Imitation crab is a delicious seafood product that provides one with a burst of flavor and texture. Cherries, almonds, and garlic are the most common flavors for imitation crab products. However, there are other varieties that can also be available in stores. Though it may seem to be similar to the original dish made from crab meat, imitation crab should not be eaten while you are pregnant. The act of eating imitation crab would do nothing but put you at risk of food poisoning. Although this dish might taste like seafood, it does not come close to the benefits of consuming real and fresh crab.

What is an imitation crab?

Imitation crab is a product made from fake crab meat. It’s usually made from real crustaceans such as shrimp, pollock, or lobster. It is then processed and shaped into the familiar “rope” or “flake” forms. It can be eaten as a sandwich, appetizer, or ingredient in other dishes like sushi rolls. One can also pair it with green salad, vegetable soup, crab cakes, or a crab stick.

Imitation Crab While Pregnant
Imitation Crab While Pregnant

Why Shouldn’t Pregnant Women Eat Imitation Crab While Pregnant?

Imitation crabs are not as healthy as original crab meat because they do not contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Instead, they contain various preservatives and additives that do not provide any health benefits to those who eat them, especially pregnant women.

Recent studies have shown that these fake versions of cooked seafood actually contain high mercury levels. It should therefore be avoided at all costs during pregnancy, especially by those females who already suffer from thyroid issues.

How To Include Imitation Crab In Your Diet?

Imitation crab is a great way to enjoy seafood while eating something safe to eat for pregnant women. The best thing about it is that it tastes almost identical to the real thing, but of course, the health benefits are not there. However, imitation crab does have some of its own benefits despite being less healthy than consuming real crab meat.

It’s more affordable and has less chance of causing food poisoning since there are no additives or preservatives- which can make your stomach feel very uneasy!

crab flavoring and other seafood
crab flavoring and other seafood

Imitation crab is a nice alternative for those who previously enjoyed seafood before they were pregnant but want to avoid oily substances or high levels of mercury. Here are some suggestions on how to include imitation crab in your diet:

Appetizer as opposed to using real crab

Try using imitation crab meat as an appetizer at parties or restaurant dinners. Don’t eat too much of it because mercury poisoning is still dangerous, which can cause thyroid issues for both you and your unborn baby.

Add eggs-you can opt to add imitation crab meat into omelets or scrambled eggs!

Your body will absorb good protein from this combination while also enjoying the taste of seafood! However, if you suffer from iodine deficiencies, it won’t be safe to eat imitation crab meat as it might increase your chance of experiencing negative symptoms.

Use it in sandwiches

You can add imitation crab meat into your sandwich to get an extra protein boost. It’s also usually available for purchase near the lunch meat section of most grocery stores, so you won’t have any trouble finding this good alternative!

There are many benefits to eating imitation crab instead of real crabs while still enjoying seafood without ingesting mercury. The cons outweigh the pros when consuming imitations while pregnant, especially since there is no nutritional value gained from them and can actually cause negative effects on baby development.

If you want a better alternative to seafood that tastes good yet doesn’t cost as much or contains harmful ingredients, then try adding imitation crab into your daily diet regimen! The variety of ways to include it in your diet only makes it even more fun to eat!

 imitation crab meat during pregnancy
imitation crab meat during pregnancy

Eat fully cooked imitation crab meat during pregnancy and breastfeeding

It’s safe to eat unless we won’t overeat. As long as it’s cooked you’ll be fine.

The crab, shrimp, and lobster imitations are so good for a snack. While pregnant and breastfeeding it’s important to monitor the amount of sodium in this diet.

It’s important to learn how to cook imitation crabs accurately during pregnancy and not undercooked foods are not recommended. There are many possible ways to make imitation crab safe for pregnancy including cooking in pregnancy or cooking in low calories.

How Much Crab Can Pregnant Women Eat?

It is safe to eat imitation crabs for pregnant women up to 10 whole crabs in a month. The best way to cook imitation crab is to fry it in a pan with panko crumbs and seasoning.

You should also cook it until the imitation crab is fully cooked. If you are pregnant, you should only eat three servings of imitation crab per week. This is because if you have too much, your levels of iodine are likely to be low which can lead to thyroid issues.

You should never eat any undercooked food while pregnant or breastfeeding because this can lead to birth defects or miscarriage. Fully cooked versions of any seafood are best.

It’s very important that pregnant women do not eat too much mercury-filled imitation crab meat because the mother might also suffer from low levels of iodine which could make her more at risk for developing hypothyroidism problems.

lobster tails and imitation crab
lobster tails and imitation crab

How do I keep a crab imitation safe to eat during pregnancy?

The best way to keep imitation crab meat safe to eat during pregnancy is to cook it the correct way. It’s important that pregnant women only eat three servings of imitation crab per week. You should also avoid undercooked food while pregnant or breastfeeding, as this could lead to birth defects, miscarriage, or hypothyroidism.

