Can pregnant women eat cooked sushi?

You must have heard; pregnancy will make you put some of your favorite treats and meals on hold for a little while, those turkey sandwiches, a cold glass of pinto, and the delicious unpasteurized brie. During your pregnancy period, you need to ensure you load up with good nutrients. Thus, start your day with a healthy pregnancy breakfast, a loaded lunch, nutritious dinner, and healthy snacks during the day. We can’t forget about the healthy snacks because of the cravings that creep in. But what we need to understand is, can pregnant women eat cooked sushi?

Why can’t you eat sushi while pregnant?

When it comes to sushi, can pregnant women eat sushi? According to the FDA, Food and Drug Administration, and several other medical authorities, the safest answer to this is No. However, eating sushi has conflicting opinions, as some doctors say it is safe to eat raw fish if it’s from a reputable establishment. Still, most doctors advise you to stay clear of it for a little while because your immune system is weakened when you are pregnant. 

Why can’t pregnant women eat sushi? Raw fish can contain high levels of bacteria and parasitize bacteria, including listeria, which could cause infections and some foodborne illnesses. Thus a simple roll of sushi has an increased risk of harming your child. Below are the three common foodborne illnesses you should try and stay clear of when pregnant.

What kind of sushi should I stay clear of when pregnant?

Sushi that has been rolled with raw fish or undercooked is not for you at this time, according to Foodsafety.gov. When you eat raw fish, you expose your baby to the risk of bacteria, mercury, and several harmful parasites. These lead to infection and increases your risk of uterine infection, stillbirth, or miscarriage.

Additionally, your baby is very vulnerable to mercury exposure as this could result in neurological issues no parent should be dealing with. Eat healthy to keep your growing baby healthy.

Why you should avoid raw fish sushi when pregnant

Yes, your Sunday treat is enjoying your favorite sushi as you unwind on the long week you just had, but for now, you need to stay clear of raw fish sushi. It will bring more harm than the pleasures it offers your taste buds. And if you’re looking for fun things you can do while pregnant, there is a list of things to do to help you recharge for the week ahead.

Below are the foodborne illnesses you should stay clear of at all costs.

Three common foodborne illnesses and ways to avoid them

  1. Getting food poisoning

Food poisoning is brought about by consuming meals that have been contaminated with bacteria, toxins, and viruses like the pesty salmonella. The idea of vomiting and diarrhea is not something to look forward to, and when pregnant, it could get severe, leading to headaches, dehydration, and fever. At times this can lead to hospitalization as it could cause preterm birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth.

  • Toxoplasmosis

This is a parasite commonly found on raw or undercooked meats that can cause some severe infectious cases. And when pregnant, you don’t want to taste the waters with such an infection as it could cause stillbirth or miscarriages and, in some cases, health problems for the baby like cognitive issues or blindness.

  • Listeria

When pregnant, you are more susceptible to infection from these bacteria. It is primarily found in hot dogs, deli meats, unpasteurized milk like soft cheese plus consuming unwashed produce. Most of the infection symptoms are flu-like, but it could increase your risk of stillbirth, premature delivery, or miscarriage if it goes untreated. 

Essential tips to follow to reduce foodborne illnesses

– You need to be aware of any foodborne outbreak in your area

– Utensils and food preparation surfaces need to be adequately cleaned before you use them.

– All your meat dishes need to cook thoroughly; this will help kill any bacteria it might have.

– Your cold food needs to be kept cold, and hot food should also be hot when consuming.

– Raw vegetables and fruits need to be adequately cleaned before you prepare to eat.

Rolls you can when you are pregnant

It is not all bad news, there is some good news as you can still eat sushi, but this has to be fully cooked. Sushi that has seafood fully cooked or vegetable rolls are safe for you to consume. It is recommended that you eat about two servings of low mercury fish; this is the likes of catfish, salmon, and other shellfish and fatty fish that have been loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. If you can do this per week, the better you are loading your baby with healthy goodness. 

Salmon offers you and your baby a list of health benefits, but just before you reach for that roll, ensure the salmon is appropriately cooked. Having the rolls heated to 145F is good to eat when pregnant; this is if you are using low mercury fish.

These are the few high mercury fish you need to stay clear of for this period, swordfish, King mackerel, tilefish, shark, marlin, orange roughly, and the bigeye tuna.

Fish that have been classified to have high mercury levels could have more than 0.3 parts per million of mercury.

Safe rolls that you can enjoy in place of your favorite raw fish sushi are Ebi roll that is made with cooked shrimp, California roll that is loaded with imitate crab meat that is fully cooked, some spicy chicken in a roll, spicy crab, just to name a few. Raw fish sushi might not be on the table for a while, but there are other outstanding rolls you can try out. You never know; you might discover something new that is just as tasty if not better.

One last important thing on can pregnant women eat cooked sushi?

Fully cooked fish in your roll is perfectly safe. But it would be best for this short period of your pregnancy if you stay clear of raw fish sushi. Even if you get your fish from a reputable establishment, the risks behind a simple sushi roll are too high. Two of the most important things you should keep in mind of why raw fish is not safe for a pregnant woman.

  1. Parasites and bacteria can easily be found in raw fish, meats, and unpasteurized milk products. As your immune system is weakened, you don’t have a defense mechanism to keep the baby safe.
  2. Raw fish has a risk of high mercury levels exposed to your little one.

This pregnancy period is all about thinking twice about what you put in your mouth. Find out the ingredients of each meal to help your baby grow safe and healthy. Adopt a habit of asking what is in your meal, especially when you’re eating out, and specify to your waiter that you can’t eat raw meat. 

All in all, if you are not sure of the food you should stay clear of during your pregnancy, try and talk to your doctor about it.

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