Be Choosy About the Fish You Eat
Pregnant women, women trying to get pregnant and young children are advised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to avoid some types of fish due to high levels of methylmercury. Methylmercury is a compound formed when mercury from the air falls into streams and oceans. Fish absorb the methylmercury when they feed in the water and it builds up their tissues over time.
Research shows that for most people, consumption does not cause a health concern. In fact, fish and shellfish contain high quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids. A well balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and shellfish can contribute to heart disease and children’s proper growth and development. However, fhish shown to have high levels of methylmercury should be avoided. High levels of mercury in the bloodstream of unborn babies and young children may harm the developing nervous system.
Large fish that pose the greatest risk are: