Five Strategies for Encouraging Seafood Consumption: What Health Professionals Need to Know

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Abstract

There is confusion among many Americans, particularly women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and parents and caregivers of young children, regarding seafood consumption. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages us to eat a greater variety of protein foods. One way to do this is to choose seafood twice a week in place of meats, poultry, or eggs. Seafood, which includes fish and shellfish, is recommended for the total package of nutrients it provides. However, the average American is eating much less seafood than recommended. Whether that's due to taste preferences, lack of confidence with buying or preparing seafood, or concern about potential contaminants like methyl mercury, healthcare professionals have an important role. You can help to clear up confusion and encourage patients and clients—particularly women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and parents and caregivers of young children—to include seafood as part of an overall healthy eating pattern.

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