Does Imitation Crab Meat Contain Mercury?

Coldwater rock lobster or warm water crabs normally have higher mercury levels than the raw fish commonly used in fish sticks, crab sticks which vary by species and body location within an ocean basin.

However, their level is generally lower than that found in swordfish (about 0.5 ppm) according to FDA tests conducted between 1980 and 2000. Also, tuna can also contain high levels depending on where it was caught. Yellowfin tuna a low mercury fish is far better than bluefin tuna often found in sushi.

If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you do not eat uncooked fish with high levels of mercury during pregnancy.

In addition, eating fish such as salmon and albacore may contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or other contaminants in the fat portion, which concentrates in the body over time.

Food consumption of a well-balanced diet containing a variety of foods can reduce concerns about these specific nutrients when you eat seafood.


The pros of eating imitation crab are a good substitute for those who want seafood but can’t eat it because they are pregnant.

  1. It has a high impact on one’s wallet; it will be much pricier than eating real crabs’ meat. There are no benefits to the mother or the baby for eating this imitation version of seafood, and it even contains bad ingredients such as MSG and thyroid-lowering soy sauce.
  2. It also has a robust taste and nice flavor, which might make you feel like you’re not missing out on the experience of eating crab meat while being pregnant.
  3. It also does not contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can cause deficiencies if eaten regularly during breastfeeding time or during pregnancies where deficiency is likely to occur (such as cases where mothers consume too little DHA and AHA).
  4. Doesn’t contain any trans fat, cholesterol, or MSG, which can also be a huge plus for many pregnant and want to eat an imitation version of seafood.


  1. The cons of imitation crab meat are that it does not have any nutritional value and can actually cause negative effects on baby development since there is mercury inside. Avoid uncooked meat at all costs
  2. You also can’t eat too much without risking your levels of iodine and hypothyroidism problems because of the high levels of mercury.
safely eat imitation crab when pregnant
safely eat imitation crab when pregnant

Imitation crab meat nutrition facts.

If you are unsure if imitation crab meat contains mercury, it does not. However, there are other ingredients in the meat that may be harmful like certain chemicals that can cause hypothyroidism or high levels of iodine.

The imitation crab meat has a large amount of protein with little to no cholesterol, fat, or carbohydrates. It has low fat and is high in protein. The food item also contains a comprehensive mix of vitamins and minerals.

What are common side effects when eating imitation crab meat?

Common side effects from eating imitation crab meat include having low levels of iodine, hypothyroidism, or other chemicals that could be harmful during pregnancy. Imitation crab meat is not as popular as other types of fish.

It tastes like processed fish sticks and has a high level of fake food coloring. Imitation crab meat can cause an allergic reaction in people with shellfish allergies and those who are sensitive to artificial food coloring. Some people occasionally experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and stomach aches after eating imitation crab meat.

It’s recommended that you limit your seafood consumption to three servings per week when pregnant just to be on the safe side

safely eat imitation crab when pregnant
safely eat imitation crab when pregnant

The safest way to eat imitation crab during pregnancy.

To reduce the risk of side effects from eating crab during pregnancy, avoid undercooked food as this can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, or hypothyroidism. Don’t eat raw crab, raw meat, or even raw sushi.

Imitation meat is a healthy alternative to a seafood dish and is a great way to fill your stomach up on a regular basis without having too high a caloric intake.

If you’re going to eat imitation crab meat during pregnancy, it’s recommended that you limit consumption to three servings per week just in case any side effects occur. In addition, make sure the cooked crab is well done to avoid the risk of listeria or salmonella infection.

It’s also important to check the packaging of the meat for any contaminants that could cause negative side effects during pregnancy.

What Are The Species of Crab OK in Pregnancy?

The species of crab that are okay in pregnancy are king, Snow, Dungeness, or Alaskan King crab. This type of crab has low levels of Mercury when compared to other types of seafood. This is due to the fact that they are in deep water most of their life so they have less mercury in them.

safely eat imitation crab when pregnant
safely eat imitation crab when pregnant

Eat Imitation Crab: Conclusion 

While imitation crab may seem like a delicious quick fix that allows one to go on with their day, it has many cons that outweigh the pros. Eating imitation crab is not something that should be done while pregnant because it does not offer any health benefits to the baby or mother, especially when compared to real crab meat. Real crab contains far better protein and nutrients than imitation crab.

It can also cause food poisoning if eaten in large quantities due to the high content of preservatives and additives within its ingredients.

Although it might seem like a great substitute for seafood because you don’t have to worry about mercury levels or possible oil spills ruining your meal, imitation crab actually contains high levels of mercury, which can affect both you and your unborn child’s thyroid system.

It’s best to avoid this dish while pregnant because there are many better alternatives besides serving up fake meat filled with additives!