One way to choose fish is to consider mercury levels, a prime concern for pregnant women, women who might become pregnant, and young children, because this heavy metal can harm the nervous system, especially during development. Here’s the latest guidance on mercury in fish from the FDA and EPA:
- Best choices (eat 2 to 3 servings a week): Anchovies, black sea bass, butterfish, catfish, clams, cod, crab, crawfish, croaker (Atlantic), flounder, haddock, hake, herring, lobster, mullet, oyster, mackerel (Atlantic or Pacific chub), perch, pickerel, plaice, pollock, salmon, sardines, scallops, shad, shrimp, skate, smelt, sole, squid, tilapia, trout, tuna (canned light), whitefish, whiting.
- Good choices (eat only once a week): Bluefish, buffalo fish, carp, Chilean sea bass, croaker (Pacific), grouper, halibut, mahimahi, monkfish, rockfish, sablefish, sheepshead, snapper, Spanish mackerel, striped bass, tilefish (Atlantic), tuna (albacore or yellowfin, canned or fresh), weakfish.
- Avoid (for young children and pregnant women and women who might become pregnant, because of mercury): Bigeye tuna, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish (Gulf of Mexico).