Can You Eat Imitation Crab While Pregnant?

Can You Eat Imitation Crab While Pregnant

Pregnancy came with a lot of questions, dilemmas, and doubts. It is especially true for the first-time mom-to-be. Here, we will talk about one of the popular food items, imitation crab- if it is safe to eat or not during pregnancy.

The market is flooded with plenty of seafood. Grilled and broiled seafood are considered a high source of lean protein. They are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, a brain-boosting nutrient. However, if you compare such seafood with imitation crab, it could be nothing more than just breading. Moreover, it could have parasites, pollutants, and mercury, something that you will never want to enter your system, especially when you are pregnant.

But the story doesn’t end here. Therefore, continue reading till the end to know what exactly imitation crab is and what are the pros and cons of eating it.

What is an Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab has nothing to do with crab. It is a mixture of fish paste, starch, egg white, seasonings, and crab flavors. For preparing imitation crab, the type of fish usually used is Pollock. The fish is minced and turned into a paste called surimi. Surimi is then mixed with different seasonings and crab flavors, along with egg and starch, to prepare imitation crab.

How Safe Is It to Eat Imitation Crab During Pregnancy?

Eating seafood can help in multiple ways when you are pregnant. It nourishes the body and provides most of the essential micro and macronutrients to the body. However, you should be aware of whether the seafood you are consuming is low mercury food and has been properly cooked or not. Since imitation crab complies with these conditions, it is safe to eat during pregnancy.

Pollock, the fish used to prepare imitation crab, is a low mercury fish and is considered safe to eat during pregnancy in a reasonable amount. If you see the names of swordfish, king mackerel, or shark in the ingredients of imitation crab, avoid it as these fish are high mercury fish.

Do not eat any raw seafood when you are pregnant, as you may ingest bacteria and parasites that may risk pregnancy. Imitation crab is cooked, but if used in sushi or stuffed lobster, ensure that it is properly cooked.

[ Read: Is It Safe to Drink Chamomile Tea During Early Pregnancy ]

Benefits of Eating Imitation Crab in Pregnancy

Bluntly saying, imitation crab is no nutrition. Instead, you should eat a real crab to get the nutritional benefits of seafood. Crabs are rich in Vitamin D and A. They are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, if you are eating imitation crab, you have food that is-

  • Low in mercury and fat
  • Precooked and pasteurized
  • Affordable and convenient

Drawback of Eating Imitation Crab in Pregnancy

Although there is no strong disadvantage to eating imitation crab, you still have better choices. However, here are listed a few that you may want to consider, especially while being pregnant-

  • Imitation crab has less protein than crab meat.
  • Imitation crab is a processed product.
  • The amount of sodium in imitation crab is high as it is added during processing.
  • Several ingredients of imitation crab do not provide any nutritional value.
  • Different seasoning, flavoring, and preserving chemicals are added to it.
  • It contains artificial dyes, sweeteners, and preservatives.

Even though every ingredient in imitation crab is safe to eat, it’s zero nutritional value makes it useless.

Things to Consider While Eating Imitation Crab When You are Pregnant

To be double sure that the imitation crab you are consuming is safe for your pregnancy, consider the following-

1. How to Eat: If you use imitation crab to prepare sushi or any other dish, make sure everything is fully cooked. At the same time, once the packet is open, consume it within three days. If it smells rotten or looks different, throw it away as it may lead to food poisoning, something you don’t want while pregnant.

2. Where to Keep: Even though imitation crab is fully cooked, you must keep it chilled inside the refrigerator. It should not be outside for more than 1-2 hours.

3. Ask The Ingredients: If you are eating out in a restaurant, do not forget to ask the chef about the ingredients used to prepare imitation crab. Double-check if the fish used is Pollock and nothing else to reduce the chances of eating up high mercury ingredients.

Real crab is far better than imitation crab. It is a safer and healthier option compared to imitation crab that doesn’t add up to your health. However, if you do not have a choice, there is nothing wrong with eating it. Just keep the mentioned points in mind and Bon Appetite.

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