Can you eat kingfish when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can eat you kingfish when pregnant, what is kingfish, why is fish a concern during pregnancy, what are the benefits of eating fish when pregnant, and what are the effects of high mercury intake in pregnant women, and what types of fish you can and can’t eat when pregnant. 

Can you eat kingfish when pregnant?

No, kingfish or king mackerel is considered a high mercury fish. According to the FDA, kingfish should not be eaten when pregnant because high mercury fish are dangerous to pregnant women. 

Mercury in pregnant women can cause birth defects in the unborn baby. 

What is kingfish?

Kingfish or king mackerel is a migratory species of mackerel of the Western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It is an important species to both the commercial and recreational fishing industries. 

Kingfish is normally sold market-fresh. They can be found as filets, steaks, or the whole fish. They have high-fat content and are best prepared by grilling, frying, baking, or smoking. 

According to the USDA, kingfish is one of the four fishes that children and pregnant women should avoid because it has high mercury levels and can cause mercury poisoning. 

Why is fish a concern during pregnancy?

Fish is a very nutritious food for pregnant women. The concern relies upon the fact that fish collects metals in oceans, lakes, and rivers. Mercury is the metal that can be found in the highest quantities in fish. 

Mercury is a very dangerous metal that can cause birth defects if exposed even in small amounts in the womb. Not all fish have a sufficient amount of mercury so it is not necessary to avoid fish completely. 

Salmon, tuna, and tilapia are one of the few fishes that can be eaten when pregnant. It is recommended to eat a few times a week without causing any harm. 

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 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 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. It can cause birth defects. 

Can you eat kingfish raw when pregnant?

No, you can’t eat raw kingfish or any raw fish because you are at high risk of contracting listeriosis and have the highest amounts of mercury when raw. 

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 kingfish 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 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. 

Here are 5 recipes of low mercury fish for you to enjoy. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat kingfish when pregnant, what is kingfish, why is fish a concern during pregnancy, what are the benefits of eating fish when pregnant, what are the effects of high mercury intake in pregnant women, and whether you can eat raw kingfish when pregnant, and what types of fish you can and can’t eat when pregnant. 

Citation

https://www.thebump.com/a/fish-during-pregnancy-myths-recommendations

https://www.livestrong.com/article/269350-kingfish-nutrition-guide/

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

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.