Oysters are one of the most loved seafood dishes by many. However, there are some who think that it is not safe to eat oysters while pregnant. Well, they think so because they believe that oysters might have high levels of mercury which can be harmful to a growing fetus. So, Can I Eat Oysters While Pregnant? If you have been asking yourself the same question, let us find out! In this article, you will learn about the safety of eating oysters when you are pregnant as well as a few recommendations on how and when to consume them if you cannot avoid them. Let’s begin!
What’s in an Oyster?
Oysters are bivalve mollusks that are widely eaten around the world due to their taste and nutritional value. They are found in both saltwater and freshwater habitats and are harvested for commercial purposes. Typical serving sizes for raw oysters are 3-4 pieces, which weigh about 6-9 ounces. The nutritional facts of a serving of raw oysters are as follows: – Calories – 84 – Total Fat – 0.4g – Saturated Fat – 0.1g – Trans Fat – 0- Cholesterol – 0mg – Sodium – 95mg – Potassium – 292mg – Total Carbohydrates – 1.5g – Dietary Fiber – 0.6g – Sugars – 0.5g – Protein – 5.5g A serving of raw oysters will provide you with a moderate amount of proteins, a small amount of dietary fibers and carbohydrates, as well as several essential minerals and vitamins. It also contains a small amount of sodium and cholesterol.
Mercury and its dangers
Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can cause severe health complications when consumed in large amounts. It can be easily absorbed by the human body through the intestines and can accumulate in the blood stream over time. The most common sources of mercury include certain seafood (especially large fish like tuna and mackerel), coal, and certain mining activities. There are two types of mercury that are harmful to people. These are – – The first one is methylmercury, which is a specific type of mercury that is found in seafood and is responsible for the dangers that seafood can have on a fetus. – The second one is ethylmercury, which is a specific type of mercury that is used in vaccines.
Oysters and Food Safety
You must have heard of the saying, “you are what you eat.” This is true to a large extent! What you consume, by and large, becomes a part of you. This is why food safety is extremely important. Mollusks like oysters are naturally filter feeders that take in water and filter it to get food particles. They can also take in pollutants that are present in the water. Mollusks are among the foods that are known to be contaminated by harmful bacteria, viruses, and other parasites. When you eat oysters, you are at a risk of consuming harmful bacteria and viruses present in the oysters. These can cause serious infections and may even be fatal in extreme cases.
Is it safe to eat raw oysters while pregnant?
As we have seen in the above section, one of the dangers of eating oysters is consuming harmful bacteria and viruses present in them. However, an interesting thing is that all the harmful bacteria and viruses are killed when the oysters are cooked. However, they are not killed when they are eaten raw. So, eating a few raw oysters won’t cause any harm. In fact, they might have certain benefits. However, eating a lot of raw oysters every day can be risky if you are pregnant. For one thing, they contain a significant amount of cholesterol which is not recommended for pregnant women. Additionally, the harmful bacteria and viruses present in the raw oysters can cause serious infections and complications. Again, these can be avoided by thoroughly washing the oysters before consuming them.
Can I eat steamed or baked oysters while pregnant?
Steaming or baking oysters do not kill the bacteria present in them. This is because the bacteria are protected by the shell. So, it is not recommended that you eat steamed or baked oysters. Instead, you should only consume cooked oysters. If you want to eat oysters, you should avoid eating them when they are raw. Instead, you should cook them well. Remember, harmful bacteria and viruses are killed when they are cooked. So, you can safely consume cooked oysters if you are pregnant.
Should you avoid eating oysters while pregnant?
If you are very concerned about the mercury that is present in oysters, you can avoid eating them. However, if you eat them in moderation, they aren’t harmful. It is important to remember that the mercury present in the oysters is still there even if they are cooked. So, you should avoid eating large quantities of cooked oysters. Remember, consuming moderate amounts of cooked oysters (along with other types of seafood) is good for your health. It can provide you with essential proteins and minerals. However, you should avoid eating large amounts of any one food item because some of them are high in calories, sodium, and cholesterol which aren’t good for you when consumed in excess.
Oysters are loved by many because they are tasty and nutritious. However, it is important to consume them in moderation because they can be high in calories and sodium. The mercury present in oysters is usually not harmful when they are consumed cooked. However, you should avoid eating raw oysters while pregnant because they can cause serious diseases. If you have been craving for oysters and are currently pregnant, you should consume them in moderation. Remember to avoid eating them raw and make sure they are cooked well before you consume them.