The other day I met a friend of mine who told me the wonderful news – that she is pregnant for the first time! After the initial euphoria, we both realized that there are many things that need to be studied to know what is right and what is not. We realized this while sitting in a restaurant and my friend got the urge to eat imitation crab. She started ordering, but suddenly stopped, turned to me, and asked “wait, can I eat imitation crab while pregnant?”. We were both left without an answer, so we decided to do some research and get an answer to the question that arose. We decided to share our answers with you, with all of you who may be bothered by the same question, and you cannot get a proper answer! So keep reading and get rid of your dilemma!
A Definite Answer to the Question “Can I Eat Imitation Crab While Pregnant?”
Can I Eat Imitation Crab and Does Imitation Crab Have Mercury?
To answer these questions we first need to define what imitation crab is actually made of. Imitation crab is actually a paste made from fish (usually pollock) and egg whites. These are the two basic components with which various spices are mixed. This mixture is cooked and crab legs are formed from it. So, does imitation crab have mercury? As mentioned earlier, imitation crab is usually made from pollock. This type of fish contains very small amounts of mercury; the maximum recommended dose of this fish is 12 ounces in a week. So imitation crab contains low levels of mercury which are completely permissible.
What you need to do to be sure of the food you eat is to read the composition of the imitation crab in detail. If it is made from another type of fish then you need to check the amount of mercury in that fish and therefore be guided whether you should consume that food or not. Imitation crab is usually cooked food, so it is actually safe for pregnant women to consume. In terms of nutritional value, imitation crab may taste very similar to real crab, but it contains much smaller amounts of omega 3. On the other hand, imitation crab contains a similar number of calories and proteins as real crab.
Is Imitation Crab Cooked and How It Is Made?
As we have already said, imitation crab contains ingredients that make it taste like real crab; in fact, there is either no crab at all or the quantities are very small and insignificant. The main ingredient is a fish called pollock. This fish is further mixed with surimi, water, starch, protein, sugar, sorbitol, vegetable oil, and salt. Various preservatives and additives are added to ensure that the quality of the food will be at a high level and that there will be no problem with premature spoilage. The mixture of these ingredients is then mixed together, cooked and the desired shapes are formed, i.e in the form of crab legs. The finished product is then vacuumed and pasteurized to kill possible bacteria and parasites.
So, is imitation crab cooked? – Yes! Well, most of the time. If imitation crab is pre-cooked, then pregnant women are free to consume this food. When cooked at the right temperature, all possible bacteria and parasites are destroyed; thus, the food is completely safe for both the pregnant woman and her unborn baby. That is why it is extremely important to read the contents of the imitation crab packaging to find out first what kind of fish it is made of (it must be from a fish that has low levels of mercury) and to read if that food is pre-cooked and pasteurized. There is always the option to cook an imitation crab yourself at home.
Can You Eat Imitation Crab Raw While Pregnant?
Now you are probably asking yourself the question can you eat imitation crab raw? The answer is that it is not recommended for pregnant women. In principle, imitation crab is a pre-cooked food that is then packaged and delivered to supermarkets. Pregnant women should not eat imitation crab that has never been cooked before; some fish naturally tend to develop parasites and bacteria that may not be very harmful to the average adult but can be harmful to a pregnant woman’s health and her unborn baby.
By cooking the fish at the right temperature, those bacteria and worms are destroyed; as such, they do not pose any health threat to those who want to consume it. That is why when it comes to pregnant women, it is recommended that the imitation crab be pre-cooked and not eaten directly from the package if it was not pre-cooked.
Some experts even recommend that the imitation crab be reheated to a suitable temperature before being consumed by a pregnant woman. This is to ensure that there are no negative residues of harmful parasites and bacteria. So remember, when you are pregnant you must be doubly careful. Once cooked imitation crab is a good thing, but twice-cooked imitation crab is an absolute certainty!
My friend suddenly asked herself the question can I eat imitation crab while pregnant? And we also suddenly decided to research this topic to get the answer we needed. Our conclusion is based on the conclusions of medical experts who say that imitation crab is a completely permissible food that pregnant women can consume. But, of course, two things need to be considered first. The first thing to do is to watch out for the fish from which the imitation crab is made; it is extremely important that the fish contains low levels of mercury. The second thing to pay attention to is that the imitation crab must be properly cooked. In no case should pregnant women consume it uncooked.
Now armed with this knowledge you will be ready for the next time you want to eat imitation crab. You will know the two basic rules that you must follow, and you will be able to freely enjoy your food.