Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mommy Alert: Beware of Methylmercury

I just read an article from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition by Joy Bauer, it says that concerned high mercury content in some species. This is important because fish has become a favorite dish for many kids and is often recommended to pregnant women. Here are some information from that article that may be helpful to you:

  • Nearly all fish contain trace amounts of methylmercury, but it is not harmful in such low levels. Long-lived, larger fish feed on other fish and accumulate the highest levels of methylmercury. These fish include shark, tilefish, swordfish, and king mackerel, and pose the greatest risk to people who eat them regularly.
  • The primary danger from methylmercury in fish is to the developing nervous system of the unborn child. Thus, pregnant women and who may become pregnant should completely avoid these high-mercury fish. Additionally, it is important for nursing mothers and young children to avoid eating these fish as well.
  • Recommendation for Tuna: It is okay for pregnant women and women who may become prgnant to eat fish as long as they limit total fish consumption to no more than twelve ounces per week. As for tuna, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), reccomends that you eat only 6 ounces or less of albacore tuna per week. Albacore is the white kind, and it contains more mercury than chunk light tuna.

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