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The Fishy Issue


Media e-alert

25 June 2014

THE FISHY ISSUE

Clarifying the dos and do nots of salmon consumption during pregnancy

When it comes to what to and what not to eat during pregnancy there are a number of conflicting messages, particularly when it comes to seafood.

Some women avoid all seafood but in actual fact some types of seafood, particularly oily fish such as salmon, are incredibly important.

So, to debunk the myths, here’s the facts of when and how and why to incorporate salmon in to the diet during pregnancy.

WHY

Regal Salmon is a naturally rich source of long chain omega-3s.

DHA (one of the long chain omega-3s) is vital for the development of the growing baby’s brain, eyes and nervous system.

In high risk pregnancies, a higher intake of DHA has also been shown to reduce the risk of premature births (less than 34 weeks).

If dietary intake of long chain omega-3s during pregnancy is inadequate, the omega-3s will be drawn from the mother’s own supply which depletes her levels. Research has shown this can lead to an increased risk of post natal depression.1

1 http://omega-3centre.com/omega-3s/through-the-lifecycle/pregnancy/

As well as an omega-3 source, salmon also provides excellent levels of protein, minerals, vitamin B12 and iodine. 2 It is also low in saturated fat. All these are important considerations during pregnancy.

2 http://www.regalsalmon.co.nz/health

3 http://www.regalsalmon.co.nz/health_omega

4 http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/publications/Pages/listeriabrochuretext.aspx

WHEN

To achieve adequate DHA intake, pregnant and breastfeeding women should aim to consume at least 200mg DHA per day – this is equivalent to 1 to 2 oily fish meals a week (such as Regal Salmon and sardines).3

HOW

To be safe, eat freshly cooked seafood. Make sure it is eaten immediately and any leftovers are stored in the fridge and used within a day of cooking.

Avoid chilled seafood, whether it’s raw (e.g. sushi or sashimi) or smoked ready-to-eat product. This is because it is at higher risk of harbouring listeria and during pregnancy both mother and unborn baby are at a higher risk of contracting the dangerous listeriosis. 4

Commonly quoted: True/False Why
You shouldn’t eat any fish when you’re pregnant False Fish is an important source of many vital nutrients during pregnancy
You can’t eat raw salmon in sushi when you’re pregnant True It is advised to avoid all raw fish during pregnancy as it is a higher risk food
Fish is too high in mercury for you to eat when you’re pregnant True in some cases Some fish are particularly high in mercury so their intake should be severely limited. The seafood included in this category are Orange Roughy, Catfish, Shark and Billfish 5


5 http://www.foodstandards.govt.nz/consumer/chemicals/mercury/pages/default.aspx

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