant or breastfeeding women as well as young children should be consuming 2 to 3 servings of seafood a week.

"Seafood can be a great source of protein, iron and zinc, crucial nutrients for your baby's growth and development," Dr. Roger W. Harms, a pregnancy specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester said. "The omega-3 fatty acids in many fish can promote your baby's brain development."

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a more in depth look at the different types of seafood and how much mercury they contain.

For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, fish that have the least amount of mercury and are safe to eat include flounder, salmon, scallops, shrimp, tilapia and oysters. Fish with moderate amounts of mercury include halibut, lobster, snapper, cod and light tuna. Fish with high amounts of mercury include grouper and albacore and yellowfin tuna. Fish with the most amount of mercury and should be avoided include king mackerel, marlin, shark, swordfish and ahi tuna.

According to the Science World Report, consuming high levels of mercury can cause neurological development damage in infants and young children, and poisoning in adults. However, the FDA claims that there are more positives than negatives as long as the proper amount of fish is consumed.

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