Can You Eat Grouper When Pregnant? [Explained]

Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Verified by Edna Skopljak MD

Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

Are you a soon-to-be mom craving fish but worried about mercury consumption during pregnancy? You’re not alone. 

Many expectant mothers are confused about which fish are okay to eat and which should be avoided.

Let’s take grouper, for example. It’s a popular type of fish often found on restaurant menus. If you feel like eating one, you may wonder – can you eat grouper when pregnant?

Can you eat grouper when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat one serving of grouper per week during pregnancy. 

So what’s with the limited serving?

FDA has three fish categories with their recommended weekly intake for pregnant women. They are as follows:

Category 1: Up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) of fish per week that are low in mercury. This includes shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.

Category 2: Up to 6 ounces (1 average meal ) of fish per week that are higher in mercury. This includes white albacore tuna, tuna steaks, and fresh tuna.

You should avoid eating bigger fish such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, or king mackerel because they contain high levels of mercury.

Category 3: Food to avoid due to high mercury content. This includes orange roughy, marlin, shark, swordfish, and bigeye tuna.

Based on the FDA recommendations, grouper falls into the second category. You can eat grouper when pregnant, but limit the intake to 6 ounces or one serving per week to minimize mercury exposure.

Moreover, when choosing grouper, make sure to cook it thoroughly to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Soon-to-be moms are more susceptible to food poisoning caused by bacteria, so it’s crucial to take extra care when handling and preparing food. 

If you’re unsure how to cook grouper, there are many reliable sources online where you can learn how. 

Some even offer tips on preparing it safely.

Benefits of eating grouper

Grouper is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. These nutrients are essential for your baby’s development, so it’s a safe choice for expectant mothers.

In particular, groupers are low in calories and saturated fat, which can help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. They are also rich in iron, magnesium, and small amounts of B-complex vitamins. All these nutrients play a role in your baby’s nervous system development.

Additionally, grouper is a good source of potassium. This mineral is vital for maintaining fluid balance and keeping your blood pressure in check.


Yes, you can eat grouper when pregnant, but you must limit the intake to 1 serving per week. Choose fresh or frozen grouper and cook it thoroughly before eating. Also, take extra care in handling and preparing food to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

It is essential to note the FDA’s list of fish with low and high mercury content to determine the weekly intake. 

Lastly, remember to enjoy grouper in moderation as part of a well-rounded and nutritious diet during pregnancy. 

Ask your dietician and doctor for more information.