Can you eat halibut when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer, can you eat halibut when pregnant, what is halibut, can you eat raw or fried halibut, what are the effects of high mercury fish in my diet, and some recipes so you can enjoy halibut.

Can you eat halibut when pregnant?

Yes! You can eat halibut when pregnant. You should not eat more than one serving per week but still, you can enjoy it once in a while. According to the FDA, halibut is a fish with medium levels of mercury. 

When pregnant, you should be aware of mercury levels in fish because it can be very dangerous for the baby. I will give you a list of what fish are safe!

What is halibut?

Halibut, or flounder (yes, like in the little mermaid) is a very nutritious fish. Is an excellent source of protein, omega 3, vitamin D, vitamin B12,  iron, zinc, iodine, and selenium. 

It has a mild, sweet taste, and white flesh kind of like tilapia. Because the flavor is so gentle, it paired very well with almost anything, and if you don’t like that fishy taste, it’s an excellent option. You can usually buy it in tick filets or steaks. 

You can cook it by steaming, baking, or pan-fry it. Just remember when cooking it, that because it is extremely lean, it can dry easily. 

Can you eat halibut raw when pregnant?

No, you can’t eat raw halibut 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 halibut is very high. Pregnant women are too susceptible to this type of food poisoning. 

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

Can you eat fried halibut when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat fried halibut but in moderation. Fried food is not a preferable method to eat because it has too much fat in it. It is better if you bake it or cook it. 

In general, when pregnant you should follow a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. There are a few nutrients that need special attention during pregnancy like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids. 

  • Ideally, 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day
  • Increase your intake of whole grains and cereal foods. Choose high fiber options
  • Milk, hard cheese, and yogurt are great options because they are high calcium foods.
  • Choose low-fat options and good fats: fats from vegetable sources like almonds, olive oil, and avocado. 
  • Choose lean proteins and choose low mercury fish options. 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Always stay active

Weight gain should be closely monitored because the mother and baby’s health depends on it. 

What are the benefits of eating halibut 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 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. 

What types 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 types of fish can you eat when pregnant?

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 are the effects of high mercury when pregnant?

Previously, the FDA recommended pregnant women and women 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. 

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. 

How to cook halibut fish when pregnant? 

Remember it needs to be fully cooked. It needs to reach about 450 F. Because it tends to dry out it takes about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Here are some recipe ideas

Other FAQs about Fish that you may be interested in.

Is it safe to eat eel bones?

Is it safe to eat fish from Ecuador?

Can you eat herring when pregnant?


In this article we answered the question: can you eat halibut when pregnant, what is halibut, can you eat raw or fried halibut, what are the effects of high mercury fish in my diet, and some recipes so you can enjoy halibut.