Can I Eat Salmon While Pregnant?

Chef slicing sushi
Broil, bake or poach salmon fillets. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

You may have heard that contaminants make fish unsafe for consumption during pregnancy, but salmon is an exception. This oily fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote neurological and visual development for the baby and could lower your risk of pre-term delivery and pre-eclampsia, reports the American Pregnancy Association. Additionally, salmon is a healthy source of protein and B vitamins. As with all things, moderation is key. Limit yourself to two 6-ounce servings of salmon per week to meet the American Pregnancy Association guidelines.

Mercury Concerns

Some types of fish contain high levels of the metal mercury. Eaten to excess, mercury can cause fetal brain damage and may affect your baby's vision and hearing. Fortunately, salmon is on the list of fish with the lowest possible mercury levels and is safe for consumption during pregnancy, says the American Pregnancy Association.

Preparation

Although salmon is safe to eat during your pregnancy, you should avoid raw preparations, including sushi, because raw fish could contain parasites or harmful bacteria. Poach, broil or bake salmon fillets and serve with a side of brown rice and vegetables for a nutritious meal. Canned salmon is a less expensive option. Top a fresh salad with canned salmon or mix the fish with whole-grain bread crumbs and eggs to make a salmon burger.

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