can you eat crab while pregnant ?- Seafood is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are beneficial to your heart. However, if you’re pregnant, you’ve certainly heard that certain varieties of sushi and seafood should be avoided. The good news is that most seafood, including crab and lobster, is safe to consume while pregnant. Not only is it safe, but eating seafood provides several health advantages for both you and your kid.
can you eat crab while pregnant ?
Crab can be included in a healthy pregnant diet. It may be eaten straight from the shell with a touch of lemon, put into pasta or salads, stacked on sandwiches, or prepared into crab cakes.
There are virtually few hazards to eating crab while pregnant as long as food safety precautions are followed and you don’t overindulge. Furthermore, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends eating seafood on a regular basis throughout pregnancy as a healthful, low-fat protein alternative.
Every pregnancy is unique. If you have any concerns about eating crab while pregnant, speak with a healthcare expert about your specific situation.
Is it safe for the baby?
As long as the crab is well cooked, it is safe for both the expecting parent and the infant. “Seafood is frequently consumed raw, and it may include germs that might make the mother sick and pass on to the baby,” says Sandra Arévalo, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Nyack, New York, and a national spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is why it is critical to consume completely cooked crab.
Another source of concern is the presence of pollutants. “The issue with seafood and fish in general is the quantity of mercury that it may contain, which may be detrimental for both mom and baby and cause genetic defects, among other difficulties,” Arévalo notes. Crab, on the other hand, is a low-mercury seafood alternative. As a result, mercury is not a concern with this sort of seafood.
The Advantages of Eating Crab While Pregnant
There are several compelling reasons to consume crab when pregnant, particularly for people who prefer this sort of seafood.
“I definitely encourage eating fish throughout pregnancy,” says Dr. Amy Valent, DO, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology (maternal-fetal medicine) at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.
In general, eating seafood while pregnant has several nutritional benefits, such as being a lean source of protein. Crab, in instance, is high in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and potassium.
The Advantages of Eating Seafood While Pregnant
Several studies have found that the advantages of consuming low-mercury seafood while pregnant outweigh the hazards. According to one research, women who consumed fewer omega-3 fatty acids from seafood had a greater risk of developing depression during pregnancy and postpartum. According to the findings of this study, pregnant women’s mental health may benefit from consuming seafood.
Another research questioned 805 mother-child couples how much fish they ate during pregnancy. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 of mothers who ate between one and three servings of fish per week while pregnant were examined. The youngsters had lower metabolic syndrome scores, indicating a lesser risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Eating fish while pregnant may help your baby to be smarter and more well-behaved. A study of over 12,000 women found that children born to mothers who ate more than two servings of fish per week outperformed children born to mothers who ate less fish on cognitive, behavior, and development assessments.
Another study found that 6-month-old newborns whose mothers had 2 or more servings of low-mercury fish weekly while pregnant performed better visually than kids whose moms did not. Pregnant women should consume 8 to 12 ounces of fish every week to reap all of the health advantages.
However, not all seafood is healthy to consume while pregnant. Here are some suggestions for avoiding certain types of fish and shellfish.
Seafood with a high mercury content. Some fish have high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to your baby’s growing neurological system. According to research, infants born to mothers who were exposed to mercury throughout their pregnancies may have impaired cognitive functioning. As a general rule, the more mercury a fish may carry, the larger and older it is. It is advised that you avoid the following when pregnant:
- Roughy orange
- The king mackerel
- Tuna bigeye
Mercury-free seafood includes the following:
- Tuna in a light can
- Oysters from the Pacific
You should consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore tuna each week.
Seafood that is raw or undercooked. Your immune system changes during pregnancy, leaving you and your baby more vulnerable to germs and parasites found in raw or undercooked seafood. These conditions can worsen during pregnancy and result in miscarriage or premature birth.
