At a time when people are often told what not to eat, a dozen organizations
urge Americans – from moms-to-be to grandparents – to increase the amount of seafood they eat to at least two servings each week.
New Advice about Eating Seafood
For the general population:
- “Increase amount and variety of seafood consumed by choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry.” Pg. 34
- “Moderate evidence shows that consumption of about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood, which provide an average consumption of 250 mg per day of EPA and DHA, is associated with reduced cardiac deaths among individuals with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease.” Pg. 39
- “An intake of 8 or more ounces per week (less for young children), about 20% of total recommended intake of protein foods of a variety of seafood is recommended.” Pg. 39
For pregnant and breastfeeding moms:
- "In addition to the health benefits for the general public, the nutritional value of seafood is of particular importance during fetal growth and development, as well as in early infancy and childhood.” Pg. 39
- “Moderate evidence indicates that intake of omega-3 fatty acids, in particular DHA, from at least 8 ounces of seafood per week for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding is associated with improved infant health outcomes, such as visual and cognitive development.” Pg. 39
- “It is recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consume at least 8 and up to 12 ounces of a variety of seafood per week, from choices that are lower in methyl mercury.” Pg. 39
How Much Seafood Americans Eat
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the average American eats about one serving of seafood a week, approximately 3.5 ounces.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates pregnant women eat less than half a serving per week.
- Consumer survey data from SeaPak shows 91 percent of parents with children 12 years and younger say their children aren’t eating seafood twice a week.
How To Eat More Seafood
- Swap out the same old proteins – Take recipes you’re already familiar with and replace the usual protein with seafood. Beef burgers become salmon burgers or chicken quesadillas become canned tuna quesadillas.
- Think beyond lunch and dinner – Seafood can be a part of snacks, appetizers and even breakfast.
- Consider convenient forms – Whether fresh, frozen or canned, seafood is healthful and full of nutrients. The important thing is to choose light cooking methods like grilling and broiling instead of frying.
- Click here for more recipes.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding? Satisfying your craving for fish never tasted so good.
For a look at what plenty of seafood looks like in the real-life diet of registered dietitian Jennifer McGuire, visit BlogAboutSeafood.com.
The Guidelines suggest eating a variety of seafood. They recommend that adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, eat seafood at least twice a week. Oily fish are especially rich in healthy omega-3s. Omega-3 needs can also be met by eating less-oily fish more often.
Omega-3s in America’s Most Popular Fish
Ten Fish High in Omega-3s
Canned tuna, white
2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
2010 World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Joint Expert Consultation on the Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption