Talk to Me About Canned Tuna... - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-08-2010, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pesco vegetarian (no meat other than fish) and I am really struggling to find some good protein sources, because I know I am not getting sufficient protein. I had some canned tuna yesterday and LOVED it, and I would gladly eat it every single day. However I know that seafood is high in mercury. It seems to me I read something about certain kinds of canned tuna being less awful than others? What kind of canned tuna is best for us preggos, and what is our limit (or is it better to completely avoid it altogether?)
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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it's like 3 6 oz cans a month, I think I get 2 sandwiches out of a can. Honestly I have probably eaten more in one month. Albacore has more mercury, although I have eaten that too. I bought a can last week that said low mercury wild caught. I don't know how accurate that is but I bought it the local organic store.

All seafood is not high in mercury - shrimp, scallops, crab, trout, oysters, tilapia, squid are all low in mercury and I have been eating shellfish all summer. I avoid orange roughy, which is a fish I do normally like to eat.

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Old 09-09-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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My doctor said canned "light tuna" is fine. She said don't use the canned albacore and to not purchase tuna sandwiches from a deli or restaurant because it's difficult to tell exactly what kind of tuna they're using. She said also no albacore steaks.

Even though she said the canned "light tuna" is fine, I still have drastically reduced the amount I eat to about one or two cans a month. During my first trimester I really looked forward to a tuna sandwich on Fridays, but as this pregnancy progressed, my appetite really changed.

Perhaps your doctor or midwife would be a reliable source of info about this.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:29 AM
 
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I'm pesco vegetarian (no meat other than fish) and I am really struggling to find some good protein sources, because I know I am not getting sufficient protein. I had some canned tuna yesterday and LOVED it, and I would gladly eat it every single day. However I know that seafood is high in mercury. It seems to me I read something about certain kinds of canned tuna being less awful than others? What kind of canned tuna is best for us preggos, and what is our limit (or is it better to completely avoid it altogether?)
My doc told me to not eat canned tuna more than once per month. It is supposedly very high in mercury, with the "white" tuna having the highest levels of contamination.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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if you can get canned mackerel, it's very similar to tuna and has much less mercury. sardines are even better mercury-wise, if you like them.

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Old 09-09-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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i try to go by a once a week rule..and less in the first trimester.. and i buy the tuna in the bags instead of the cans because somewhere i read that was better - and i like it better and it helps me eat less cause its more expensive..

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Old 09-09-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Yes, get "Light" tuna instead of "white".

Also, I find boneless skinless sardines to be a good substitute for me in a green salad with crunchy veggies and a little mayo. Sardines have better Omega 3 levels, low mercury, and are a highly sustainable ('green") fish.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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Check out what the american pregnany association has to say

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pre...ishmercury.htm
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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This thread made me want a tuna sandwich, mmmmm, sooooo goooood!!

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Old 09-09-2010, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone!
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Originally Posted by DanielleT View Post
Check out what the american pregnany association has to say

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pre...ishmercury.htm
Thank you, that was really helpful! I am going to print a copy and keep it in my purse! I'm also going to err on the side of caution and eat less than they recommend. And there is stuff on the "low mercury" that I would have assumed was high, which is good to know!
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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well i have eaten tuna with both my boys and this pregnancy nothng crazy and no problems

SAHM to D ( 10/06 ) A (10/08) & C (03/11)
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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Thanks everyone!

Thank you, that was really helpful! I am going to print a copy and keep it in my purse! I'm also going to err on the side of caution and eat less than they recommend. And there is stuff on the "low mercury" that I would have assumed was high, which is good to know!

You're welcome; I love sea food and i often have to check and see if I'm allowed to have certain foods...Sometimes i have to check multiple times a day; i'll get a craving and get all excited and then be like "oh poop, can i even have that" lol
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:02 AM
 
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Wow I just had tuna helper earlier... it was just 5 oz mixed in but it never occurred to me it was one of the mercury fishies. Think I'm gonna strike it from diet from now on.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:13 AM
 
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I have been buying Wild Planet brand tuna. I was looking for tuna with a BPA-free can which they have. They also say they select smaller tuna with less mercury accumulation, supposedly "less than half the mercury" of other national brands, yet retaining lots of EFAs and such. It *is* albacore, but we don't eat it all that frequently. I've been very happy to have found this brand.

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Old 09-10-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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I have such a craving for tuna noodle casserole now! Trader Joe's sells Tongol tuna, which they say is considered a "light" tuna.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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I ended up eating two tuna sandwiches last night thanks to this thread. I haven't made one in ages but couldn't resist! I got on the order of 40 grams of protein (tuna and bread), over 3 grams of EFAs, plus fiber, etc. Amazing how much is packed in tuna!

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Old 09-10-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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I think canned tuna is OK in moderation, like the others have said. From what I learned from watching that documentary The Cove, the fish with the higher mercury contents tend to be the bigger fish that are higher up in the food chain (the bigger fish, the more the predator to smaller fish, and the more little fish they eat that have mercury, the more concentrated the mercury becomes in their own system). So the tuna that is usually put into those cans is the small type of tuna...I think albacore is the bigger of the 2 types of canned tuna and so that is maybe why those should be eaten in moderation vs. chunk light tuna which has lower content (a smaller fish) and you can probably be more relaxed about. I've pretty much avoided tuna steaks (again, a much bigger fish, so more mercury). I'm not really up on my info about fish species, but that is what I remember learning in that movie, and it makes sense.

As for protein sources, I've been researching a lot about it ever since I got pregnant and learned I needed a lot of protein daily. I read that the best sources (and I'm omitting meat sources like organic chicken and grass-fed beef since you're veg) are organic eggs (especially if they have lots of DHA in them), greek yogurt (2% Fage yogurt has 17 grams of protein just in one container of it...I eat it almost every morning), lentils (more vitamins and protein than dried beans), tempeh (instead of tofu), and almonds. What you can also do to take in more protein when you think you're falling short is to mix in some high-quality whey protein powder into juice or a shake. I did this in the 1st and early 2nd trimester when I knew I wasn't getting enough.

Hope that helps!
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