The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is pleased to see new draft advice from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encouraging pregnant women to increase the amount of seafood they eat.
The new advice is based on extensive peer-reviewed science that looks at fish as a whole food, considering the benefits as well as any theoretical risks. The results clearly state that fish during pregnancy has “a positive impact on growth and development as well as on general health.” The new advice recommends pregnant women eat at least 8 ounces, or two servings, of seafood per week.
“We’re glad to see this advice reflecting the science of what’s actually on the plate; fish as a whole food is good for you,” said LRA President & CEO Stan Harris. “It’s important that the final advice properly communicates the message that there is a minimum amount of seafood moms-to-be should be eating, or else they risk missing out on important health benefits.”
Seafood is central to Louisiana’s state culture; nearly one in 70 jobs in the state is seafood related. Residents and visitors are very familiar with the variety and quality of seafood Louisiana has to offer, and now it’s important to ensure the average patron of a Louisiana restaurant is also familiar with the vast nutritional benefits of seafood, specifically for pregnant women and young children.
“The seafood and restaurant industries will work with the FDA during the next phase of this effort in order to ensure that key nutrition messages are conveyed properly to pregnant women,” said Harris. “There are certain nuances in this first draft that could confuse pregnant women; the advice is a work in progress.”
The FDA maintains that pregnant women currently eat less than 2 ounces of seafood per week. To meet FDA’s new recommendations, they would need to eat at least 4 times as much seafood as they do now. Louisiana restaurants with seafood on the menu are a great way to start incorporating more seafood into the diet.