during pregnancy

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy, Answered

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Can pregnant women eat sushi and raw fish?

pregnant

Image: iStock / diignat

Should you give up your occasional sushi dinner while pregnant or not? It’s a big question for expecting women who love their sashimi. Check with your doctor about what you can and cannot eat, in general. The NHS states that it is usually safe to eat dishes with raw fish, including sushi, during pregnancy. But, it depends on the type of fish and whether or not it has been frozen. For instance, the NHS recommends avoiding shark, marlin, and swordfish, along with raw shellfish. The fish contain high levels of mercury and that could negatively impact the baby’s nervous system development. Tuna should be limited because of the same reasons. Pregnant women shouldn’t have more than two portions of oily fish (herring, sardines, salmon, etc.) per a week. Some raw fish, like salmon, can contain parasitic worms (i.e. anisakis) and they can cause health problems. Depending on how the fish were raised, freezing can kill the worms and make it safe to eat.

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