Can you eat gummy sharks when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat gummy sharks when pregnant, what are gummy sharks, what is the risk of eating gummy sharks, what are the effects of mercury when pregnant, and what fish you can and can’t eat when the pregnant and healthy option to add to your diet when pregnant. 

Can you eat gummy sharks when pregnant?

No, gummy sharks contain too much mercury and pregnant women are recommended to not eat fish high in mercury because it can be harmful to babies. Intake of high mercury fish is linked to damage to the developing brain in the human fetus. 

What are gummy sharks?

Also known as the Australian smoothhound, the gummy shark is a small to medium-sized shark. They live most commonly around the southern seas of Australia and are commonly baited and fished for cuisines. 

In Australia, the thick fillets of gummy sharks are commonly used for fish and chips 

Can I eat raw shark when pregnant?

No, you can’t eat raw sharks or any raw fish because you are at high risk of contracting listeriosis. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women avoid eating sushi or anything with raw fish. 

The risk of food poisoning with raw sharks is very high. Pregnant women are too susceptible to this type of food poisoning. Also, if you have high mercury fish raw you can ingest even more mercury than if you eat cooked fish. 

They are 20 times more susceptible to having worse side effects. The main side effects you can experience with a foodborne illness:

  • Blood or brain infections
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm labor
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever

What is the risk of eating gummy sharks when pregnant?

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in water, air, and food. Babies in the womb are more sensitive to the side effects of mercury, particularly during the first and second trimesters when all the neural development takes place.

Fish contains methylmercury that is found in the sediment of the oceans. They absorb by the tissues and through their digestive tracts as they feed. 

What are the effects of mercury when pregnant?

Mercury is a neurotoxin that is found in many fish. 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. 

Unborn babies are at higher risk to develop side effects because of mercury intoxication. There are not a lot of studies in the field but the effects of mercury in the brain of the unborn baby affect in the long run.

Development milestones like walking and talking may be delayed. Memory, language, and attention can also be affected. 

Previously, the FDA recommended pregnant women and women planning to get pregnant lower their intake of fish because of mercury. Now, they recommend consuming more low mercury fish because it contains vital nutrients such as omega 3, proteins, vitamins, and minerals essential for this stage of life. 

What type of fish can you 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. 

What type of fish you can’t eat when pregnant?

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 can I eat instead of gummy sharks?

Fish are a super nutritious source of protein. The recommendation is that when pregnant you should include 2 or 3 servings per week of the low mercury fish, for example, salmon or tilapia. 

Here are some ideas of safe fish you can have when pregnant. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat gummy sharks when pregnant, what are gummy sharks, what is the risk of eating gummy sharks, what are the effects of mercury when pregnant, and what fish you can and can’t eat when the pregnant and healthy options to add to your diet when pregnant. 

Citation 

https://www.thewomens.org.au/news/food-safety-for-pregnant-women-at-christmas#:~:text=Choose%20low%2Dmercury%20food%20and,are%20eaten%20in%20limited%20amounts.

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/staying-healthy/food-pantry/food-safety-for-consumers/food-safety-and-your-health/pregnancy

https://www.babycenter.com.au/x536398/is-it-safe-to-eat-seafood-and-fish-during-pregnancy

https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/methylmercury-and-human-embryonic-development

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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.