Pregnancy cravings are a big deal, no matter how much they’re teased in popular culture. Pickles and ice cream may sound bizarre, but when baby starts demanding that specific combination, it might not sound quite so weird. Often, a body’s cravings are a way of replacing nutrients or minerals you may not be getting enough of, so it can be very important to listen to what your body is saying. However, when you are pregnant, balancing cravings with potentially risky foods can be a complicated task. Some days, you may desperately want sushi, and it’s only the doctor’s warnings that keep you away from your favorite Mercer Island Sushi bar, Sushi Joa. Here’s a bit of clarification about eating sushi during your pregnancy:

Why Sushi Is Considered Risky

Raw Foods

It’s not necessarily that sushi itself is considered risky during pregnancy. The potentially problematic element is the raw fish. This is because, according to the FDA, pregnant women and young children have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to microbes carried by uncooked or undercooked foods. It’s because of that potential for a weaker immune system that the FDA says all pregnant women should only eat meat, poultry, fish, and eggs that have been cooked to a safe temperature. If you’re unsure what that temperature is, see their website.


The other potential risk is that some varieties of fish, especially those fished from rivers and streams, have an increased likelihood of absorbing and carrying mercury. This is particularly risky for pregnant women, as mercury is a neurotoxin that can be harmful to the brain and nervous system and may affect baby’s development in too high a quantity.

Safe Sushi

We definitely don’t suggest going against your doctor’s and the FDA’s suggestions for healthy eating while pregnant, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo sushi entirely! In fact, eating plenty of (safe) fish during pregnancy is good for you because of fish and seafood are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including omega-3 fatty acid.

The good news is, at Sushi Joa, we have plenty of options that do not contain raw fish. This way, you can get those delicious sushi flavors without risking your health or that of your baby. To assuage that sushi craving, try our vegetarian rolls. This will give you many of the same flavors and textures without the inclusion of raw fish. Or, to include fish in your meal, try options that include cooked fish rather than raw, like our Tsunami Roll or Dynamite Roll. For other safe options, simply ask your waitstaff next time you visit Mercer Island’s local Japanese cuisine and sushi house, Sushi Joa.

Eat More Fish

The best part about coming to Sushi Joa for Japanese cuisine is the variety of flavors, combinations, and delicious fish you can get! Be sure to check the FDA’s list of low-mercury fish so you and your baby can stay healthy during your pregnancy, but don’t miss out on your favorite cuisines. Assuage your cravings with vegetarian rolls, cooked fish rolls, and other healthy and delicious options. Visit Sushi Joa, Mercer Island’s best sushi place!