Can You Eat Sushi While Pregnant? Is There Risk

Being mindful of the foods you consume Sushi while pregnant is essential. While Sushi can be a delightful treat for many, pregnant women should exercise caution when enjoying it. Raw fish in Sushi may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can harm the developing baby. That doesn’t mean Sushi is entirely off-limits during pregnancy! Opt for cooked sushi varieties, like vegetable rolls or cooked seafood options, to safely indulge in this culinary delight while ensuring the health and well-being of both mom and baby. 

What is Sushi?

What is Sushi

Sushi is a delicious and iconic Japanese dish that has captured people’s hearts (and taste buds) worldwide. At its core, Sushi, while pregnant, consists of vinegared rice combined with various ingredients like raw or cooked fish, vegetables, and seaweed. The rice is often seasoned with a special blend of vinegar, sugar, and salt, giving it a distinct tangy flavour.

Sushi comes in a variety of forms, including nigiri (small rice mounds topped with fish), maki (rolled in seaweed with fillings), sashimi (thin slices of fresh raw fish), and more. What sets Sushi apart is its delightful taste and the artistry and precision involved in its preparation. This culinary masterpiece offers a delightful experience that satisfies both the eyes and the palate, making it a delightful culinary adventure for anyone willing to try!

Is Sushi Safe to Eat While Pregnant?

When eating Sushi while pregnant, it’s essential to exercise caution to ensure both the mother’s and the baby’s safety. Sushi typically includes raw fish, and consuming raw or undercooked fish while pregnant can carry certain risks. Raw fish may contain harmful bacteria, parasites, or mercury, posing potential health hazards to the developing fetus. Safer alternatives are available, such as vegetarian sushi rolls, fully cooked options, or Sushi made with low-mercury fish like salmon. If you’re unsure or have any concerns, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider.

Can I Eat Raw Sushi While Pregnant?

When pregnant, it’s generally best to avoid eating raw Sushi. Raw Sushi, while pregnant, often contains raw fish, and consuming raw or undercooked fish during pregnancy can pose potential risks to the health of both the mother and the baby.

Which Sushi women can Eat While Pregnant?

To ensure safe Sushi while pregnant experience, it’s best to stick to fully cooked sushi options, like vegetable rolls, tempura rolls, or Sushi made with cooked seafood.

Sushi while Pregnant the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimester

Sushi while Pregnant the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimester

1st Trimester 

During the first Trimester, it is generally best to avoid eating raw Sushi, especially those containing raw fish or raw shellfish. The developing fetus is particularly vulnerable during this early stage, and there may be a higher risk of harmful bacteria or parasites in raw fish that could potentially cause foodborne illnesses. Opt for fully cooked sushi options or vegetarian Sushi rolls to ensure a safe and healthy sushi experience during the first Trimester.

2nd Trimester 

As the pregnancy progresses into the second Trimester, the risk of certain complications decreases. However, it is still advisable to be cautious and avoid raw Sushi and raw fish during this period. The baby’s development continues, and it’s essential to prioritize their safety and well-being. Stick to cooked sushi varieties or Sushi made with fully cooked seafood to enjoy a safe and delicious sushi treat during the second Trimester.

3rd Trimester 

In the third Trimester, the baby’s major organs have developed and are rapidly growing. While the risks may be relatively lower than in the earlier stages, it’s still wise to avoid consuming raw Sushi or raw fish during this crucial time. Opt for cooked sushi options to avoid potential hazards and have a worry-free and enjoyable sushi experience in the final Trimester.

Is It Safe To Eat Sushi With Smoked Salmon While Pregnant?

Eating Sushi with smoked salmon sushi while pregnant can be a safer option compared to consuming Sushi with raw fish. Smoked salmon undergoes a curing and smoking process, which helps eliminate certain harmful bacteria and parasites that may be present in raw fish. It’s crucial to ensure that the smoked salmon used in the Sushi is high quality and properly handled to reduce any remaining risks. While the risk of foodborne illnesses from smoked salmon is lower, pregnant women should still exercise caution and consume it in moderation.

Sushi Recipes

Sushi Recipes

Here are some delicious and safe recipes of sushi while pregnant that are suitable:

1. Avocado and Cucumber Roll

This simple and nutritious roll combines sliced avocado and cucumber with seasoned sushi rice wrapped in seaweed. Avocado provides healthy fats and essential nutrients, while cucumber adds a refreshing crunch. It’s a great option for a satisfying and safe sushi treat during pregnancy.

2. Cooked Shrimp Tempura Roll: 

This roll features crispy tempura-coated cooked shrimp, avocado, and cucumber, making it a flavorful and safe choice for pregnant women. Tempura-cooked shrimp adds a delightful texture, and the combination of ingredients offers a well-balanced and tasty sushi experience.

3. Vegetable Futomaki Roll:

Futomaki is a larger, thicker sushi roll that often contains a variety of colourful vegetables. You can include carrots, bell peppers, avocado, cucumber, and cooked sweet potato to create a nutritious and visually appealing roll. The mix of vegetables provides vitamins, minerals, and fibre that are beneficial during pregnancy.

4. California Roll:

The classic California roll is made with cooked imitation crab (usually made from white fish) or cooked crab meat, avocado, cucumber, and sometimes tobiko (fish roe). It’s a popular and safe option for pregnant women, offering a delightful combination of flavours and textures.

