Recent recommendations on food consumption tell us that some types of fish are high in mercury because of the pollution of our oceans, so their consumption should be done sparingly, especially in babies, children and pregnant women.
Fish absorb methyl mercury from the water in which they swim and from the food they eat (other fish, algae, etc.). Methyl mercury attaches to your muscles and remains there even after you have cooked the fish. This is so that almost all fish and shellfish contain some mercury, but large fish accumulate a larger amount because they eat other smaller fish which in turn have previously absorbed mercury.
However, we know that fish has a high content of very important nutrients like omega-3s, B vitamins and lean proteins. In addition, several studies have shown that consuming sufficient omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and childhood has a positive effect on the cognitive development of the brain and the sight of the fetus and subsequently the child.
The Food and Drug Agency (FDA) has issued guidelines for children and pregnant women about the classification of fish according to their mercury content. This list can help you limit the consumption of mercury in your diet or your baby, without giving up the benefits of omega 3 that gives us the fish.
High mercury content:
- White needle
- Perch (Sea)
- Mackerel (real)
- Sea bass
- Tuna (canned, white albacore) See information on tuna below
- Sea trout
Average content in mercury
- Crab (blue and white)
- Perch (fresh water)
- Tuna (canned, lightly sliced)
Low mercury content
- Caviar (cultivated)
- Spider crab
- Sturgeon (cultivated)
- Trout (freshwater)
What about canned tuna? Can i eat Tuna while pregnant?
The Food and Drug Administration recommends that children eat no more than two child-sized servings per week of canned tuna (when it is light tuna) and no more than one serving a week of sliced tuna or albacore. This is because albacore is a larger fish that tends to accumulate higher mercury content.
However, although light tuna is not a good source of omega-3, white tuna is, and both have high nutritional value. So it is worth offering it to your children from time to time, especially if it is the only fish they eat.