TABLE 5-3 Potential for Benefits and Risks Associated with Seafood Choices by Population Group

Seafood Choices for Females Who Are or May Become Pregnant and Those Who Are Breastfeeding

Choice

Consume locally caught freshwater fish (commercial and recreational catches) only after checking state advisories.

Potential for Benefit

Might reduce food costs; continues family traditions.

Potential for Risk

Potential for increased MeHg, dioxin, and PCB exposure compared to other seafood selections. Risk for bacterial contamination will increase if consumed raw. Intake levels of iron will be lower than meat selections.

Choice

May benefit from consuming seafood, especially those with relatively higher concentrations of EPA and DHA. A reasonable intake would be two 3-ounce (cooked) servings but can safely consume 12 ounces per week; should avoid large predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, or king mackerel.

Potential for Benefit

Seafood is a high-quality low-fat protein source. Intake levels of saturated fat will likely decrease compared to meat selections. Intake levels of EPA/DHA will increase compared to meat and “nonfatty” seafood selections. Intake of selenium may increase compared with beef, pork, and poultry selections.

Potential for Risk

Available data suggest levels of MeHg are not associated with adverse health effects if consumption is limited to no more than four 3-ounce servings per week. Potential risk from exposure to dioxins and PCBs is similar to meat selections. Risk for bacterial contamination will increase if raw seafood is consumed. Intake levels of iron will be lower than meat selections.

Choice

Can consume up to 6 ounces of white (albacore) tuna per week.

Potential for Benefit

Seafood is a high-quality low-fat protein source. Intake levels of saturated fat will likely decrease compared to meat selections. Intake levels of EPA/DHA will increase compared to meat and leaner seafood selections. Intake of selenium may increase compared with beef, pork, and poultry selections.

Potential for Risk

Available data suggest levels of MeHg are not associated with adverse health effects if consumption is limited to 6 ounces per week. Potential risk from exposure to dioxins and PCBs is similar to meat selections. Risk for bacterial contamination will increase if raw seafood is consumed. Intake levels of iron will be lower than meat selections.

Seafood Choices for Children up to Age 12

Choice

May benefit from consuming seafood, especially those with relatively higher concentrations of EPA and DHA.

Potential for Benefit

Decreased caloric intake from total and saturated fats and increased intake of selenium compared with beef, pork, and poultry selections. Intake levels of EPA/DHA will increase compared to meat and lean seafood selections.

Potential for Risk

Available data suggests levels of MeHg in high-EPA and -DHA seafood are not associated with adverse health effects at recommended consumption levels. Potential risk from exposure to dioxins and PCBs is similar to meat selections. Decreased intake of iron compared to meat selections. Risk for bacterial contamination will increase if raw seafood is consumed.



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