Some food borne infections, such as Listeria and Toxoplasma gondii, can infect your infant even if you are not sick. All seafood should be cooked to a temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. When fish is cooked properly, it is opaque and flakes readily. When cooked, shrimp, lobster, and scallops should be milky white. Cook clams, mussels, and oysters until their shells open. You should avoid the following:
- Oysters, raw
- Clams, raw
Refrigerated smoked fish should also be avoided unless it is canned, shelf-stable, or in a dish that has been cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This contains several foods with the following labels:
Seafood on the list of fish advisories Every state and territory in the United States provides a warning regarding fish captured in local waterways that may be polluted or tainted with mercury. These warnings indicate which fish are safe to consume. The warnings are based on the presence of five poisons in lakes, rivers, and coastal waters. These are some examples:
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) (PCBs)
- Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT) (DDT)
Consume a Variety of Seafood
Eating a variety of seafood helps to decrease your mercury exposure. Since the mid-1980s, the Seychelles Child Development Study has been following children in Seychelles, a country of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean. People in Seychelles consume an average of eight seafood meals each week, which is significantly more than the global average. They consume a broad range of seafood because they are an island nation.
Because many fish contain mercury, the study is attempting to assess whether eating so many fish has any negative consequences. So far, no indication of aberrant or delayed development has been found in the youngsters, many of whom are now adults.
Precautions for Safety
While eating low mercury fish and seafood, such as crab, while pregnant is recommended as a healthy element of a prenatal diet, there are many crucial safety considerations to take.
Consume it fully cooked
The secret to eating crab safely during pregnancy is to only eat it when it is fully cooked. Crab and other shellfish are sometimes cooked raw or rare, according to Arévalo. So, if you aren’t the one cooking, make sure the meat in your meal is properly cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
It should be sourced carefully
Some crab may be caught in places where water toxins are present, so pregnant women should keep track of where their seafood is coming from, says Dr. Valent. “The advantages of seafood should be stressed,” she argues. Crab, on the other hand, is a safe bet in most instances.
Also, be certain that the crab you consume (whether fresh or frozen) is not ruined. The meat should not have a fishy odor, be slimy, or appear otherwise “wrong.” Prior to cooking, the shells should not be fractured, and the cooked flesh should be white, opaque, and not mushy.
Limit How Much You Consume
According to Dr. Valent, as long as crab is well cooked, it is okay to consume 2 to 3 times per week, with a weekly limit of 12 ounces overall. She does, however, advise her patients to consume as much seafood as they can because of the nutritional benefits. “As providers, we’d be pleased if consumers got anything close to 12 ounces,” adds Valent.
Is it OK to eat imitation crab when pregnant?
Because imitation crab is cooked, it is typically safe to consume while pregnant. However, before consuming meals like sushi, it is critical to ask if there are any additional raw ingredients in them.
Pollock, egg whites, artificial flavoring, and sugar are all ingredients in imitation crab, which is often less costly than genuine crab.
While this combo tastes like crab, it is not as healthful as crab.
Imitation crab is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, which are particularly important during pregnancy. However, fake crab has the same number of calories and protein as real crab.
Considerations and risks
Consuming raw fish and shellfish can result in food poisoning since the germs Salmonella and Vibrio vulnificus are present. Food poisoning symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort.
In addition to the risks associated with raw food, people should exercise caution when cooking shellfish and crab.
When eating crab, fish, or other raw meat, it is critical to use safe food handling and preparation techniques.
Live crabs should be kept in well-ventilated containers, and fresh crab should be kept in a refrigerator at less than 40°F or well-packed in ice. Airtight storage containers should be used.
It is critical to maintain raw and cooked seafood on different cutting boards, plates, and utensils while cooking raw crab.
In addition to these dangers, mercury can be hazardous to a developing fetus. It can cause neurological issues as well as congenital defects.
As a result, avoiding high-mercury seafood is critical to the fetus’s health and safety.
Both crab and imitation crab are safe to eat during pregnancy when cooked. Another method people may protect themselves and the growing fetus from food poisoning threats is to practice cautious meal preparation and always properly prepare seafood.
Avoiding high-mercury seafood, such as shark and swordfish, is also critical to ensuring that a person’s growing infant is not harmed.