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It is generally safe and encouraged to eat seafood, including scallops, during pregnancy. The key is to make sure that all the scallops you like have been fully cooked, carefully received and consumed in moderation, says Sandra Arevalo, RDN, a registered nutritionist and Master of Health, who is also the national representative of the Academy of Nutrition and Nutrition.
Scallops, which are a type of shellfish, are a healthy option for low-mercury seafood, Arevalo says. The part we eat is the round muscle that opens and closes the shell of the scallop. scallops are often served fried, fried in a pan or grilled.
During pregnancy, scallops (and all seafood) must be well prepared to be safe to eat, says Diana E. Ramos, an obstetrician / gynecologist and associate professor at Keka Medical School at the University of Southern California. This precaution applies to both fresh and frozen scallops and ensures that any potential pathogens in the scallops are destroyed during pre-cooking.
How Nutritious are Scallops?
Scallops are rich in lean proteins, which contain many nutrients and low glycemic index. This makes them a healthy choice even for pregnant mothers. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, scallops are an ideal source of vitamins C and A, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Moreover, your obstetrician / gynecologist will tell you that these nutrients that you get from scallops will help your fetal development as well as your health. In addition, scallops contain proteins that help mothers and babies strengthen the necessary muscles. Magnesium and calcium also help maintain and grow bones, vitamins promote vision, skin and hair, and zinc helps reduce the risk of low birth weight and promotes healthy cell growth.
Benefits of Eating Scallops During Pregnancy
Scallop meat is white and tender when cooked. In addition to being sought after for their delicate, slightly sweet taste, scallops (and seafood, generally) are chock-full of nutrition.2
In fact, scallops are a good source of protein and various minerals like phosphorous, potassium, and iron. Scallops also contain other healthy properties such as omega 3-fatty acids and vitamin B12.2
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends eating seafood during pregnancy and while breastfeeding because it can help your baby’s growth and development. Additionally, a diet that includes seafood, like scallops, may offer other benefits like improving heart health and reducing the risk of obesity.
We have already answered the question, can you eat scallops while pregnant. Even though scallops are healthy for you to consume, you still must follow the proper steps, such as prepping and cooking, to reduce any health concerns. To make scallops safe during pregnancy, consider these seven tips.
1. Buy Healthy Scallops
In the United States, scallops are sold dry or wet. However, scallops in dry packaging are healthier to eat and do not have the same chemical content as scallops with wet packaging. When you buy scallops in the store, make sure they are not shredded and do not look too dry. Ideally, the flesh of the scallop should look firm with a solid white color.
2. Fully Clean And Prepare Beforehand
Scallops are one of the easiest to clean and cook. All you need to do is rinse them under cold water and dry them with paper towels. Keep in mind that eating scallops is best on the day you buy them.
3. Don’t Eat Raw Scallops
The National Health Service highly discourages individuals from consuming raw scallops to avoid the risk of food poisoning and consumption of harmful bacteria and other toxins.
4. Cook Them Properly
When you are pregnant, it is especially important that you eat only properly prepared scallops. Eating raw scallops can be especially dangerous for pregnant women. For this reason, you must learn how to properly cook scallops before eating them. One of the most popular ways to cook scallops is to fry them in a pan. However, this is usually not a safe way to cook for pregnant women. When you fry frying pans, they are cooked only at a high temperature for about 90 seconds. Although it gives them a nice brown color on the outside, they are still creamy and essentially raw on the inside. In fact, most restaurants leave the center of the scallops completely raw to improve the taste. Although it is good for most people, such scallops are dangerous for pregnant women.
Try to stay away from frying pans if they are not fully cooked. If you are in a restaurant, ask that your scallops be fully cooked. If you are frying scallops in a pan at home, leave them in the pan for four minutes, two on each side. This way, you can make sure that the scallops are fully cooked.
However, beware, as scallops can be digested quickly. When scallops are digested, they become hard, rubbery and quite unattractive to eat. Scallops can also be grilled and baked. Try including scallops in pasta, salad or soup.
5. Avoid Eating More Than 3 Servings a Week
Like anything else, you should enjoy scallops only in moderation. To maintain a healthy and balanced diet, refrain from eating more than two or three servings of scallops a week. One serving is about 3.5-4 ounces or 100 grams. Remember not to overdo it and taste the scallops when you have them.
6. Only Purchase Fresh or Frozen Scallops
Like all other seafood, you get more nutrients if you buy scallops fresh or frozen. Do not buy scallops or any other seafood that is stored and sold in refrigerators. This way, you can avoid buying any seafood that is less than fresh. You should also make sure that you buy scallops from a reputable seller.
7. Ensure You are Not Allergic
Obviously, if you are allergic to scallops, you should not eat them. However, you may not know if you have an allergy to the scallops. If you have had an allergic reaction to oysters, shrimp or mussels, you probably also have an allergy to scallops. To be completely sure, ask your doctor for an allergy test. This is the easiest and safest way to determine if you have a scallop allergy.
scallops can be an incredibly nutritious part of any pregnant woman's diet. This type of seafood contains a lot of protein, minerals and vitamins that are vital for pregnant women. In addition, scallops contain low levels of fat and mercury. This makes them one of the best seafood options for pregnant women. Just remember to eat scallops that have been previously cleaned, prepared and cooked.