Eating Fish: What You Should Know

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has issued updated advice on eating fish that incorporates the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. Learn more about the updated fish advice and FDA’s new resources that make it easy for those who might become or are pregnant or breastfeeding as well as parents and caregivers who are feeding children to make informed choices when it comes to the types of fish that are nutritious and safe to eat.

FDA has released two new infographics that share information about eating fish as part of a healthy diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for children. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing healthy and safe fish options:

1. Why is fish nutritious? Eating fish as part of a healthy diet can provide key nutrients during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and/or early childhood to support a child’s brain development. These nutrients include:

  • Omega-3 fat
  • Omega-6 fat
  • Choline
  • Iron
  • Iodine

Fish are a source of other nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, and selenium too.

2. Are there other benefits of eating fish? Healthy diets that include fish may also offer other health benefits. For example, strong evidence shows that eating fish, as part of a healthy eating pattern, may have heart health benefits.

3. How much fish should I eat?

  • For pregnancy and breastfeeding: Eat 8-12 ounces of fish per week from the “Best Choices” list, which include a variety of fish that are lower in mercury. Four ounces is about the size of an adult palm.
  • For children: Eat 2 servings a week from the “Best Choices” list. A serving is about:
    • Age 1-3: 1 ounce
    • Age 4-7: 2 ounces
    • Age 8-10: 3 ounces
    • Age 11: 4 ounces

4. What kind of fish should I eat? Choose a variety of fish that are lower in mercury. It is important to limit mercury in the diets of those who are or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding, and children, and there are many types of fish that are both nutritious and lower in mercury. The FDA/EPA advice has a chart that can help you choose which fish to eat and how often to eat them based on their mercury levels.

Learn more about choosing healthy and safe options when it comes to eating fish by visiting or downloading the PDF of the advice: