Tuna may not be healthy for pregnant women after all, according to a recent consumer reports. Expectant mothers are now being told that they should skip eating the fish completely, adding yet another food on the list of things to avoid. However, many question just how damaging it can be considering the fish has been eaten by plenty of pregnant women in the past.
Those going through pregnancy are not the only people encouraged to avoid the fish, especially in the canned variety. The consumer report suggests that everyone should look at the amount they eat on a weekly basis and also suggests that people are eating much more than they should.
The problem is the amount of mercury in the canned tuna. The government has been accused of not sharing the true amount contained in the canned versions of the fish, making it dangerous for all. Pregnant women are the ones the researchers are most concerned about as high levels of mercury are damaging to unborn babies. High levels of the metal can affect the nervous system of the unborn baby, causing birth defects and future disability problems.
Shark, marlin and swordfish are on the list of fish to avoid during pregnancy due to the high mercury count. Until now, tuna has always been considered one fish that is safe to eat in moderation, but it may not be healthy for pregnant women after all. This is especially the case if the reports about the amount of mercury in canned options are true.
According to the report, those who weigh 150 pounds do not need more than one can of the fish on a weekly basis. However, it does depend on the type of the fish. Light versions are considered safer and more can be eaten each week. Yet for pregnant women, the light versions could be worth avoiding. While they have lower levels, there can be spikes according to the report. It may be best to avoid the fish completely.
The problem is that seafood like tuna is good for the health of the mother and the baby. There are omega-3 fatty acids, as well as proteins and other nutrients. It is important to get these into the diet in some way. There are other fishes that can be eaten instead, including salmon, cod and shrimp. While there is now a list of foods to avoid, there is not a comprehensive list of fish that can be eaten. The fish that is suggested should be limited to two or three portions a week according to the Food and Drug Administration.
It is difficult for expectant mothers. Food that was allowed and recommended just 20 years ago is now on the list of food to avoid. Staying up to date with information can be taxing and many wonder whether the danger is really there considering the foods have been consumed by so many in the past. Tuna is one that has always been recommended and now it appears that it may not be healthy for pregnant women after all.
By Alexandria Ingham