Is Shrimp Actually Good for You? Nutrition + Calories
Yes, shrimp is good for you. Unless you’re unlucky enough to be one of the 7 million Americans allergic to it, as a nutrient-rich, low carb and calorie source of protein, shrimp can be very good for you — it’s usually the preparation that’s bad. If you stick to healthy dishes like shrimp rolls, and minimize consumption of fried or heavily buttered shrimp, the following are a few of the nutritional benefits to consider.
Protein without carbs or calories
It’s no surprise that shrimp can be an excellent source of protein. What’s great about this is that it’s high in protein while remaining low in calories. Of course, assuming you don’t eat shrimp breaded and fried, it’s also extremely low in carbohydrates, which makes it a great for anyone on a Keto diet. You will get some carbs from the rice in shrimp rolls, but the tradeoff is generally worth it.
The question of cholesterol
Whether on a Keto diet or counting calories, cholesterol tends to be a health concern for people who love protein rich food. In this regard, shrimp may raise red flags for some because, shrimp tends to be high in cholesterol, especially compared to other seafood. Shrimp contains about 170mg of cholesterol per serving, around the same as a roast duck. While this is much less than eggs or butter, it’s also nearly double the amount in a serving of beef.
While this may provide a good reason to skip buttery shrimp preparations in favor of something light, like shrimp rolls, there’s reason to take this health information with (only) a grain of salt. Studies have thus far failed to show a correlation between consumption of shrimp and risk of heart disease, nor with high amounts of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a.k.a. the “bad” cholesterol, in the blood. Actually, some studies suggest it may boost levels of the good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Thank the fatty acids
The impact of cholesterol in shrimp may have to do with the good balancing out the bad. As it turns out, shrimp is high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Despite being called “fatty,” both omegas are exceedingly good for you. The better known omega-3s reduce inflammation and promote healthy vision, skin, and mental function. But those omega-6es have particularly been shown to reduce LDL levels, and increase HDLs, we can eat lots of shrimp rolls, get our protein, and worry less about shrimp cholesterol.
Rich in antioxidants
Often hand in hand with omega fatty acids, antioxidants also provide anti-inflammatory and other health benefits. Specifically, shrimp is high in the antioxidant astaxanthin, found in high levels in the algae and phytoplankton it feeds on. In fact, astaxanthin is what gives shrimp its characteristic orange-red color. It’s also been shown to reduce risk of diseases including some cancers, and it strengthen arteries, which is great for heart health.
You don’t need to be on a Keto diet to appreciate the recommended daily intake of nutrients shrimp provides. In addition to protein, shrimp is a good source of vitamins like B12 and niacin, and also rich in the minerals selenium, iodine, and copper. Of course, iodine is vital to thyroid health and hormone production, while naturally consumed copper contributes healthy blood and bones. The mineral most associated with shrimp is selenium. A single serving of shrimp provides nearly half the daily recommended intake of selenium, itself a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and reduces risk of some cancers and heart diseases.
Enjoy a shrimp buffet
It’s likely you’ll enjoy more than a single serving of shrimp at our all you can eat buffet, which includes shrimp in many forms, including the immensely popular shrimp rolls at our sushi station. Visit Yummy Buffet today to experience the health benefits of shrimp.
Give us a call at (619) 222-3388 if you have any questions