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Can i eat imitation crab while pregnant

Can i eat imitation crab while pregnant
Is It Safe To Eat Imitation Crab During Pregnancy? Imitation crab can be a delicious and inexpensive substitute for crab and offers a similar flavour. However, if you have cravings for this during pregnancy, you should know that consuming imitation crab during pregnancy has its negative and positive effects.
The nutritional value of this pseudocrab meat explains both its pros and cons. The high content of phosphorous contributes to heart health, while on the other hand, excessive consumption can lead to a stroke due to its high sodium content. Therefore, knowing the correct amount and how to consume it is extremely important.

What is an imitation crab?

An imitation crab is a Japanese fishcake made by mixing a white fish called Alaska pollock with flavourings, colours, and ingredients. Making imitation crab involves rinsing, skimming, grinding, and cooking into an odourless surimi paste. Manufacturers then cut the pasta into strips to resemble crab leg meat. Imitation crab gives the delicious flavour of crabs without burning a hole in your pocket. And it is readily available in most supermarkets and grocery stores.

Can pregnant women eat imitation crab?

Can pregnant women eat imitation crab?
You will probably have a lot of doubts when getting pregnant, and whether you can and should eat seafood is common.
The answer? It depends.
Grilled and grilled seafood are good lean protein sources, also packed with brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
On the other hand, your stuffed halibut fillet can make things with more than just breading, and it can be full of mercury, parasites, and pollutants. (Would you like soup or salad with this? Or have you completely lost your appetite?!)
Knowing that no one could blame you for choosing imitation crab the next time you're at the deli counter weighing your options. It's the best of both worlds. Do you get the benefits of seafood without all the toxins?

Can you eat imitation crab when pregnant?

Imitation Crab Salad Sandwich Recipe
Here's the dish on how to eat imitation crab while pregnant, from what it is to when it's safe to eat.
Let's see right away: the imitation crab is not a crab. Like, not at all. It is a mixture of fish paste, spices, starch, egg white, and crab flavour. Pollock is usually a fish chopped and made into a fish paste called surimi, used to make imitation crab meat.
You should ask two questions about each type of seafood during pregnancy: Is it a low-mercury food, and has it been cooked? 
Imitation crabmeat ticks both boxes, so it's safe to eat while pregnant.
Pollock, the fish of choice for imitation crabmeat manufacturers, is a low-mercury fish safe for pregnancies in reasonable amounts (two or three servings a week).
The same is true of many other types of fish, although some should avoid if added to your crabmeat – namely shark, swordfish, mackerel, and a few others.
However, no shellfish should be eaten raw during pregnancy.
Even if your imitation crab meat is cooked or used in a seafood dish (like sushi or stuffed lobster), you must make sure everything is fully cooked before consuming it. So that California roll with imitation crab inside but topped with raw tuna? It's an impediment.
If you consume raw fish or meat, you risk ingesting bacteria (or parasites) that can make you very sick. (During pregnancy, you have a weaker immune system.)
Honestly, imitation crab meat isn't doing you any nutritional favours. And real crabmeat is considered beneficial seafood when you expect it as it is low in calories but high in omega-3s and vitamins D and A.
But then again, imitation material is – well, an imitation. You are not reaping those benefits here. You are, however, eating food that is:

  • low in calories and fat
  • low in mercury
  • affordable and convenient
  • always pre-cooked and pasteurized (i.e., safe to eat)

As long as any dish containing imitation crabmeat has been stored and cooked properly, there is no real danger in eating it. That said, there are better options out there. (Some people compare eating crab meat to eating hot dogs in terms of processing — and we agree.)
Below are some disadvantages of eating imitation crab during pregnancy:
While regular crabmeat is a source of protein, imitation crab meat is not.
Sodium is often added to imitation crab meat – and you can't control the amount as it's pre-packaged.
It typically contains random ingredients that provide no nutritional benefit. Instead, they add flavour and colour to the meat, preserve it, and improve its texture. That means everything from artificial colours and sweeteners to xanthan gum and sometimes even monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Keep in mind that unless you're eating imitation crabmeat straight out of the package, you need to be mindful of what else you're consuming as part of the dish.
For example, if you're eating sushi, you need to be super aware of what other ingredients are included and whether they've been fully cooked.
And just because the imitation crab itself is fully cooked doesn't mean it's shelf-stable. It should always be kept refrigerated or in the fridge (do not leave it for more than 1 to 2 hours).
In addition, once the package opens, it must be consumed within three days. If it smells or looks "weird" in any way, throws it away - we promise, the risk of food poisoning when you're pregnant isn't worth it.

Is imitation crab safe during pregnancy

Lastly, if you're dining out, don't be shy about asking the waiter or chef what the imitation crab was made with. Again, it's usually pollock, but it's a good idea to ensure it's not made with any high-mercury ingredients.
When you have a choice, opt for real crab. It is safe to consume, but it's also low in calories and high in omega-3s and vitamins (meaning, it's perfect for you!). The same cannot be said for imitation crab meat, which does not contain any real crab.
If you don't have a choice or prefer an imitation crab, there's nothing wrong with eating it. It's perfectly safe as long as it's stored correctly, made with low-mercury fish, and all other ingredients in the dish are fully cooked.