When Fish Is Good and When It Is not

FDA revisits guidelines on what fish to eat or avoid when pregnant and breastfeeding.

FDA revisits guidelines on what fish to eat or avoid when pregnant and breastfeeding.

We are surrounded by an enormous quantity of guides on what to eat and what to better avoid. Such a vast range of recommendations may at some point even irritate, especially considering the fact that they often seem overwhelming and impossible to fulfill. Still, it is always possible to make a rational choice regarding what to pay attention to. We believe that the new guidelines on fish consumption for such categories of people as pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as parents of young kids, may be interesting and useful to acknowledge.

It is known that fish is extremely rich with various kinds of elements that help to ensure children’s efficient growth and development. Also, fish is a good choice for those who pursue a healthy lifestyle and pay close attention to their diet. And, of course, scientific data regarding every product we can put in our mouths is closely studied, that results into more and more information about them, and often recommendations not only enlarge, but also change. This time, FDA and EPA have joined their efforts in order to revisit, further develop and bring to the public as detailed guide on fish as possible.

The expanded research has combined fish into three categories: ‘Best Choices’, ‘Good Choices’ and ‘Fish to Avoid’, with the last one getting a scale-raise.

It currently includes such fish as marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, king mackerel etc. The reason to not include those species into one’s diet lies in the high mercury levels they contain. The recommendations on correcting one state that pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least 2-3 servings of low-mercury level fish every week, and children should have 1-2 portions (with a serving being 4 ounces for an adult and 2 ounces for kids aged 4-7). Kids’ servings may be gradually augmented as they grow up.

Generally, there is no need to make much more efforts composing family menu, as, according to FDA research, about 90% of all fish consumed by Americans belong to the ‘best choices’ category. However, it would be good to pay a bit more attention to the fish caught by family members or friends. FDA says that in such a case it is necessary to consult fish advisories to determine the level of waters contamination the fish has been caught in is low. Some waters may not be monitored well enough; therefore mercury contamination level will be unknown. In that case it is better to either limit consumption to one serving per week or not to eat any fish at all. It is, of course, mandatory to avoid eating raw fish.

All the findings and updates have been included into a handy chart that can be easily reached when composing personal or family diet. Altogether with other measures that make what is called a healthy lifestyle, this info may be of much use to both aforementioned categories and people in general. After all, paying attention to one’s health is always better than not doing it.

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