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imageWomen who are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant, 대구출장샵 and young children should not eat certain kinds of fish that tend to be high in mercury, but salmon is among the least tainted fish, said Lester Crawford, deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

While mercury can affect almost any organ in the body, "the most sensitive organ is the brain," said Crawford. "The concern is there could be a mental effect on a young child."

At the same time, the new guidelines emphasize that fish is a good source of protein and other nutrients and "can be important parts of a healthy and balanced diet."

In recent years fish has become increasingly popular because of the omega-3 compounds it contains that can benefit the heart.

The American Heart Association recommends that people eat a variety of fish at least twice a week, even more for those diagnosed with heart disease.

The problem is that mercury pollution from industry and other sources contaminates water where it is taken up by small fish, which are then eaten by larger fish, concentrating the mercury which then may affect people who eat the fish.

So, how to protect the heart and brain.

Consumer's Union and other groups have been pressing the government to come up with a consumer-friendly list of low-mercury fish, since not all fish are polluted equally.

The new guidelines, issued jointly with the Environmental Protection Agency, do that.

They say the fish most likely to contain mercury are shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. These fish should be avoided by women in the groups that may be most affected, and also by small children, the guidelines say.

On the other hand, the guidelines suggest eating up to two meals a week, totaling 12 ounces, of fish known to be low in mercury such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish.

Albacore tuna has more mercury than light tuna, the agencies report, so it should be limited to one meal a week.

The trade association the National Fisheries Institute issued a statement stressing the health benefits of fish and expressing concern that the guidelines might alarm consumers and cause them to avoid fish.

But Crawford said that "by following these guidelines, we're confident that women and young children can safely include fish as an important part of a healthy diet."

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