Can You Eat Calamari While Pregnant? Benefits and risks?

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes numerous changes, with hormonal fluctuations being a primary factor. These hormonal changes not only have a profound impact on mood but also influence various aspects, including food preferences and aversions.

Pregnant women often experience significant alterations in their diets due to these hormonal shifts. It’s not uncommon for a once-enjoyed dish to become unappealing, while cravings for specific foods may suddenly emerge.

The nature of food aversions varies from person to person, raising questions about whether it is safe to indulge in certain cravings during pregnancy. If you find yourself wondering about the safety of consuming calamari while pregnant, our article aims to provide answers. “Hipregnancy” stands as a valuable resource to address your queries regarding calamari and pregnancy.

Recognizing the benefits of omega-3 in seafood for both the mother and the baby, it becomes essential to explore the effects of calamari during pregnancy. This article aims to shed light on the potential impacts and considerations associated with enjoying calamari while expecting.

Can You Eat Calamari While Pregnant? Benefits and risks?
Can You Eat Calamari While Pregnant? Benefits and risks?

Understanding Calamari (Brief Overview)

Calamari, alternatively known as squid, is a Mediterranean delicacy with its origins dating back to 1975. This seafood dish is crafted from squid, prepared by deep-frying in oil to achieve a delectably crispy texture.

Now that you have a brief understanding of what calamari is, let’s delve into the question of whether it is considered safe for consumption during pregnancy.

Is it Safe for Pregnant Women to Consume Calamari?

A common query regarding calamari is its safety during pregnancy, and here is the answer. Calamari can be a safe choice for pregnant women if it is thoroughly cooked before consumption. It is suitable to enjoy calamari at any stage of pregnancy, including the first trimester, as this seafood is not high in mercury and poses no harm to both the mother and the baby.

However, it is crucial to note that consuming undercooked calamari during pregnancy is strongly discouraged. Undercooked calamari may be contaminated with harmful bacteria, leading to food poisoning. To mitigate any potential risks, it is advisable to always opt for well-cooked calamari when pregnant.

Benefits of Calamari During Pregnancy (+ 3 Key Advantages)

– Rich in Protein: Calamari stands out as an exceptional protein source due to its squid content. Each squid provides approximately 13 grams of protein, making it a remarkable dietary choice. Protein plays a crucial role in maintaining energy levels and promoting muscle development during pregnancy.

– Powerful Antioxidant Properties: Antioxidants are renowned for their ability to combat cancer, and calamari proves to be an excellent source of these beneficial compounds. The presence of antioxidants in calamari enhances its potential as a health-promoting food.

– Abundant in Essential Vitamins: Calamari serves as a valuable resource for essential vitamins crucial for the growth of the baby. It contains significant amounts of Vitamin B-12, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and copper. These vitamins contribute to enhancing the immune system, promoting bone structure, and supporting the health of blood cells for both the mother and the baby.

Now that we’ve highlighted the primary benefits of consuming calamari during pregnancy, let’s delve into its potential disadvantages, with a focus on a key consideration: mercury.

Seafood Poisoning: Mercury Concerns

While seafood, including calamari, is known for being rich in vitamins and protein, a significant factor that raises caution for pregnant women is mercury. Mercury poses risks during pregnancy, as it can adversely affect fetal development, contribute to cognitive impairment, and increase the likelihood of cerebral palsy.

The high levels of mercury found in seafood can be harmful to both the mother and the baby, potentially leading to mercury poisoning, impacting vital organs like the brain and kidneys.

It is important to note that there is no conclusive evidence indicating that calamari contains dangerously high levels of mercury. Considering the numerous benefits of consuming calamari during pregnancy, there is no need for unwarranted fear. Instead, attention should be directed towards being cautious with other seafood varieties that may have elevated mercury content.

Calamari emerges as a relatively safe seafood choice for pregnant women. According to the Food and Drug Administration, calamari has a low mercury content of 0.0024 ppm, making it a safer option when compared to other seafood like tuna and marlin. It is advisable to prioritize calamari over seafood with higher mercury levels for a healthier and safer pregnancy diet.

How to Safely Prepare Calamari During Pregnancy

Ensuring the safety of the food you consume is crucial during pregnancy, and calamari is no exception. Proper cooking methods play a key role in making calamari a safe choice for expectant mothers.

First and foremost, it is imperative to avoid consuming raw seafood. While raw seafood, such as sushi, is a culinary delicacy in various parts of the world, it poses potential risks during pregnancy due to the presence of bacteria that can be harmful to the baby.

To safely enjoy calamari during pregnancy, follow these guidelines:

  1. Thorough Cooking: Cook calamari thoroughly, ensuring that it reaches a temperature of at least 145°F (65.8°C). Adequate cooking helps eliminate potential pathogens, making the dish safer for consumption.
  2. Avoid Raw Seafood: Steer clear of raw seafood, including raw calamari. Opt for cooking methods that eliminate any potential risks associated with consuming raw or undercooked seafood.
  3. Refrigeration of Leftovers: Store any leftover calamari promptly in the refrigerator to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Proper storage is essential for maintaining the safety and freshness of the dish.

By adhering to these cooking guidelines, you can enjoy calamari safely during pregnancy, minimizing any potential risks to both you and your baby.

Is it Safe to Consume Fried Calamari During Pregnancy?

If you’re wondering about the safety of eating fried calamari while pregnant, it’s important to note that the frying process itself doesn’t alter its pregnancy safety. In essence, you can include fried calamari in your pregnancy diet, but it is advisable to moderate your intake due to its higher fat and calorie content.

When indulging in fried calamari, be mindful of the accompanying dipping sauce, often mayo-based. Ensure that the sauce does not contain raw eggs to prevent potential foodborne illnesses during pregnancy. Opt for dipping sauces made with pasteurized eggs as a safer alternative.

Moreover, there are several other seafood options that you can safely include in your pregnancy diet, apart from calamari. Our team has compiled a list of seafood that poses minimal concern regarding mercury content during pregnancy:

  1. Cod (For more details, refer to the article on cod while pregnant)
  2. Catfish
  3. Crawfish (For more details, refer to the article on crawfish while pregnant)
  4. Salmon
  5. Whitefish
  6. Lobster (For more details, refer to the article on whether you can eat lobster while pregnant)
  7. Flounder
  8. Whiting
  9. Sardine
  10. Herring

These seafood options offer a variety of choices, allowing you to enjoy a well-rounded and safe diet during pregnancy.


We trust that we have addressed various concerns and questions for expecting mothers regarding the consumption of calamari during pregnancy. Rest assured that you can indulge in this delicious seafood without hesitation when those cravings arise.

We appreciate your time in reading our article, “Can you eat calamari while pregnant?” If there are any aspects related to calamari during pregnancy that we may have overlooked, please feel free to share them with us. Additionally, if you have further inquiries about calamari or seek more information on the impact of seafood on your pregnancy, consider visiting “Hipregnancy,” a dedicated website providing comprehensive answers to all your pregnancy-related queries.


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