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Pregnant Women Should Avoid Tuna Entirely, Says Consumer Reports

Pregnant Women Should Avoid Tuna Entirely, Says Consumer Reports

Probably not so great even if you’re not pregnant…

Mercury in the upper layers of the ocean has more than tripled since industrial revolution, mostly thanks to the burning of fossil fuels like coal. Marine predators at the top of the food chain eat lots and lots of smaller creatures which themselves have mercury body burdens, creating an accumulation of mercury in their tissues. Since mercury is fat soluble and not easily eliminated, fish-tissue concentrations increase over time… Until the day they end up on the diner plate of someone at the very top of the food chain and transfer that neurotoxic mercury to them.

This is why the FDA has recently issue new recommendations for pregnant women and parents to help them reduce their intake of mercury by either reducing their fish consumption, or by switching to species that are less likely to be contaminated.

FDA/Public Domain

Substitute safe, low-mercury alternatives

As you can see, various varieties of tuna contain on average a fairly high amount of mercury. Other species of fish also rank very high, but they tend to be a lot less common and be eaten less often by most people. Note at the bottom the varieties that are not recommended in any quantity to pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, or young children. Not that anyone should be eating shark in the first place…

The FDA only recommends that vulnerable people limit their fish eating to 2 or 3 servings of fish a week and avoid the 4 types of fish mentioned above.

Wikimedia/CC BY 3.0

Consumer Reports tested a bunch of tuna samples and decided to go farther than the FDA: As a precaution, pregnant women should avoid all tuna, period.

This is because every sample they tested contained mercury, and research is showing that even small quantities can have negative impacts, especially on fetuses and young children.

article by Michael Graham Richard, from Treehugger

Related
What Are Some of the Most Low Impact Fish You Can Eat?
12 Fish You Should Probably Never Eat
4 Everyday Toxins That Age You

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Health, Pregnancy, , , , , ,

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Kara, selected from TreeHugger

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

54 comments

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6:20AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

jings

7:47PM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

Which sucks because I LOVE Tuna!

9:59AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

thanks for great information

12:19PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

Despite the fact that Tuna is contaminated by Mercury, and more recently Cesium from the Fukushima disaster, there is a glut of the stuff on supermarket shelves.... We are told that the levels are not enough to harm us...yeah right, and the moon is made of green cheese.

9:21AM PDT on Aug 25, 2014

Thank you

3:33AM PDT on Aug 25, 2014

Check and choose well

2:23AM PDT on Aug 25, 2014

ty

5:32PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

What have we done...

3:57PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

We don't eat tuna anymore for quite a few years now. Can't trust it or where it comes from, same for most fish now days. I don't think it is safe for anyone. Thanks for sharing.

2:58PM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

I stopped eating tuna many years ago when dolphin "bycatch" was exposed. I doubt the situation has really improved.

Very good graphic, glad they included the coal fired power plant and the food chain concept.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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