News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health & Wellness

FDA: Pregnant Women Should Eat More Fish


The Food and Drug Administration is issuing new recommendations about pregnant women and fish: Eat more of it. Most types are fine, save for a few. 

In this edition of Vital Signs, Dr. Sheri Puffer, an OB-GYN at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, says the new recommendations eliminate a source of concern for pregnant women.

From Dr. Puffer's interview...

On eating fish: The FDA recommends  pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers eat eight to 12 ounces a week of fish with low levels of mercury. Ex: Salmon, shrimp, pollock, tilapia, catfish, cod and tuna. Says Puffer: “Tuna’s a little bit tricky. You have to eat certain types of tuna. Not the white albacore. Eat the chunk light instead. It has less mercury.”

Stay away from tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.

Why we should eat fish: “It’s a low calorie food, which has great amounts of omega 3 fatty acids – really good for brain development – and it’s just a great source of nutritious vitamins and minerals. And it’s a good source of protein.”

If you don’t like fish: “Omega 3 fatty acids are being put into lots of things. Butters (spreads, margarine) have them…You can do supplements. That’s probably the best way. Nuts have a lot of omega 3 fatty acids as well. So you can a lot of those benefits, which are heart healthy benefits, from other foods as well.”

For more information:

Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know 

What You Need To Know about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish