Can I Eat Canned Mackerel When Pregnant?

When you grill fish for dinner, you’ll gain access to a nutritious source of vitamins, good fats, and vital protein. Additionally, that fish contains nutrients necessary for the growth and development of the brain and nervous system of your unborn child if you are pregnant or nursing.

However, you must pay attention to the type of fish you are eating. Because of the possibility of mercury poisoning, eating the incorrect kind of mackerel during pregnancy could be harmful to both you and your unborn child.

Yes, you can consume certain types of mackerel while pregnant. You can safely eat up to three servings of Atlantic or Pacific mackerel per week for the health of you and your unborn child.

The Scombridae family of fish, which includes mackerel, inhabits both temperate and tropical seas. Mackerel is well-liked in Japan and is used in sushi because of its robust, rich flavor.

The Spanish mackerel, one of the most popular varieties of mackerel, is a delicious fish that is caught off the southern coast of Florida. An abundant sport fish from the Californian coast is the Pacific mackerel. You can find Atlantic mackerel, the smallest and healthiest fish to eat, from Labrador to North Carolina.

Kingfish, also known as king mackerel, favor the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Western Atlantic Ocean. Due to potential contamination, kingfish, the largest species and one with an average weight of 10 pounds, should be avoided.

Eating fresh or canned oil-rich fish (e.g. kippers, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardine, pilchards, tuna) twice or three times a week can be encouraged as part of a healthy balanced diet, in pregnancy and for all the family.

How Much Should I Eat?

The Food and Drug Administration recognizes fish as beneficial to the health of pregnant women and young children. But it advises following the guidelines in accordance with consuming only certain species, due to the risk of mercury content in fish.

The recommendation is for women of childbearing age (16 to 49), especially expectant and nursing mothers, to consume two to three servings of fish per week from the list of “best choices.” There are two types of mackerel on this list: the Pacific and Atlantic varieties. Children over 2 years old are permitted to consume one to two servings of fish each week from this list.

A serving of fish is the amount that fits in the palm of your hand — about 3.5 to 4 ounces for adults and about 2 ounces for children 4 to 7 years of age.

Spanish mackerel is on the FDA “good choices” list, which only recommends one serving per week. Due to the potential for it to contain the highest level of mercury, king mackerel is listed as one of the “choices to avoid.” The FDA advises against eating king mackerel if a woman is pregnant, trying to conceive, or nursing a baby.

Swim Away From King Mackerel

Mercury not only occurs naturally in the environment, industrial pollution can be a contributing factor. Mercury accumulates in streams and oceans and is turned into methylmercury in the water. Fish absorb the methylmercury as they feed and it builds up in their flesh. Species of large predator fish that are closest to the top of the food chain, such as king mackerel, have the highest level of mercury.

Although eating most mackerel fish can be a healthy addition to your diet, avoid king mackerel. King mackerel contains high levels of the toxic mercury. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 75,000 babies are born every year with an increased risk of learning disabilities because of mercury exposure from their mothers.

Read more: Which Fish Contains the Least Amount of Mercury?

Negative Health Effects of Mercury

  • Problems with peripheral vision
  • Impaired sensation, especially on the hands, feet and mouth
  • Difficulty with coordination and walking
  • Impeded speech and hearing
  • Reduction in muscle strength :
  • Nutrition of Atlantic Mackerel in Pregnancy

    If you stick to Atlantic mackerel, you will benefit from a good protein source in addition to a wealth of micronutrients and omega-3s with a safe mercury level. Atlantic mackerel is rich in niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B12 and selenium. These nutrients are essential, particularly for pregnant mothers, as they contribute to healthy fetal, infant and childhood development.

    A review published in Nutrients in 2015 says the benefits of eating moderate amounts of fish during pregnancy outweigh any potential harmful effects to the neurodevelopment of infants. But the report emphasizes the importance of the type of fish consumed being low in mercury.

    Go Fish For Omega-3s

    Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for not only the health of the mother but for the early neurological and visual development of the baby, according to American Pregnancy Association.

    Two key omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, which work in unison. EPA maintains heart health, inflammatory response and the immune system, while DHA is important for the brain, eyes and nervous system. Omega-3s may also prevent preterm labor and delivery, lower the risk of preeclampsia and increase birth weight.

