Is It Safe to Eat Tuna While Pregnant?

Many wonder if it's safe to eat tuna while pregnant. This gish is one of the most beneficial fish and can be eaten in moderate amounts.
Is It Safe to Eat Tuna While Pregnant?

Last update: 02 February, 2022

Tuna is a fish that’s full of health benefits. It has a wide variety of essential nutrients, which have to be included in your diet on a regular basis. However, many women wonder if it’s safe to eat tuna while pregnant. We’ll answer that question in detail below.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that, during pregnancy, it’s important to limit the presence of certain foods in your diet because they can affect the health of the mother or the developing fetus. An example of these are sausages, some infusions, and caffeine. What do experts say about the consumption of fish? We’ll tell you.

The benefits of tuna fish

Grilled tuna and vegetables.

Let’s start by commenting on the benefits of tuna, which are numerous and very important.

This fish contains proteins of high biological value and all the essential amino acids. According to a study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, its intake helps to meet the daily requirements of these elements. It’s also meat with a good level of digestibility.

At the same time, tuna contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for neurological health. Especially for the baby’s developing brain.

According to research published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, it’s best to ensure the presence of these lipids in sufficient quantities in the diet of pregnant women. The same applies to infancy, and in fact, many milk formulas are supplemented with these nutrients.

So, is it safe to eat tuna while pregnant?

The truth is that you can eat tuna while pregnant, as long as it’s not consumed raw.

If you’re talking about canned tuna, there should be no problem, but it’s important to establish a maximum of 3 cans per week. This is due to the risks derived from the components of the metallic container.

In the case of consuming fresh cooked tuna, it’s also a good idea not to go overboard as far as quantity is concerned. Even though we’re talking about an oily fish that’s very beneficial for health, it contains a significant amount of heavy metals, such as mercury.

There’s nothing wrong with including tuna in your diet once a week, but it’s best to alternate its consumption with that of other small fish, to avoid bioaccumulation.

However, what you should never do is eat raw tuna while pregnant, and much less, the red variety. The risk of intoxication caused by this species can be high and in some cases, the results are serious. Therefore, it’s worth stressing the importance of extreme food hygiene measures during pregnancy.

Eat fish during pregnancy!

Tuna isn’t the only good product to eat during pregnancy. Fish in general is highly recommended at this stage of life. Some low-quality varieties should be restricted, such as pike (due to its high content of heavy metals) or basa fish (because of its low nutritional value).

A fresh salad with tuna fish.

You can eat tuna while pregnant

As you’ve seen, you can and should eat tuna during pregnancy. It’s possible to include this food in your diet in its canned or fresh versions, but it’s always important to ensure a good cooking process to limit the microbiological risk. This way, the healthiness of the food is ensured and health problems in the fetus are prevented.

If you have doubts about what foods you can include in your diet during pregnancy, consult a nutrition expert. This professional will be able to give you appropriate guidelines to ensure the correct development of the physiological proceMany wonder if it’s safe to eat tuna while pregnant. This fish is one of the most beneficial fish and can be eaten in moderate amounts during pregnancy.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Richter, M., Baerlocher, K., Bauer, J. M., Elmadfa, I., Heseker, H., Leschik-Bonnet, E., Stangl, G., Volkert, D., Stehle, P., & on behalf of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) (2019). Revised Reference Values for the Intake of Protein. Annals of nutrition & metabolism74(3), 242–250.
  • Middleton, P., Gomersall, J. C., Gould, J. F., Shepherd, E., Olsen, S. F., & Makrides, M. (2018). Omega-3 fatty acid addition during pregnancy. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews11(11), CD003402.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.