Can Pregnant Women Eat Sushi?
Pregnant women should pay more attention to what they eat during pregnancy and add the safest options to their diet during this period. Sushi is one of the foods that most pregnant women have question about eating this food during pregnancy. One of their top search question is: “Can pregnant women eat sushi?“
In this article on Hipregnancy, we will discuss the answer to this question and other important points related to consuming sushi during pregnancy. Keep reading to the end to know more about this topic.
Can you eat sushi when pregnant?
The short answer to this question is yes, but it depends on the type of fish that sushi is made with and cooking process.
Here are two top questions about the safety of eating sushi while pregnant: “Can you eat cooked sushi while pregnant?” and “Can you eat raw sushi while pregnant? Let’s continue to discuss the answers to these two questions.
You may have heard warnings about consuming sushi while pregnant, which made you worry about eating this kind of food. You should know that eating uncooked sushi during pregnancy is not recommended, because it may put you at risk of infections caused by bacteria. Also, some kinds of sushi are made with fish with high mercury levels and increase mercury exposure due to their high mercury levels.
The best way is to consult your health care provider before adding sushi to your diet while pregnant, but in general, it is safe to eat cooked sushi when pregnant or sushi that is made with fish had been frozen before adding to sushi. Sushi made with safe fish contains essential vitamins and nutrients, key factors for baby’s growth and development.
Also Read: Fish To Avoid When Pregnant
Safe and unsafe sushi for pregnant women
You may wonder: “What sushi can I eat while pregnant?” The following table shows safe and unsafe sushi for pregnancy to help you opt for the best one.
|Safe sushi||Unsafe sushi|
|Aoyagi (round clam)||Aji (horse mackerel)|
|Ebi (shrimp)||Kanpachi (very young yellowtail)|
|Akagai (ark shell)||Hamachi (young yellowtail)|
|Tobiko (flying fish egg)||Makjiki (blue marlin)|
|Hamaguri (clam)||Toro (bigeye, bluefin or yellowfin tuna)|
|Ika (squid)||Inada (very young yellowtail)|
|Anago (conger eel)||Shiro (albacore tuna)|
|Hamo (pike conger; sea eel)||Meji (young bigeye, bluefin, or yellowfin tuna)|
|Shako (mantis shrimp)||Buri (adult yellowtail)|
|Awabi (abalone)||Saba (mackerel)|
|Tai (sea bream)||Suzuki (sea bass)|
|Hatahata (sandfish)||Ahi (yellowfin tuna)|
|Ayu (sweetfish)||Maguro (bigeye, bluefin or yellowfin tuna)|
|Kani (crab)||Seigo (young sea bass|
|Kohada (gizzard shad)||Sawara (Spanish mackerel)|
|Masago (smelt egg)||Katsuo (bonito)|
Also Read: can i eat tuna while pregnant
Why should you avoid raw fish sushi during pregnancy?
If you consume sushi made with raw fish while pregnant, the following problems may happen to you and to your baby;
- According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should avoid raw fish sushi during pregnancy to prevent listeriosis infection, which can cause food poisoning while pregnant.
- Pregnant women should avoid consuming more than two portions of salmon per week, according to UK Food Standards Agency. Because much more than this amount can be harmful to unborn babies and increase the risk of contamination with dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls.
- Diarrhea, vomiting, stillbirth, and preterm labor are the health issues associated with consuming raw fish sushi when pregnant.
- Eating raw sushi while pregnant first trimester can increase the chance of miscarriage.
- Furthermore, babies born with listeriosis may have health issues related to their heart, kidneys, and brain or blood infections.
- Consuming raw fish sushi while pregnant increase the risk of worm infestation among pregnant women, leading to severe eye and brain disorders in the fetus. [2: news24]
Also Read: Can You Eat Shrimp When Pregnant?
How do I make sure the raw fish in my sushi is safe?
As we mentioned earlier, it is better to eat sushi containing cooked fish, but if you want to eat raw fish sushi ensure it has been frozen beforehand. Food safety regulations in the UK require shops and restaurants to freeze raw fish for sushi.
Raw fish must be frozen at minus 35 C for at least 15 H, or at minus 20 C for at least 24 H, before making sushi to become safe for eating during pregnancy. If the restaurants or shops follow this rule, any parasites that exist in raw fish will be killed.
If you want to eat sushi at restaurants, first try to choose reliable places and ask the staffs about the cooking process of sushi to make sure it has been frozen before serving raw. Another way is to choose restaurants with open kitchen that ensures your sushi is made safely, based on standards. [3: babycentre]
Is sushi rice ok if I’m pregnant?
Yes, it is safe to consume sushi rice while pregnant because it has no harmful ingredients. Sushi rice is made with rice, a little vinegar, salt, and sugar. So, as you see, it can’t be harm you and your growing baby.
It is recommended to eat sushi rice soon after it is freshly made. But if you want to buy or make sushi and eat it later, you must wrap it securely in the fridge. Remember that sushi rice must be cooled before being put in the fridge. Do not keep rice sushi in the fridge for a long time; eat it within a couple of days.
Can I Eat Homemade Sushi?
If you follow the rules there is no limitation for eating homemade sushi during pregnancy . If you want to make sushi at home, pay attention to its ingredients and cook fish well before serving sushi. Or if you want to use raw fish in your sushi, you should freeze it safely before making sushi.
In addition, it is better to consume freshly cooked sushi as soon as possible after making it and not keep it in the fridge for too many days. Try to add pregnancy-safe ingredients for filling and toppings to your sushi to make it safe to consume. [4: pregnancyfoodchecker]
Sushi is a popular food that pregnant women crave for eating during their pregnancy time. They usually ask their healthcare provider or search for this question: “Can pregnant women eat sushi?” Fortunately, the answer is yes. Still, it is better to consume cooked sushi during pregnancy.
Sushi made with high-mercury level fish, should be avoided because it can put you and your unborn baby at risk. It is better to consult your doctor before adding sushi to your diet because each pregnancy is unique and needs special care.
If there are any unanswered questions or missed points about sushi and pregnancy, share them with us via comment.
The Hipregnancy team is always here to help you!
1. Can I eat sushi while pregnant?
You can eat sushi in pregnancy if cooked and made with low-mercury fish. Consider that it is best to avoid eating raw sushi while pregnant as it can increase the chance of pregnancy complications.
2. Do Japanese eat sushi while pregnant?
Most Japanese continue eating sushi when they become pregnant, and believe that it is a part of a healthy pregnancy diet. Even Japanese pregnancy books recommend consuming sushi when pregnant.
3. Can I eat crab sushi while pregnant?
Eating sushi made with cooked crab is considered safe for pregnant women, but should be taken in moderation.