Is It Safe To Eat Imitation Crab While Pregnant?

Craving a little seafood while pregnant? Imitation crab is a delicious and affordable option that can satisfy your craving while keeping your budget in check. But is it safe to eat while pregnant? For the most part, the answer is yes, but there are some drawbacks.

While imitation crab can offer many nutritional benefits, there are some health concerns to consider. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of eating imitation crab while pregnant, as well as what to look out for when preparing and eating this seafood substitute.

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Is Imitation Crab Safe To Eat When Your Pregnant?

Yes, it’s safe to eat imitation crab while pregnant.

Imitation crab is a type of Japanese fish cake made from Alaskan Pollock fish that undergoes a process of skimming, grinding, and cooking. It is turned into a paste that is then cut into strips to resemble the leg meat of a crab.

Imitation crab is a great way to get the delicious flavor of crab without the hassle of cooking a real crab. Plus, it’s very easy to find, as it is readily available in most supermarkets and grocery stores. Not to mention, it’s very easy to prepare and requires almost no cooking skills – all you need to do is heat it up and you’re good to go.

Imitation crab is also very versatile, so you can add it to your favorite recipes or use it as a main ingredient in your own creations. From salads and sandwiches to stir-fries and soups, imitation crab can be used in a variety of dishes. So if you’re looking for a delicious seafood alternative that won’t break the bank, then imitation crab is a good option.

The Benefits of Eating Imitation Crab

Eating imitation crab while pregnant has some benefits. First, it is low in saturated fat and calories, which is great for controlling cholesterol levels. Imitation crab also contains low levels of mercury, which can be dangerous to the developing baby. Finally, it is also a good source of phosphorus, which is essential for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.

Low Fat

One of the best things about eating imitation crab while pregnant is that it is low in fat and calories. Three ounces of imitation crab contains only one gram of fat and 81 calories, so it won’t add too much to your daily calorie count. Additionally, it has only 17 milligrams of cholesterol, which helps to keep your cholesterol levels in check.

Low Mercury Levels

Another perk of eating imitation crab while pregnant is its low levels of mercury. This is especially important because mercury can negatively impact the development of the baby’s nervous system.


Lastly, imitation crab is high in phosphorus. This mineral is essential for healthy muscles, kidneys, and nerve functioning. Three ounces of imitation crab provides 240 milligrams of phosphorus, which is over one-third of the recommended daily amount.

The Drawbacks of Eating Imitation Crab

When it comes to eating imitation crab while pregnant, there are definitely some drawbacks to consider.

Low Protein

Pregnant women need to ensure they are consuming adequate amounts of protein each day to support their growing baby, and most healthcare professionals recommend at least 75 grams of protein per day if you’re pregnant. Imitation crab meat only contains 6 grams per 3 oz serving, which is significantly lower than the amount found in real crab meat.

This can be problematic for pregnant women who are looking to get enough protein in their diets. Additionally, the added sodium and preservatives can be an issue for pregnant women since these can contribute to health complications.


High sodium levels can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, who are already at increased risk for hypertension. Consuming too much sodium during pregnancy can raise blood pressure, which can lead to preeclampsia and other complications. Imitation crab meat is especially high in sodium, containing 1780 milligrams per 3 oz serving.

This is nearly the daily recommended maximum of 2300 milligrams of sodium, and more than three times the amount of sodium in 3 oz of real crab meat, which contains only 540 milligrams. For this reason, pregnant women should avoid eating large amounts of imitation crab meat, or any other processed food that is high in sodium.


Lastly, imitation crab contains a long list of ingredients that are added purely for flavor, color, and texture, without providing any nutritional benefit. These ingredients include artificial dyes, sweeteners, and preservatives, which can be harmful to pregnant women.

Imitation Crab Versus Real Crab

Imitation crab is a great budget-friendly option to enjoy the taste of crab while pregnant. It’s already cooked and is usually made of a fish paste, egg white, and other ingredients like transglutaminase, potato starch, or wheat.

It’s safe to eat in pregnancy, but it can contain additives like food coloring, salt and sugar. If you can afford it, real crab is a better choice as it contains more vitamins and minerals and has no carbs or added sugars. It’s also a good source of lean protein without any additives. So if you’re looking for a healthier option, real crab is the way to go!

The Final Word

In conclusion, it is safe to eat imitation crab while pregnant as it is already cooked. However, it is important to factor in that imitation crab is heavily processed and contains several additives. If you are looking for a healthier and more nutritious alternative, real crab is a great choice as it contains more vitamins and minerals and has no additives. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what is best for you and your baby!

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