Can You Eat Sushi While You Are Pregnant?
Ah, pregnancy: while being one of the most beautiful, miraculous stages in life a person can go through, it sure can cause a lot of stress and worry.
Carrying a child inside you for almost nine months is no easy task, and as if that wasn’t hard enough, there is so much to consider and plan for during this process.
It doesn’t help that so many people will be telling you conflicting facts, either: some mothers will swear by certain tips and tricks to consider while being pregnant, while others will dismiss these ideas, convinced that they could harm your baby.
With so many contradictory facts flying around, it can be hard to know what really is safe for you and your unborn child.
One of the biggest ‘facts’ that you will hear is that sushi should be one-hundred percent avoided during pregnancy.
If you’re a sushi-lover, this will have caused a decent amount of heartbreak. It does make sense, I suppose: a lot of sushi contains raw seafood, and that could potentially cause anyone to become unwell in rare circumstances, let alone your baby.
It’s a truly heartbreaking conclusion, realising that, along with the other foods and drinks on the seemingly endless list of things you’re banned from consuming for the next couple months, you also need to forget that sushi even exists.
But… is that the truth? Do you really need to avoid sushi during your pregnancy?
Keep reading, and we will help you figure out whether this genre of food really is harmful to your unborn child.
Let’s get straight into it.
Should All Sushi Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
Let’s start with the good news: the answer is ‘no’!
While others may tell you differently, you will not have to avoid sushi altogether during your pregnancy.
There are so many different types of sushi that can be enjoyed, and while, yes, there may be some kinds that you should avoid for the sake of your growing baby’s health, there are several others that are still available to you.
What Kind Of Sushi Can I Eat While Pregnant?
Sushi rolls that contain cooked fish, as well as the several vegetarian and vegan options, are completely and utterly safe for you to consume. Great news!
If you happen to be craving sushi with seafood, there are so many options for you to choose from, such as California rolls, unagi rolls, ebi rolls and spicy crab rolls – all made from cooked seafood rather than raw.
It is important to avoid raw seafood at all costs during your pregnancy. This is due to raw or smoked fish, meat, or shellfish possibly presenting the risk of listeria, a bacterial disease that can pass from mother to fetus.
If the disease contacts the unborn baby, it can result in preterm labor or pregnancy loss. It is simply not worth the overall risk.
There are also several types of vegetarian and vegan sushi rolls, which usually contain cucumber, avocados and mushrooms.
These are all delicious, and should satisfy your sushi cravings, even if you are a little disappointed that you will need to avoid smoked salmon and tuna for another couple months. Don’t worry: just focus on thinking about how great those sushi rolls will taste after waiting so long!
It is also worth noting that soy sauce can be safe to consume during pregnancy, but only in fairly small doses.
Wasabi, on the other hand, is not only safe to eat, but it has several health benefits: however, if you feel that it is making you feel nauseous or makes you physically vomit after consuming, you’re better off avoiding it for the remainder of your pregnancy.
How Often Can You Eat Sushi While Pregnant?
According to health professionals, the average, healthy person should eat no more than three sushi rolls a day: sushi is designed to share amongst a group of people, which is why it is usually served on a large platter, but only two or three of those should be consumed by each person.
These guidelines, however, are not for pregnant people. It is suggested that those carrying children should stick to no more than two six ounces of sushi a week, if the sushi contains cooked seafood such as shrimp, salmon, trout and crab.
These fish contain low levels of mercury, meaning that while they are safer to eat than some other kinds of fish, it is not recommended to eat a lot of them while you are pregnant.
Exposure to mercury while pregnant can cause damage to both you and your baby, so it is very important to avoid it if you can: even if you need a filling during your pregnancy, you will need to inform your doctor.
Mothers who are exposed to mercury during their pregnancies could end up with damaged lungs, kidneys and nervous system (e.g. your brain, spine, etc), and babies exposed to mercury in the womb could be born with hearing and vision problems, as well as brain damage.
As long as you limit your intake of food containing mercury, you and your child should be fine: just be sure to do your own research into which foods contain mercury, and whether they have high or low levels of it.
Also, you shouldn’t forget that there are types of vegetarian and vegan sushi rolls that will cause no problems at all for your pregnancy, and, if anything, will provide you and your baby with several nutritional benefits!
Rice and seaweed are filled with healthy sustenances, and of course, they taste great too. You don’t need to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy veggie alternatives, and more often than not, these alternatives are much healthier!
Although, you definitely should continue to eat fish throughout your pregnancy, as most fish is great for the development of your child. Just be sure to check the mercury levels, and make sure you eat in moderation.
So, To Conclude…
When it comes to vegetarian sushi, knock yourself out! But when it comes to eating rolls containing cooked fish, be sure to check the levels of mercury before consuming, as you don’t want to cause any harm to yourself or your baby.
Don’t forget that raw seafood should be avoided at all costs during your pregnancy!
While taking all this into consideration, go ahead and treat yourself to some veggie or cooked fish sushi. After all, you deserve it.
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