The FDA has published a one-page guide advising women of the benefits of eating fish during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. They have found that mothers are not consuming nearly enough fish or seafood for both their own and their baby’s health. Unless the mom is deathly allergic to the fruits of the sea, the FDA highly recommends adding more fish into moms’ everyday diets.
Regardless of your physical condition (except allergies, of course), fish and shellfish are essential to a balanced diet. There are many nutrients that can only be found in these creatures of the water, so more people should regularly consume them. Many avoid fish because they don’t like the taste, but the benefits they give can outweigh flavour preferences. With a little cooking practice and recipe ideas on Pinterest, one can add fish as a staple to their diet and reap all the nutritional benefits that come with it.
Today, #FDA revised our advice to make clearer the potential health benefits of consuming fish. It highlights nutrients found in fish - several that have important roles in growth/development during pregnancy & early childhood: https://t.co/7irV3tcmuT pic.twitter.com/rhj9enYw0o— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) July 2, 2019
The FDA has found that women in the US are consuming far less fish than the recommended amount. Fish are rich in macro- and micronutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fats, and these are essential both the baby's and the mom’s cardiovascular health. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans outlines that women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should consume eight to 12 ounces of seafood per week. In the previous month, 20% of pregnant women in the country have not consumed any seafood at all, and those who have eaten fish only consume less than two ounces on average.
Authorities have discovered that part of this cut back on seafood has been prompted by reports of the level of mercury found in some. The only fish the FDA recommends we avoid are king mackerel, shark, and swordfish, as these have been found to contain high levels of mercury. Other than that, fish and seafood are safe to eat, and the FDA recommends more consumption of it.
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Figuring out a diet while pregnant or breastfeeding is enough of a task in of itself. With changing tastes and so many recommended diets, women can be overwhelmed with the amount of information they receive. Following the FDA’s guidelines can be a good first step in planning out the best diet for you, especially since they have simple online guides that are publicly available.