Eating Sushi While Pregnant: Is It Safe?

woman eating sushi with chopsticks

Maki rolls, hand rolls, sashimi, and sushi are all nutritious and delicious. So that means it's okay to eat any of them while you're expecting, right? "In a nutshell, NO,"  says nutritionist Esther Blum, MS, RD.  

Here's why:

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"Eating raw sushi puts you at risk of exposure to parasites in your fish," explains Blum. "Although the chances of this happening are slim, why risk it? During pregnancy, your immune system is suppressed, which makes it that much for difficult to fight off foreign invaders like bacteria and parasites."

That said, there are some things you can order off the menu, if your partner still wants his sushi fix: "Vegetables, rice, noodles, and any other cooked fish entrees are okay to eat without risking exposure to parasites," Blum notes.

If you do go for cooked fish, you may want to be mindful of the type of fish you choose. The FDA recommends that pregnant women do not eat fish with potential for high mercury levels, such as swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and shark. However, you can eat up to 12 ounces (two average meals) a week of lower-mercury fish and shellfish, such as shrimp, salmon, and pollock.

Are you giving up on sushi while pregnant?

 

Image via Miki Yoshihito/Flickr

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