    All types of mackerel are fatty fish, which makes them a superior source of healthful polyunsaturated fats known as long-chain omega-3s. Just 3 ounces, or 85 grams, of cooked Atlantic mackerel contains 1,209 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

    In the first five years of life, preterm birth is a major cause of disability or death. A 2018 review examined the impact of polyunsaturated fatty acids as a dietary benefit in relation to healthy outcomes for babies and mothers because omega-3 in fish has been linked to longer pregnancies. Researchers discovered that women who received omega-3 had longer pregnancies, lower rates of preterm birth, lower rates of low birthweight, and possibly lower rates of perinatal death.

    Importance of Vitamin B12

    Atlantic mackerel is exceptionally high in vitamin B12, supplying 16.2 micrograms or 269 percent of your daily value. A study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2017, showed evidence that a deficiency in vitamin B12 during pregnancy is also associated with increased risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.

    If pregnant women or breastfeeding moms don’t get enough vitamin B12 in their diet, their babies may suffer from a deficiency. NIH warns that infants with a B12 deficiency may fail to thrive, have problems with movement and experience delays in typical developmental milestones.

    Read more: Symptoms of Low B12

    Riboflavin for Baby’s Development

    Atlantic mackerel contains 21 percent of the DV for riboflavin in a 3-ounce serving. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is an essential vitamin that helps your body produce energy which will be needed for delivering your baby. Riboflavin promotes your babys bone, muscle and nerve development as well as giving your baby the benefit of good vision and healthy skin.

    Some evidence suggests that women who dont get enough riboflavin may be at greater risk for preeclampsia, according to NIH.

    Phosphorus for Strong Bones

    In addition to building strong bones in you and your developing baby, phosphorus aids in muscle contractions, blood clotting, proper kidney function and nerve conduction. In addition, phosphorus helps maintain and repair tissue and cells. Atlantic mackerel is an excellent source of phosphorus, supplying 236 milligrams or 24 percent of the daily value.

    Selenium to Reduce Birth Complications

    A mini-review from the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences in 2016 reports that a deficiency of selenium during pregnancy can lead to complications, including spontaneous abortion, preeclampsia and low birth weight. Atlantic mackerel is a good source of selenium and a 3-ounce piece of fish provides 44 micrograms, or 63 percent of your recommended daily intake.

    Read more: List of Healthy Foods to Eat While Pregnant

    Can I Eat Canned Mackerel When Pregnant?

    For the past 15 years, Gordon Kerr has worked in the healthcare sector. He graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Vancouver with a diploma in Food and Nutritional Science. Gordon accepted the international position with CARICOM Regional Food and Nutrition in the Caribbean and relocated to Barbados because he is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and wants to help others benefit from proper nutrition and natural remedies. Gordon created diet plans to help manage medical conditions such as chronic nutrition-related diseases like diabetes and hypertension, in addition to educating the undernourished people in the area. Gord, who is now retired, lives in peace on a small island in the Gulf Islands of B. C.


    Can you eat canned fish when pregnant?

    Yes, because canned fish has a number of advantages, including long-term preservation, simple preparation, affordability, and accessibility. For pregnant women, a number of canned fishes prove to be more interesting options and may be consumed at will.

    Is mackerel fish safe during pregnancy?

    Pregnant women should steer clear of large, predatory, high-mercury fish, such as marlin, orange roughy, shark, king mackerel, swordfish, tilefish, and some varieties of tuna. Before eating any fish you’ve caught in nearby lakes, you should also check fish advisories for mercury levels.

    How many tins of mackerel can I eat a week pregnant?

    Because it also contains a lot of mercury, limit your consumption of tuna to no more than two fresh steaks or four medium cans per week. Eat no more than two portions of oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, herring, and pilchards) per week because they are contaminated.

    Can you eat mackerel when pregnant NHS?

    More than two portions of oily fish per week, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring, should be avoided when you’re pregnant because they may contain pollutants (toxins). Salmonella contamination exists in some raw or undercooked eggs, so you should steer clear of them.