Everyone knows seafood is an essential part of a healthy diet. It’s packed with protein, vitamins, heart-healthy Omega 3’s, and frankly, it’s just really tasty! The question is: how much should we be eating, how often, and what are the appropriate serving sizes. No need to scour the internet for answers! We did all the hard work for you with our comprehensive guide to eating and serving all things seafood.
How Much Seafood Should I Eat and How Often?
The FDA recommends eating a minimum of 8oz of seafood per week. But with so many different seafood options, you may be asking yourself, “How much is an average serving of seafood?” One serving of seafood is 4oz after it has been cooked, or about the size of a deck of cards. This means at a minimum you should be eating seafood twice per week with one of those servings being an oily fish such as salmon, as they contain the highest levels of heart-healthy Omega 3’s.
Can I Eat Too Much Seafood?
The short answer is no. As it is not recommended to eat seafood every meal, eating it once a day will not cause any adverse health effects. It is far more healthy to eat seafood every day than it is to eat beef every day. With that being said, you want to keep your consumption of oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies, or trout to a few times per week. The same thing can be said for shellfish such as lobster, shrimp, or clams. When it comes to white fish like cod, flounder, tilapia, or haddock— eat away! You can have as many servings per week as you like.
How Much Seafood Should I Serve?
Whether cooking for yourself, your family, or a crowd; determining how much seafood to serve can be a challenge. Our handy guide will help take the guesswork out of serving and portion sizes for your seafood.
Suggested serving sizes are based on the weight before cooking, keep in mind as the product cooks it will lose some of its weight. We recommend ordering a bit more than you think you will need, especially if you want leftovers.
If you are unsure or for any other seafood not listed, a good rule of thumb is to prepare 6-8oz per person for an entrée and 3-4oz per person for a starter portion.
Keep in mind that some seafood has parts of it that you may not consume. For example, the shell of a lobster or the bones of whole fish (unless you are making stock). In these instances you will want to account for the meat yield (how much edible meat you get). That’s why we recommend a higher weight when purchasing whole fish vs. fish fillet. You can often find this information on our product pages, but don’t hesitate to reach out to customer service with any questions that you may have.
In general, it also depends on what other food you are serving. When planning for events it is helpful to keep the following rule of thumb in mind. Each adult will typically consume about 1lb of food total and children will consume about ½lb. Often people will consume a bit more during evening events.
Serving Sizes & Recommendations for Children and Pregnant & Nursing Women
Seafood is high in protein and nutrients that can aid in a child’s growth and development. The recommended servings for pregnant & nursing women and children over two years old differ from that of general recommendations. Aside from being high in protein and Omega 3’s, seafood is a good source of the essential nutrient iron and has more vitamin B12 and vitamin D than any other type of food!
Women who are pregnant or nursing
No more than one 4oz serving of seafood that tend to be higher in mercury such as tuna, grouper, monkfish, or halibut per week.
Between two and three 4oz servings of seafood that is lower in mercury such as fresh salmon, crab, cod, or tilapia per week.
It is recommended to avoid seafood with high mercury levels such as marlin, shark, swordfish, or tilefish.
Children over the age of two:
2-3 servings of a variety of seafood per week.
For children age 2-4, one serving is 1oz. For children age 4-11 one serving is 4oz.
A full list of recommended seafood to eat and serving sizes for pregnant women and children can be found on the FDA website.