Consejos para comer pescado durante el embarazo

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Nada más enterarse de que están embarazadas, las mujeres se ven abrumadas por la información sobre qué pueden –o más probablemente no pueden– comer y beber. Adiós a los quesos fabricados con leche cruda, los huevos poco cocinados, la carne cruda, los patés, el hígado, la cafeína, el alcohol. Hay muchas cosas que recordar.

Pero el consejo sobre comer pescado durante el embarazo es con creces el más complejo. ¿Necesita ser tan complicado? ¿Qué pruebas reales hay de los riesgos y los beneficios de consumir pescado durante el embarazo?

La Agencia de Calidad Alimentaria de Reino Unido, a través de NHS Choices, una página oficial del servicio de salud, asesora a mujeres embarazadas y lactantes, así como a mujeres que planean quedarse embarazadas. Se centra en el consumo de mercurio y de unas sustancias conocidas como bifenilos policlorados (BPC) y dioxinas presentes en pescados y mariscos.

Las directrices para embarazadas y mujeres que planean un embarazo establecen tres tipos de pescados que deben evitar por completo. Se trata de tres especies depredadoras: marlín, tiburón y pez espada. Aconsejan también limitar la ingesta de otros pescados, como atún fresco y enlatado.

Las directrices para mujeres lactantes difieren un poco. En su caso, los pescados depredadores están permitidos una vez a la semana y no hay límite en el atún enlatado.

La guía incluye también la recomendación de consumir al menos dos porciones de pescado a la semana, al menos una de las cuales debería ser de pescado azul, un consejo importante que la página NHS Choices menciona solo de pasada.

Todo ello se convierte en una complicada lista de consejos. Para poder seguirla, las mujeres deben distinguir correctamente entre diferentes especies de pescados. Necesitan saber cuáles son los pescados azules y llevar una cuenta semanal del número de porciones que han comido de las diferentes especies.

Exposición al mercurio y desarrollo infantil

Hay cada vez más pruebas de los beneficios que tiene para la salud y el desarrollo del bebé el consumo de pescado por parte de la madre durante el embarazo, a pesar del contenido de mercurio. Un estudio realizado en Reino Unido, en el que se efectuó un seguimiento durante muchos años a mujeres y a sus hijos desde el embarazo (el Estudio Longitudinal de Padres e Hijos de Avon, ALSPAC) demostró que el consumo de pescado influye poco en los niveles de mercurio en sangre durante el embarazo.

El consumo de dos a tres porciones de pescado semanales repercutía positivamente en las medidas de desarrollo infantil, lo que da a entender que limitar su ingesta podría ser de hecho perjudicial. Por ejemplo, el consumo de pescado no afectaba a las posibilidades de nacimiento prematuro o bajo peso al nacer. De hecho, el peso al nacer era más bajo en los bebés de mujeres que no habían consumido pescado durante el embarazo. Otras medidas de desarrollo infantil posterior, como conducta infantil, habilidades sociales, motoras y de comunicación, así como CI, tampoco mostraban relación con los niveles de mercurio en la sangre de las madres durante el embarazo.

Resultados similares se observaron en el Estudio de desarrollo de las Seychelles, donde las mujeres comen pescado a diario y es probable que tengan niveles de mercurio más altos que en Reino Unido.

Nutrición prenatal

Los efectos beneficiosos del consumo de pescado para el desarrollo del niño probablemente se deban a que quizá los nutrientes proporcionados por el pescado –en especial vitamina D, yodo, selenio y ácidos grasos omega-3– protejan contra cualquier efecto posiblemente perjudicial del mercurio.

Ante estas directrices confusas y complicadas, es probable que muchas mujeres simplemente dejen por completo de comer pescado. Ciertamente esto es lo que ocurre en Estados Unidos ante una información nacional igualmente compleja. No cabe duda de que las mujeres británicas en edad fértil (16-49 años) consumen considerablemente menos de las dos porciones semanales de pescado recomendadas.

El mejor consejo

Claramente existe el peligro de que, en medio de unas directrices tan complejas, se pierda el mensaje de consumir al menos dos porciones de pescado a la semana durante el embarazo y la lactancia. La simplificación ayudaría a resolver este problema.

En primer lugar, la recomendación de consumir como mínimo dos porciones de pescado a la semana, al menos una de ellas de pescado azul, debería ser el principal mensaje. En segundo lugar, debería eliminarse el consejo sobre qué pescados evitar, limitar o comer tranquilamente. Tercero, las directrices deberían ser las mismas para las embarazadas, las que planean un embarazo o las madres lactantes.

Estos cambios sencillos en las directrices ayudarían a las mujeres a obtener el máximo beneficio del consumo de pescado, ya estén embarazadas, planeando un embarazo o amamantando. Y garantizarían un futuro mejor para sus hijos.

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 Publicado por ➦ JGG

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Fuente: El pais

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