familuv By: Bibi Ramli January 21, 2019 @ 9:00am

Is it safe to eat imitation crab sticks while you’re pregnant?

Pregnancy is exciting for expecting mothers but it’s also a time when they have to carefully watch what they eat.

Did you know? Pregnant women are 20 times more susceptible to diseases than any other healthy adults. It will ultimately affect their respective unborn child.

If you’re a fan of seafood, you may even have to give it up for a while – at least the high-mercury ones – since it can be harmful for your baby.

However, have you ever wondered if it’s safe to eat fake crab sticks? It is after all an imitation, so there can’t be real crab meat in it, right? Right?

Sadly, yes. It only looks like the leg meat of a snow crab or Japanese spider crab, and maybe tastes like one. Nothing beats the real deal but it’s cheaper!

Imitation crab sticks are mainly made of processed surimi (white fish) which is blended with starch, flavourings, colourants and other ingredients.

Still, they are neither safe nor unsafe to be eaten during pregnancy as it depends on how your body reacts to it.

There are both benefits and dangers of including it in your diet but it’s better to consult a doctor before doing so.

Let’s see what those pros and cons are.

Benefits

  • Low in fat and calories
  • Contains low levels of mercury, a contaminant found in certain species of fish that can negatively affect your baby’s nervous system development
  • Contains high level of phosphorus which helps muscles, kidneys and nerves to function properly and keeps your heart beating regularly

Credit: Mic.com

Dangers

  • Contains high level of sodium. Too much sodium can increase the risk of stroke, high blood pressure and kidney diseases
  • Contains low level of protein
  • Contains high level of carbohydrate, unsuitable for women who are suffering from celiac diseases
  • Contains preservatives, like MSG and additives which can be harmful for you and your baby

Safety precautions

If you do wish to eat crab sticks, find out what fish it’s made from. Avoid those that uses king mackerel, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy or shark. If it contains shrimp, crab or lobster, you can eat it twice a week.

Don’t ever eat raw or undercooked crab sticks, or those that have been exposed for more than three days. They can harbour dangerous bacteria, such as listeria.

Cook the crab sticks at 145˚C or above to destroy all of the bacteria.

Whatever you do, consult your doctor first for their professional opinion.

Source: MomJunction

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