If you swear by seafood and love gorging on a sumptuous platter of crab quite often, it might be time to find out if you can continue having your favorite dish when pregnant.
Can you eat crab while pregnant?
Crabs are a safe variety of shellfish that may be eaten during pregnancy in measured amounts.
Raw or undercooked crab is not safe to eat as all shellfish contain harmful bacteria and parasites that may trigger serious conditions like salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and listeriosis when eaten without cooking. These conditions may also affect the fetus, increasing the risk of congenital disabilities or even leading to a miscarriage. Many countries have restricted eating smoked crab meat while pregnant due to such risks.
Sometimes, crabs and other shellfish have been found to cause allergic reactions during pregnancy, even if you did not have an allergy to these before your pregnancy. In such a case, make sure to avoid them.
How much crab can you eat when pregnant?
Eating 12 ounces of seafood weekly is considered safe. This may comprise only crab or can be a combination of crabs and other shellfish. But, make sure that a single serving does not exceed 3 to 6 ounces.
Which kind of crabs is safe during pregnancy?
Crabs are said to have low levels of mercury, with the king variety dominating the list. Besides, snow crab, Dungeness crab, and blue crab are also considered good to eat.
Can you eat crab legs?
Avoid or at least limit eating crab legs (especially king crabs) since they have a high sodium content which may affect your health adversely.
What are the benefits of eating crab during pregnancy?
Good source of Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega 3 plays a significant role in the brain and vision development of the fetus. As three ounces of cooked crab contains 351 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, you can consider it while fixing your diet for the week.
High in protein
Pregnant women have a daily requirement of 40 to 70 grams of protein, with 3 ounces of crab for 16.45 grams.
Rich in vitamin B12
This vitamin plays a pivotal role in neural tube, spine, and brain development and helps improve your mood during this time. Crab meat (3 ounces) contributing toward 9.78 micrograms of the daily requirement of this vitamin is a beneficial dietary option.
Ideas for eating crab meat
- Fried and made into cakes and wontons.
- Cooked to prepare pastes, dips, and curries.
- Boiled to make soup recipes like a bisque.
- Steamed and made into salads as well as rolls.
Crab and pregnancy: Tips for safety
- Boil the crabs before frying or cooking to steer them clean of all bacteria and germs.
- Avoid using raw or undercooked crab while preparing sushi, rolls, or salads.
- When going for the canned varieties, choose pasteurized or preheated crab over the cooked or cold ones, as the former have lesser chances of bacterial contamination.
Can eating crabs be bad for you?
The crab should not be harmful during pregnancy if you take all the precautions before eating it. However, if you have a stomach upset, severe digestive disorders, or any other discomfort after finishing a meal of crabs, talk to your doctor at once.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.