Can I eat shrimp while pregnant? To the dism ay of most pregn ant women, a long list of foods to eat is needed. And so, many pregnant women must have asked this question already. During pregnancy, the unborn child depends solely on its mother for nutrients needed for development. Whatever the mother takes in, so does the child. Because of the high mercury levels in certain kinds of seafood, something such as the seafood controversy has sprung up. So is it still okay for pregnant women to eat seafood such as shrimp?
Seafood is a great source of iron, protein and the omega-3 fatty acid that’s good for the heart and the baby’s brain development. There are even studies that suggest taking seafood off the diet during pregnancy will lead to poor verbal skills and other developmental problems of the child. However, there are certain kinds of fish and shellfish that cause harm and danger instead. Some of these seafood have high levels of mercury that are already potentially dangerous for the child. Too much mercury becomes a potential contributor to the underdevelopment of the baby’s nervous system.
The good thing is, shrimp contains little mercury and is considered safe to eat by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The FDA and EPA have declared shrimp as safe seafood for pregnant women as long as they consume within 12 ounces or 340 grams of it per week. As long as the shrimp is cooked well and the amount taken in is moderated, then there shouldn’t be any problem.
Cooking the shrimp well enough solves another probable problem for pregnant women. Undercooked shrimp may cause listeria. Listeria is a kind of bacterial infection that people may acquire from eating undercooked meat or seafood. This bacterial infection, like many other infections, can be more dangerous for pregnant women. So, to minimize a pregnant woman’s risk of listeria, the shrimp must be cooked until its meat becomes milky white.
All in all, as long as necessary precautions are considered, pregnant women can still enjoy eating shrimp. As long as the recommended amount or limit is followed, and as long as the shrimp is cooked well enough, then there shouldn’t be any problem. Starting with the basics in pregnancy nutrition, shrimp should not be taken off the diet list of pregnant women. After all, it is rather an essentially healthy part of it.