5. Cooked Eel (Unagi) Nigiri: 

Nigiri sushi consists of a small mound of sushi rice topped with various ingredients. Cooked eel, or unagi, is a delicious and cooked option for nigiri sushi that is safe for pregnant women. The eel is usually grilled and glazed with a savoury-sweet sauce, creating a delectable contrast with the seasoned rice.

Note: Remember to use fresh and high-quality ingredients when making Sushi at home. If you’re ordering Sushi from a restaurant, ensure it’s prepared in a reputable establishment that follows proper food safety practices. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice on your pregnancy diet.

Nutrition of Sushi

The Nutrition of common sushi ingredients per 100 grams:

IngredientCalories (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Protein (g)Total Fat (g)Saturated Fat (g)Sodium (mg)Fiber (g)
White Rice130282.50.3010.4
Nori (Seaweed)355510.3501.4
Salmon (raw)20602013.43.1590
Tuna (raw)1840306.41.4470
Cooked Shrimp990.2240.30.11190
Imitation Crab851550.50.16340
Cooked Eel (Unagi)26632207.71.5820

Side Effects and Precautions Sushi While Pregnant 

1. Side Effects 

  • Foodborne Illnesses: Consuming raw or undercooked fish in Sushi can increase the risk of foodborne illnesses caused by harmful bacteria or parasites, leading to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps.
  • Mercury Exposure: Some types of fish used in Sushi, such as tuna and swordfish, may contain high levels of mercury, which can harm the developing baby’s nervous system if consumed in excess.
  • Allergic Reactions: Sushi often contains ingredients like fish, shellfish, and seaweed, which can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals, including pregnant women.
  • Listeria Contamination: Sushi made with raw fish or seafood can be susceptible to Listeria contamination, a bacterium that can cause serious infections, particularly in pregnant women.
  • High Sodium Intake: The soy sauce and other condiments often served with Sushi can be high in sodium, and excessive sodium intake during pregnancy can contribute to fluid retention and high blood pressure.

2. Precautions

  • Avoid Raw Fish: Pregnant women should avoid consuming Sushi made with raw fish or raw shellfish to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.
  • Choose Cooked Options: Opt for sushi varieties with fully cooked ingredients like cooked seafood, cooked eel, or well-cooked vegetables.
  • Select Low-Mercury Fish: If you choose to eat Sushi with fish, use low-mercury options like salmon, shrimp, or trout to reduce mercury exposure.
  • Ensure Freshness: If preparing Sushi at home, ensure that all ingredients, especially fish and seafood, are fresh and obtained from reputable sources.
  • Eat in Moderation: While it’s generally safe to enjoy Sushi occasionally during pregnancy, moderation is key. Avoid excessive Sushi consumption and balance your diet with various other healthy and safe foods.


Should I avoid Sushi with spicy sauces during pregnancy? 

It’s advisable to be cautious with sushi rolls containing spicy sauces while pregnant. Spicy sauces can sometimes contain ingredients that may not be recommended during pregnancy, like unpasteurized hot sauces or excessive amounts of spices. To be safe, it’s best to inquire about the ingredients used in the spicy sauce or opt for sushi rolls without the spicy element.

Can I eat Sushi with cream cheese during pregnancy? 

Sushi rolls with cream cheese are generally safe to eat while pregnant if the cream cheese is pasteurized and stored properly. Commercially produced cream cheese is typically pasteurized, reducing the risk of harmful bacteria. However, to be safe, it’s a good idea to check with the restaurant or sushi chef about the cream cheese’s pasteurization status.

Is it safe to eat Sushi with raw scallops while pregnant? 

Raw scallops risk contamination with harmful bacteria or parasites, making them unnecessary during pregnancy. Opt for cooked scallops or other fully cooked seafood options in your Sushi to ensure safety.

Can I eat Sushi with raw fish if it’s frozen first? 

Freezing fish before consumption can help kill certain parasites but may not eliminate all potential risks. The freezing process does not eliminate bacteria. It’s still best to avoid Sushi with raw fish during pregnancy and opt for fully-cooked sushi options instead.

Can I eat Sushi with pickled ginger while pregnant? 

Pickled ginger, or “gari,” is safe during pregnancy. It is often served with Sushi to cleanse the palate between different sushi rolls or pieces.

Should I avoid Sushi with raw fish if I am breastfeeding?

The same guidelines for pregnant women apply to breastfeeding mothers. It’s best to avoid Sushi with raw fish to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Stick to fully cooked sushi options or vegetarian rolls to enjoy Sushi safely while breastfeeding.

Conclusion: Welcome to Lady Well Care – Your destination for exclusively captivating fitness, culinary, and nutrition content for women. From pregnancy to post-abortion, we’re here to guide you to a healthier, happier life.

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I'm Abdul Rehman, the person behind Lady Well Care, dedicated to supporting pregnant mothers safely enjoying their food during pregnancy by dispelling myths and providing practical examples. I have obtained a Certification in natural herbs, nutrition, and nutrients during Pregnancy from the Certified Institute, as well as a Diploma in Herbalism. Every content we produce at Lady Well Care is meticulously crafted to ensure accuracy and alignment with the latest recommendations on optimal maternal nutrition. I am passionate about writing about food and sharing knowledge, aiming to make each pregnancy journey easier for expecting mothers.

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