Can You Eat Calamari When Pregnant?

You might wonder if you can eat calamari when pregnant. The answer is yes, but you must watch out for some things. First, you should never consume the insides of raw squid. This is because the squid may contain a parasite called Toxoplasma, which can harm pregnant women. Also, make sure to refrigerate leftover calamari to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Can You Eat Calamari When Pregnant

Can You Eat Calamari When Pregnant?

When pregnant, you can eat calamari and another squid in moderation as long as they are cooked well.

Grilled Calamari is Safer Than Fried Calamari

If you’re pregnant and want to enjoy calamari, you should know that you should cook it in a steamed or grilled form. Although fried calamari is tempting, frying is bad for your health. Fried calamari loses its nutrients when it’s fried. The CDC recommends that pregnant women eat fully-cooked seafood.

While calamari contains a small amount of mercury, it’s safe for pregnant women to eat it in small quantities. The mercury content in calamari is less than 0.024 parts per million (ppm) – much lower than other types of seafood such as swordfish, tuna, and shark. It is safe to eat two to three ounces of calamari per week as long as you cook it in the right way.

The best way to eat squid while pregnant is to make sure that you cook it to an internal temperature of at least 63 degrees Celsius or 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to store any leftovers quickly in the fridge, as ambient room temperature will reduce the internal temperature by two or three degrees. If you’re unsure, talk to your doctor first. And don’t forget to check whether you’re allergic to seafood.

Grilled Calamari is Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Although calamari is not considered a food that’s harmful to pregnant women, it’s best to be sure of its safety before eating it. Cooking it thoroughly will ensure that any harmful pathogens don’t reach the baby. The CDC recommends that pregnant women eat fully-cooked seafood.

While it’s healthy to eat a variety of seafood, pregnant women should avoid eating fish with high levels of mercury. Although calamari has a high content of Omega-3 fatty acids, pregnant women should limit their intake of this type of seafood. It’s best to stick to limited amounts, about five ounces per week.

In addition to being high in protein and iron, squid is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for promoting heart health. Squid oil contains high levels of DHA, which can improve a woman’s resting heart rate and reduce platelet aggregation. In general, squid is safe to eat when pregnant, but limit your intake of fried calamari.

What Seafood Should a Pregnant Woman Avoid?

Seafood can be a fantastic source of protein. The omega-3 fatty acids in many fish, which are found in seafood, can help your baby’s brain and eye development. However, some fish and shellfish have mercury levels that could be harmful. The developing neurological system of your kid could be harmed by too much mercury.

Avoiding King Mackerel

There are some good reasons for avoiding king mackerel while pregnant. While it is a rich source of vitamin B-12, healthy fats, and important proteins, it can also contain mercury, a possible carcinogen that can harm your baby’s developing nervous system. The best choices include Atlantic and Pacific mackerel.

Although pregnant women should avoid king mackerel, they can eat other mackerel safely. In general, three servings per week of Atlantic mackerel are safe. Atlantic mackerel contains a lower mercury level and is a good source of omega-3s and phosphorus. In addition, it is rich in vitamin B12, selenium, and niacin.

Atlantic mackerel contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA. These fats help maintain your body’s immune system and inflammatory response. DHA is also important for your baby’s brain. These fatty acids can reduce your risk of preterm labor, prevent preeclampsia, and increase birth weight.

Avoiding Tilefish

Tilefish, also called squid, is a type of fish that is best avoided when pregnant. The traces of mercury found in tilefish can harm the developing fetus. However, squid is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also low in sodium and saturated fat. Other safe seafood to consume during pregnancy include clams, scallops, grouper, and oysters.

Following the FDA’s recommendations for eating seafood when pregnant is important. Although mercury levels in fish vary, the FDA recommends eating only low-mercury fish such as calamari. This fish contains significantly less mercury than swordfish, king mackerel, and tuna. It is safe to consume two to three servings per week of low-mercury seafood.

It is advisable to cook all types of seafood thoroughly to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. If you are eating calamari, choose fried varieties instead of raw or canned ones. This is a safe option; as deep-frying, the squid kills harmful pathogens. However, when pregnant, you should avoid eating tilefish and other seafood containing high amounts of mercury.

How Should Calamari be Prepared?

Squid can be eaten during pregnancy as long as it is prepared properly. There are many different ways to cook this seafood, including frying, sautéing, baking, and grilling.

Squid can also be seared, but pregnant women should avoid doing so. If the inside is raw while the outside has cooked, you and your baby are in danger of being sick.

To ensure complete cooking, seafood must reach an internal temperature of 145°F (62.8°C). It’s crucial to store any leftovers from cooking as quickly as possible in the refrigerator. It just takes one to two hours for dangerous germs to develop at room temperature.

Is Calamari Healthy & Safe During Pregnancy?

Squid and calamari can be a nice, healthy addition to your pregnant diet, depending on how they are prepared (steamed, roasted, and broiled are all preferable to frying).

Calamari is low in fat, calories, and protein when eaten alone, without a battered or fried covering. Additionally, it’s a good source of zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12.

Squid has a significant quantity of cholesterol—260mg per 100g. If you’re keeping an eye on your cholesterol levels, you might want to eat less calamari and instead choose other seafood dishes.

Squid and calamari are acceptable to eat in moderation as part of a healthy pregnancy diet. Unless otherwise stated, eating high-cholesterol foods won’t likely increase your blood cholesterol levels.

Can a Pregnant Woman Eat Salt-and-Pepper Squid?

Chinese people love salt and pepper squid, which can be made with either entire baby squid or pieces of calamari. If fully cooked, the entire squid is edible and safe to consume while pregnant. The same rules apply: as long as it’s cooked, it’s okay.

What Advantages does Calamari have for Pregnant Women’s Health?

Not only is calamari delicious, but it also has minerals that are healthy for pregnant women. Calamari, for instance, is a good source of omega-3.

Because they aid in the fetal brain’s development, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial during pregnancy. Calamari is also a fantastic source of protein, vitamin E, copper, B12, zinc, selenium, and iron—all essential minerals for pregnant women.

Reference: Fish Consumption During Pregnancy: An Overview of the Risks and Benefits

Is Calamari Served Cooked or Raw?

If fresh and prepared properly, calamari can be eaten raw; it is frequently presented in sushi and sashimi. Calamari can be deep-fried after being cut into rings and battered. Seasonings like chile pepper, garlic, onions, sesame oil, or saffron enhance grilled calamari.

What Happens if you Consume Mercury-Rich Fish?

Your central nervous system may become damaged by organic mercury (brain and spinal cord). Inorganic Mercury can harm kidneys and lead to bleeding. If untreated, exposure to high concentrations of mercury or prolonged exposure can be fatal. Health problems, including poor brain function, anxiety, sadness, heart disease, and delayed baby development, are all associated with mercury exposure.


If the calamari is thoroughly cooked, which doesn’t take long, it is safe for pregnant women to eat. You can and should indulge in a plate of this nutrient-rich seafood whenever you crave calamari while pregnant.

Due to its low mercury content and high concentration of nutrients that benefit your health and your developing child, it is one of the better forms of seafood to eat while pregnant.