Since the early 1990's eating sushi has been a growing trend in the United States. It seems nowadays you can find a sushi restaurant on every block. Some specialize in gourmet sushi and are fancy upscale restaurants while others cater to lunch crowds by having pre-made sushi that rides around on a conveyor belt for customers to choose from. Overall, the rate of raw and cooked fish consumption by Americans have skyrocketed in the last 30 years.
Although I believe eating sushi, whether cooked or raw, is safe for the general public there are some fish that contain toxic levels of mercury that should be avoided. Pregnant women and children are at the highest risk for health complications caused by mercury toxicity and they should take serious precautions while choosing which sushi to eat.
According to dummies.com the top six fish used to prepare sushi are bluefin tuna, big-eye tuna, yellowfin tuna, red snapper, Japanese yellowtail, and salmon. Of these fish, yellowfin tuna, Japanese yellowtail, big-eye tuna, and bluefin tuna are among the highest mercury containing fish and should not be eaten by pregnant women according to the American Pregnancy Association. A comprehensive list of sushi fish that are low in mercury can be found on the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) website. Some of these fish include, but are not limited to, Ika (squid), Kani (crab), and Sake (salmon). So next time you sit down to eat sushi you might be best off ordering a California roll or Philadelphia roll.