The FDA and the EPA have joined forces to release new guidelines on fish consumption for pregnant women or those who might become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and parents of young kids.
Those guidelines last got a facelift in March 2004, so the agency revisited the science alongside current federal nutrition guidelines.
The end product is a handy chart that breaks fish into those you can eat two to three servings of each week and those you might want to limit to one serving per week. (Fish in the “best choices” category make up nearly 90 percent of fish eaten in the United States, according to the FDA.)
There’s also the scale-raising category “fish to avoid” — among them king mackerel, marlin, shark, swordfish, and bigeye tuna — which singles out those with the highest mercury levels.
The new guidelines recommend that pregnant women consume a minimum of two to three servings, or eight to 12 ounces, of low-mercury fish every week. Many pregnant women aren’t doing that — an FDA analysis finds that 50 percent of pregnant women eat just two ounces or fewer.
It’s recommend that kids eat fish once or twice a week, with portion sizes scaled to their age.