What is imitation crab?
Imitation crab, also popular as a crab stick (fake crab meat), does not contain any crab meat. It is not a synthetic food that is made with dangerous ingredients. The composition comes from the sea.
In Japan, the crab stick is called surimi or ground meat. It is like an instant food that is made of various compositions. Therefore, it is called imitation. Yet, the food is relatively healthy for it is made of real fish. But then, we should watch the consumption during pregnancy. Is it safe to eat imitation crab meat while pregnant?
The imitation crab is made of different kinds of fish that are lower in mercury such as hake, pollock, haddock, Caspian kutum, Atlantic cod, whiting, and catfish. The compositions are ground together to create a paste.
In order to make the flavor strong, the manufacturers add artificial flavors, starch, and also MSG for giving a tastier smell and flavors. The processed seafood contains starch that is made of wheat. So, it is not gluten-free. Meanwhile, real crab meat is safe for those who are allergic to gluten.
Imitation crab meat nutrition facts
The imitation crab is an alternative to can crab meat. Besides the time efficiency, the imitation crab is delicious for various recipes. We do not have to waste our time to pry the meat from the crab shells. It is called imitation crab for some reasons. Despite the main composition of non-crab fish, the crab stick has the taste of a real crab. It has gone through a process so the white fish composition will resemble the flavor of crabs.
Now that we know about its composition, we cannot serve the crab stick too excessively. The imitation crab might have nutritional advantages. Yet, it also contains sodium and sweeteners.
Here is the detail information on Imitation Crab nutrition facts:
Calories and Macronutrients
Dieters will love it because it is relatively low in calories. The calories are only 162 calories in the 6-ounce portion of imitation crab. It is only 8 percent of our daily dietary intake of 2,000 calories. Total carbohydrate is only 25.5 grams. It also includes 0.8 gram of dietary fiber.
Also, dieters will be able to consume 13 grams of protein in the 6 ounces imitation crab. With that low calories, we can include the imitation crab for our weight loss diet plans.
It is imitation meat. Does it contain vitamin? Surprisingly, the food will boost our vitamin intake. Vitamin B-6 and B-12 are in the product (different brands may contain different vitamins). Those vitamins are essential to help our bodies create crucial neurotransmitters. It is a chemical process of nerve cell communication. Besides, vitamins are important for red blood cell supplies. The vitamin content in a 6-ounce portion is approximately 1.22 milligram of B-6. Meanwhile, it contains 0.97 micrograms of vitamin B-12.
Imitation crabs contain selenium (Se) and phosphorus (P). These two minerals are important for health. Both minerals will be required for DNA synthesis. Besides, minerals are important for cell communication. Also, selenium is important for cardiovascular function.
Sodium and Sugar
To improve the flavor, imitation crab contains 10.6 grams of sugar for each serving. Meanwhile, the sodium is 899 milligrams in a 6-ounce portion of the crab stick. That is why we have to limit the daily consumption of imitation crab meat.
Pros and cons of imitation crab meat
The imitation crab is not totally bad after all. It contains nutrition, vitamins, and minerals. Besides, it has low fat and low calories as well. Imitation food is made with a type of fish. However, in the process of production, some nutritional drawbacks such as sugar, sodium, and MSG are added. That makes the food is not so healthy to consume in a large portion of our daily diet.
Yet, it is not so dangerous or bad to consume the imitation meat due to the nutritional facts. Only that we have to be very careful in serving it. It is recommended that we mix or cook it along with healthy and fresh compositions such as a vegetable salad or a healthy stew.
Can pregnant women eat imitation crab?
It is important to consult the specialists before taking any foods, especially avoid to eat uncooked fish and seafood entirely. Therefore, pregnant moms have to consult their doctors before having the imitation crab during pregnancy.
There are various kinds of foods that are not allowed or not recommended for pregnant women. This imitation crab is allowed. However, people should limit this food consumption. This is so because cooked seafood contains mercury that might be harmful to the babies. Besides, it is unhealthy for pregnant women to consume foods that are not fully cooked like sushi and ceviche. The raw or undercooked seafood like the imitation crabs should not be consumed with a huge portion of the daily diet.
Studies about Imitation Crab Meat while pregnant
We should be grateful that the specialist and scholars work hard in providing us with reliable information. Even we can get trusted information for the imitation crab intake for pregnancy. A study of Periconceptional seafood intake and fetal growth has been conducted. The study is done by April F Mohanty, Mary Lou Thompson, Thomas M Burbacher, David S Siscovick, Michelle A Williams, and Daniel A Enquobahriea.
In 2006, the talented scholars made a research on the effect of seafood in maternal. The study concluded that the higher maternal seafood intake, the higher the fetal growth indices. The birth weight, birth length, and head circumference are higher in maternal with sufficient seafood consumption. Besides, it gives a lower risk of low birthweight.
Learn more about Is it safe to use Emetrol during pregnancy for Nausea?
Thus, is it safe to eat imitation crab meat while pregnant? It is not only safe but also recommended for some reasons. Imitation crab can be an important part of a balanced diet for pregnant women. Yet, because imitation crab is not a real crab, pregnant moms should be very careful with the portion.
How to cook imitation crab meat during pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is important to learn how to cook imitation crab meat correctly during pregnancy. Based on the study and reliable sources, we know that in pregnancy, undercooked foods are not recommended. There are many methods of cooking that we can do to make the imitation crab safe for pregnancy:
- To make the crab stick more delicious, we have to combine it with herbs, sauce, or mayonnaise.
- To eat the imitation crab with healthy vegetables is recommended. So, we can add the crab in a green salad or vegetable soup.
- The imitation crab will be yummy as we di it with low-fat sour cream or yogurt. We can also sprinkle some herbs or pepper.
- Order local California roll or California maki from these best sushi restaurants in USA can be one of the healthiest options (such as Bamboo sushi, Akiko’s, Arami, Cafe sushi, Dashi, Hashiri, Kame, Kin-chan, Maneki, Masa, Miyake, Morimoto, Nodoguro, Uchi, Tomoe sushi, Sakana, etc.)
The imitation crab, shrimp, and lobster will be so delicious for a snack. However, it is essential to watch the portion for keeping the sodium intake safe during pregnancy. So, is it safe to eat imitation crab meat while pregnant? It is safe unless we do not overeat it and as long as it’s cooked you should be fine.