HealthDay News — A recent US government guideline classifies fish into 3 categories of safety to aid pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and parents of young children make healthier choices.

The 62 types of fish and shellfish included in the guideline are sorted into the following categories: best choices (eat 2 to 3 servings a week), good choices (eat 1 serving a week) and fish to avoid.

The US Food and Drug Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency recommend 2 to 3 servings of lower-mercury fish per week, or 8 to 12 ounces total. 

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Twelve ounces is the recommended maximum weekly consumption, according to the new guidelines. Lower-mercury fish and shellfish, part of the best choices group, include some of the most commonly eaten varieties, such as shrimp, pollock, salmon, canned light tuna, tilapia, catfish and cod.

The FDA and EPA recommend only 1 serving per week of fish from the good choices category, which includes bluefish, grouper, halibut, tilefish from the Atlantic Ocean and albacore white tuna (canned, fresh, or frozen).

“Fish are an important source of protein and other nutrients for young children and women who are or may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding,” Stephen Ostroff, MD, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement. “This advice clearly shows the great diversity of fish in the US market that they can consume safely.”


FDA and EPA issue final fish consumption advice [press release]. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; January 18, 2017.

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