The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has recently drafted new guidelines, reassuring pregnant women and nursing mothers that they should include more seafood in their diets. This is because the health benefits far outweigh the risk of the mercury content.
The new suggestions advise eating 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week, which means 2 to 3 meals per week. The FDA also suggests that young children should also be eating fish 2 to 3 times per week in portions that are appropriate for their age.
Some important facts:
- Fish are loaded with the types of omega-3 fatty acids that are high in DHA, which is important in brain and eye development.
- The FDA suggests that women and children should consume fish low in mercury. These include canned light tuna, salmon, tilapia, catfish, cod, shrimp, and pollock.
- Four fish to avoid because of their high levels of mercury include shark, swordfish, tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, and king mackerel.
- Almost all fish contain trace amounts of mercury. Mercury in high amounts can harm the brain and nervous system.