Pregnancy means a new beginning, a new chapter in life, but also new challenges. Now, let’s be a little realistic. During pregnancy, a woman is cared for, guarded, and showered with love! Everyone around her tries to make her wish come true. And this is especially true for food cravings. Every person who has experienced pregnancy or has been close to a pregnant woman knows that suddenly they can get a craving for a variety of foods. These cravings range from vegetables and fruits to unhealthy snacks. But worried about the possible impact that the desired food may have on the baby, we often wonder if that particular food is healthy. There are many myths about eating fish during pregnancy. If you have ever wondered “Can I eat fish sticks while pregnant?”, this text will give you the answer to exactly that question.
A Couple of Answers to the Question – Can I Eat Fish Sticks While Pregnant?
Craving Fish Sticks While Pregnant – Can I Eat Fish Sticks While Pregnant?
Fish and fish products are often found on our table because they are rich in calcium, omega 3, phosphorus, etc. All these ingredients are very healthy for the human body. But there is also a controversial view that says that fish is also rich in mercury; an overdose of it can mean problems for the fetus of a pregnant woman. This is why many pregnant women who are craving fish sticks while pregnant, ask if they can eat them. The opinions of medical experts are very divided on this issue. Some of them say that fish and fish products should not be eaten at all during pregnancy. Others say that only those fish that are white in color should be eaten and their consumption should be rare.
That’s why we did a little more in-depth research on this topic. Our findings say that it is allowed to eat fish, but you have to make sure that it’s a fish with low levels of mercury and that you will consume it less often. The same goes for fish sticks. First, read their contents carefully. Then, make sure they are not made of fish that have high levels of mercury. And then, enjoy them (not very often that is)!
How Much Mercury is in Fish Sticks?
We started this topic briefly in the previous paragraph. To be able to defend yourself against high levels of mercury in fish, you need to know exactly which types of fish contain high amounts of mercury and which do not. Fish that contain very high levels of mercury and should not be eaten during pregnancy are swordfish, king mackerel, shark, and tilefish. These are the types of fish that women should avoid during pregnancy; also, these are the types of fish that all other people should eat in a certain amount and for a certain period of time.
But the real question is how much mercury is in fish sticks? In general, fish sticks and all other processed fish products are made from fish that have low levels of mercury. We need to remember that before we buy the pack of fish sticks, we need to read what they are made of and make sure that there are no fish in their composition that contain high levels of mercury (although it should not, better safe than sorry). So, we can conclude that fish sticks contain low levels of mercury. But that does not mean that the permissible intake of fish and fish products, which is 16 ounces per week, should be exceeded.
How Many Fish Sticks Can a Pregnant Woman Have?
Having said that eating fish and fish products that have low levels of mercury is good, and after saying how much mercury is in fish sticks, it is time to answer the question of how many fish sticks can a pregnant woman have? The American Heart Association made research in order to answer this question. Their findings indicate that a regular person should eat 3-ounce portions of fish or any seafood, per week. Now, given the fact that pregnant women literally eat for two, this association recommends that pregnant women consume from 8-12 ounces of fish which is low in mercury; this translates to 340 grams or two average meals.
The fish sticks are most often made of pollock which has low mercury levels. The only thing you need to do is make sure that while eating fish sticks you will not exceed the weekly limit of 12 ounces. To be sure of what we are talking about, as part of this research we conducted tests on 12 types of fish sticks. The results show that in 7 of those 12 species of fish sticks no measurable quantities of mercury were found; in the other 5 species of fish sticks low levels of mercury were found which in no case exceed the permissible limit of 2 parts per million, according to the EPA’s standard.
Mercury comes from coal-powered plants, ocean dumping, and some natural sources. Mercury is most often absorbed by aquatic animals; i.e., fish, and is what we call seafood. There is scientific evidence that the high levels of mercury we inject into our bodies, and especially into the bodies of unborn babies and children, can lead to brain damage, learning disabilities, and slow development. That is why it is said that we should all be careful when consuming fish and fish products. We should pay attention to the levels of mercury and the amount of seafood we take into our bodies. This is especially true for pregnant women.
Ever wondered if you can eat fish sticks while pregnant? The answer to your question is yes, pregnant women can eat fish sticks. As with almost any food, anything in normal amounts can be healthy for a woman and her unborn baby. However, anything above normal can have harmful consequences.