Can you eat gefilte fish when pregnant?

In the next article, we are going to answer the question if you can eat gefilte fish when pregnant. We are also going to talk about what is gefilte, the mercury level in fish, what fish to eat when pregnant and how to serve gefilte. Continue reading if you want to find out more about it!.

Can you eat gefilte when pregnant?

You may have asked yourself if you can eat gefilte fish when pregnant and the answer is yes, you can eat it. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid some types of fish because of the high quantity of mercury they can contain. 

It is safe to eat gefilte fish when pregnant, just remember to use fish that are listed below to be sure to include only low mercury fish. 

What is gefilte fish?

Gefilte fish is defined as balls or cakes of seasoned minced fish usually simmered in fish stock or baked in tomato sauce. It’s a singular British Jewish food. It’s fried for a lovely crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside bite. 

Gefilte comes from a Yiddish word that means stuffed fish. It’s usually made by mixing deboned fish and adding some filler ingredients like egg, bread, and vegetables and it is traditionally stuffed back into the skin of the fish. 

Why does mercury level in fish matter? 

Previously, the FDA recommended pregnant women and women that were planning to get pregnant lower their intake of fish because of mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin that is found in many fish. Now, they recommend consuming more fish because fish contain vital nutrients such as omega 3, proteins, vitamins, and minerals essential for this stage of life. 

What is the effect of mercury in pregnancy?

Mercury can be very harmful to a developing baby’s brain but it has been shown that in small quantities during pregnancy it doesn’t have a harmful effect or any problem. Mercury can damage parts of your body and baby, including the lung, kidney, and nervous system, including the brain causing hearing and vision problems. 

What type of fish should pregnant women avoid? 

Usually, pregnant women should avoid:

  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico 
  • Mackerel King
  • Marlin
  • Bigeye tuna
  • Orange roughy

To reduce the risk of eating mercury, do not eat any uncooked fish or raw seafood.

What type of fish can pregnant women eat?

Enjoy two 6-oz servings per week

  • Salmon
  • Anchovies
  • Catfish
  • Flounder
  • Tilapia
  • Canned tuna
  • Gefilte
  • Skate
  • Smelt
  • Squid (calamari)
  • Whitefish
  • Whiting
  • Sole

It is recommended to eat 8 to 12 ounces of low mercury fish. That amount is to be approx 2 to 3 servings per week of low mercury fish, according to the FDA. 

The following table was created by the NRDC as a guideline for how much tuna can be eaten by pregnant women or trying to conceive, based on their weight.

Weight in poundsWhite AlbacoreTuna
90 lbs1 can/2 week1 can/5 day
100 lbs1 can/2 week1 can/5 day
110 lbs1 can/12 days1 can/4 day
120 lbs1 can/11 days1 can/4 day
130 lbs1 can/ 10 days1 can/4 day
140 lbs1 can/10 days1 can/5 day
150 lbs1 can /9 days1 can/5 day

What are the benefits of eating fish when pregnant?

Fish provide key nutrients that support a child’s brain development. It provides key nutrients, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, iodine, choline, zinc, protein, vitamin b12, and selenium.

  • Support fetal growth
  • Excellent for baby’s brain
  • Boost and improves mom’s brain
  • Support mom’s heart
  • Reduce the risk of preterm 

Support fetal growth

It is an excellent source of protein that is crucial for a baby’s growth and development. 

Excellent for baby’s brain

It is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acid, it has been proven to boost baby’s brain development. 

Boost and improves mom’s brain

It helps to improve and boost mom’s brain and memory. It’s essential for moms’ and babies’ brains. 

Support mom’s heart

Omega 3 fatty acids are very important for heart health. It reduces the risk of cardiac disease and helps blood clotting to work well. Reduces levels of triglycerides. 

How to serve gefilte?

  • Popularly served with Chrain, the spicy mix of horseradish and beet
  • Served at room temperature
  • Great for picnics
  • Lunch boxes
  • Great finger food at parties

Follow this link for a recipe for gefilte fish. 

Other FAQs about Fish that you may be interested in.

Can you eat fish with scales

Can you eat fish with diarrhea

Can you eat eel with gout


In this article, we answered the question if you can eat gefilte fish when pregnant. We also talked about what gefilte fish is, the mercury level in fish, what fish to eat when pregnant and how to serve gefilte fish.

If you have any questions, please let me know. 


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