Can you eat Alaska pollock when pregnant? (3 Things to Know)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you eat Alaska pollock when pregnant? We will discuss how to prepare and eat Alaska pollock and its health benefits. We will also discuss some species of fish apt for when pregnant and to avoid.

Can you eat Alaskan pollock when pregnant?

You can eat Alaskan Pollock when pregnant if you cook them thoroughly.

Alaskan pollock is a lean fish, thus a good source of protein. Alaskan pollock has vitamin B, vitamin D, and a small quantity of omega-3 fatty acids. It also has phosphorus and Selenium as vital minerals. 

Alaskan pollock is found in many fish sandwiches including, Arby’s Fish Sandwich, Birds Eye Fish Fingers, and the McDonald’s Filet O Fish.

All species of pollock fish are safe to eat during pregnancy. Pollock has a low level of mercury which means it is safe to eat whether it is wild. The FDA-approved commercial pollock was found to have 0.031 ppm (parts per million) of mercury.

How to eat Alaskan pollock during pregnancy?

A pregnant woman can eat 8 – 12 oz of Alaskan fish per week. You can eat 2-3 servings of Alaskan fish per week.

The pollock fish is eaten deep-fried, which reduces its nutritional value. The best way to prepare Alaskan pollock is to bake, broil or poach and serve alongside sauces, marinades, or seasonings.

You could also make a Spanish-style Mediterranean sauce serves with smashed olive oil potatoes.

When you buy Alaskan fish, do not buy heavily breaded ones. Cook the Alaskan pollock to an internal temperature of 145F or 63C. Alaskan pollock cooks within a few minutes and gets opaque and flaky. Use a food thermometer or cut open the internal parts of the fish to check for doneness. 

What is Alaskan pollock?

Alaskan pollock is usually referred to as pollock. Alaskan pollock makes it to one of the five most eaten fish in the US. The Alaskan pollock is caught in the wild, and there is not substantial commercial aquaculture for them.

In addition, the harvesting and catching of Alaskan Pollock are sustainable and compliant with US regulations.

Alaskan pollock is from the family of codfish. Alaskan pollock is as long as 3 feet and have speckled colors. 

Alaskan pollock is found in the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. Alaska pollock is a versatile fish; sold as fresh and frozen fillets, fish sticks, and other breaded and battered fish products.

Alaskan pollock also contributes to surimi and is used as imitation crabs, shrimp, and scallop meat. 

What species of fish can you eat and need to avoid?

All species of pollock are considered to have low levels of mercury and are a lean source of protein. Depending on where you live, you can eat the pollock that is available to you. Alaskan pollock and Atlantic pollock from Europe and the US are safe to be consumed during pregnancy. 

The nutritional value in fish and shellfish aids growth and development, including protein, iron, and zinc. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid, speed up a baby’s brain development. 

The kind of seafood that needs to be avoided is the one that is prone to the accumulation of high levels of mercury. Large fish such as sharks, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish have high levels of mercury that enter the bloodstream and hinders a baby’s development of the brain and nervous system. Some smaller fish you must limit include white (albacore) tuna and tuna steaks.

The fish well-suited to a pregnant mother’s diet are salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, and freshwater trout; they are low in mercury and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some other species of fish that are safe include Shrimp, Tilapia, Cod, and Catfish.

A few other words of caution regarding seafood consumption while pregnant are;

  • You must not eat uncooked fish and shellfish. Raw seafood has viruses, bacteria, and even parasites that can make you sick and cause harm to the baby. Do not eat uncooked shellfish, such as oysters and fish that include; sushi, sashimi, nova style, lox, kippered, smoked, or jerky.
  • Keep track of the source and the information by local fish advisories. If they fail to educate you about the fish, avoid fish from local bodies or keep it under 6 ounces.
  • Cook seafood to doneness. You can use a food thermometer to check if the temperature reaches 63 Celsius. Lobster and shrimps change their texture and color to opaque, while shellfish usually open their shells when cooked.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you eat Alaska pollock when pregnant? We discussed how to prepare and eat Alaska pollock and its health benefits. We also discussed some species of fish apt for when pregnant and to avoid.

Citations

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-fish/art-20044185
https://www.seafoodhealthfacts.org/seafood-choices/description-top-commercial-seafood-items/alaska-pollock

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.