Food

Text Version of FDA/EPA Advice on What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know about Eating Fish

<< Back to FDA/EPA Advice on Eating Fish Main Page

en Español

What is a serving?

To find out, use the palm of your hand!

For an adult, a serving is 4 ounces, about the size of an adult palm.

For children ages 4 to 8, a serving is 2 ounces

What is a serving size?

FDA and EPA have issued advice regarding eating fish. This advice is geared toward helping women who are pregnant or may become pregnant - as well as breastfeeding mothers and parents of young children - make informed choices when it comes to fish that is healthy and safe to eat.

The advice includes a chart that makes it easier than ever to choose dozens of healthy and safe options, and a set of frequently asked questions & answers.

Learn more about this initiative in the Press Release

The following is the text version of the information in the advice chart.


Fish and other protein-rich foods have nutrients that can help your child’s growth and development.

For women of childbearing age (about 16-49 years old), especially pregnant and breastfeeding women, and for parents and caregivers of young children.

  • Eat 2 to 3 servings of fish a week from the “Best Choice” list OR 1 serving from the “Good Choice” list.
  • Eat a variety of fish.
  • Serve 1 to 2 servings of fish a week to children, starting at age 2.
  • If you eat fish caught by family or friends, check for fish advisories. If there is no advisory, eat only one serving and no other fish that week.* 

You can use this chart to help you choose which fish to eat, and how often to eat them, based on their mercury levels. The "Best Choice" have the lowest levels of mercury.

Eat 2 to 3 servings of fish a week from the “Best Choice” list
OR
1 serving from the “Good Choice” list
 

Click on the arrows below each column header to sort by that column.

Remember, this advice refers to fish and shellfish collectively as "fish."

Read the Questions & Answers that go along with the chart.

Fish *

Best Choice, Good Choice, or Choice to Avoid?

AnchovyBest Choice
Atlantic croakerBest Choice
Atlantic mackerelBest Choice
Black sea bassBest Choice
ButterfishBest Choice
CatfishBest Choice
ClamBest Choice
CodBest Choice
CrabBest Choice
CrawfishBest Choice
FlounderBest Choice
HaddockBest Choice
HakeBest Choice
HerringBest Choice
Lobster, American and spinyBest Choice
MulletBest Choice
OysterBest Choice
Pacific chub mackerelBest Choice
Perch, freshwater and oceanBest Choice
PickerelBest Choice
PlaiceBest Choice
PollockBest Choice
SalmonBest Choice
SardineBest Choice
ScallopBest Choice
ShadBest Choice
ShrimpBest Choice
SkateBest Choice
SmeltBest Choice
SoleBest Choice
SquidBest Choice
TilapiaBest Choice
Trout, freshwaterBest Choice
Tuna, canned light (includes skipjack)Best Choice
WhitefishBest Choice
WhitingBest Choice
BluefishGood Choice
BuffalofishGood Choice
CarpGood Choice
Chilean sea bass/Patagonian toothfishGood Choice
GrouperGood Choice
HalibutGood Choice
Mahi mahi/dolphinfishGood Choice
MonkfishGood Choice
RockfishGood Choice
SablefishGood Choice
SheepsheadGood Choice
SnapperGood Choice
Spanish mackerelGood Choice
Striped bass (ocean)Good Choice
Tilefish (Atlantic Ocean)Good Choice
Tuna, albacore/white tuna, canned and fresh/frozenGood Choice
Tuna, yellowfinGood Choice
Weakfish/seatroutGood Choice
White croaker/Pacific croakerGood Choice
King mackerelChoice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
MarlinChoice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
Orange roughyChoice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
SharkChoice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
SwordfishChoice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
Tilefish (Gulf of Mexico)Choice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
Tuna, bigeyeChoice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS

*Some fish caught by family and friends, such as larger carp, catfish, trout and perch, are more likely to have fish advisories due to mercury or other contaminants. State advisories will tell you how often you can safely eat those fish.

ADVICE UPDATED JANUARY 2017 

Page Last Updated: 08/17/2017
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.
Language Assistance Available: Español | 繁體中文 | Tiếng Việt | 한국어 | Tagalog | Русский | العربية | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Français | Polski | Português | Italiano | Deutsch | 日本語 | فارسی | English