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Fish: How much and what type?

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Fish: How much and what type?

According to the American Heart Association, eating two servings of fatty fish (like salmon or sardines) once a week can help prevent heart attack or stroke. Fish is an important component of a healthy diet because it includes:

  • Protein
  • Healthy omega-3 fats (called DHA and EPA)
  • More vitamin B12 and vitamin D than any other type of food
  • Iron, which is important for infants, children, and pregnant women
  • Other minerals like selenium, zinc, and iodine

But, for women and young children, there’s a catch – some types of fish are unsafe to eat because of high mercury levels.

This past month, the US Food & Drug Administration Office of Women’s health shared helpful, easy to follow recommendations for how much fish you should be eating.

According to the FDA’s newly updated guidelines, women who might become pregnant or are pregnant  should consume between 2-3 servings of seafood per week, from choices that are lower in mercury. If you’re confused about what may constitute a single serving, use the size of your palm as a handy guide – the size should be about the same. The chart below can help you recognize which types of fish are safe to consume, based on their mercury levels:

Source: Advice About Eating Fish for Women Who Are or Might Become Pregnant, Breastfeeding Mothers, and Young Children. July 2019. www.fda.gov.