Can you eat imitation crab salad when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat imitation crab salad when pregnant, what is imitation crab, what is surimi, is imitation crab pasteurized, what are the benefits and disadvantages of eating imitation crab, what is the risk of eating raw fish, what fish to avoid and what to fish to eat when pregnant, and how to make imitation crab salad at home. 

Can you eat imitation crab salad when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat imitation crab when pregnant. Imitation crab is usually cooked and pasteurized when packed. 

The recommendation for pregnant women is to not eat any raw fish or raw sushi when pregnant because there is a high risk of food poisoning and bacteria contamination. Also, there is a risk of parasite contamination in raw fish. 

What is an imitation crab?

Imitation crab is not made with crab meat at all. It is made from mashup fish paste, seasonings, starch, egg whites, food coloring, and crab flavoring. 

Imitation crab producers usually use pollock, a type of fish that is minced to make a fish paste, usually called surimi, and is used to make imitation crab meat. 

Pollock is a low mercury fish so it is pregnancy safe to eat in reasonable amounts. The recommendation for fish consumption when pregnant is two to three servings per week. 

What is surimi?

Surimi is a white fish paste that is typically made from demersal fish or pollock fish. The fish is deboned and washed and minced to make a fish paste. It is then seasoned and added with other ingredients so it can be molded to make imitation crab, fish stick, fish patties, and fisk cake. 

Surimi-based foods are known as kamaboko in Japan. Surimi has been used in Japan for more than 900 years and it gained popularity around the world in the 1970s when imitation crab was introduced in the United States. 

Is imitation crab pasteurized?

Imitation crab is safe to eat because it is cooked, pasteurized, and vacuum sealed. This process made it safe to eat when pregnant directly from the package. You can use it as the go snack, and add it to salads, soups, sushi, or dips. It is a very versatile food. 

What are the benefits and disadvantages of eating imitation crab when pregnant?

Imitation crab is low in fat, and mercury, affordable and convenient, and is always precooked and pasteurized. It has some advantages because it is always precooked and it is pasteurized before being packed.

Benefits

  • Low in fat and calories. 3 ounces of imitation crab has only 1 gram of fat and 81 calories
  • It has less mercury than crab meat.
  • Imitation crab has high levels of phosphorus and it helps to support nerve function in the baby

Disadvantages

  • It has less protein than crab meat and it contains a lot of ingredients that do not provide any health benefit. 
  • 3 ounces of imitation crab has 715 mg of sodium, it can be considered a high sodium food. 
  • It is high in carbohydrates because of the fillers they use to give the right texture and to make it cheaper.

What is the risk of eating raw sushi?

Raw sushi is a high-risk food of being contaminated with 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 fish in sushi 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

What fish should you avoid eating when pregnant?

Pregnant women need to be careful when eating sushi. They should not eat any raw fish or high mercury fish. 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 fish can you eat when pregnant?

Pregnant women should add fish to their diet. They can 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 is the effect of mercury on pregnant women?

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 can I make an imitation crab salad?

Imitation crab salad is a very safe dish to choose from if you go to a Japanese restaurant. It is not the most nutritious plate to choose but it is still a safe option. You can also make it at home. Here is a recipe for you to follow

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat imitation crab salad when pregnant, what is imitation crab, what is surimi, is imitation crab pasteurized, what are the benefits and disadvantages of eating imitation crab, what is the risk of eating raw fish, what fish to avoid and what to fish to eat when pregnant, and how to make imitation crab salad at home. 

Citation

https://www.momjunction.com/articles/imitation-crab-during-pregnancy_00361576/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322137#seafood-to-eat-and-avoid-during-pregnancy

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/blog/3220/what-is-imitation-crab.html

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.