A person can eat shrimp as it offers several key nutrients to a person’s health, and it may be good for their cardiovascular health and heart as well.
According to some researchers, shrimps may be an excellent addition to a healthy diet for those who lean towards heart disease and have higher cholesterol. There are many advantages and disadvantages of eating shrimp, especially for those who are suffering from high cholesterol.
Amount of cholesterol in shrimp
The United States Department of Agriculture proclaims that 100 grams of shrimp contain around 189 milligrams of cholesterol. Also, as per the dietary guidelines for Americans in 2015, the suggested amount of cholesterol per person is around 100 to 300 milligrams per day if they follow a healthy eating pattern.
Cholesterol in Shrimp – Helpful or not
It was found that shrimp was high in cholesterol and that eating shrimp increased the levels of LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. Experts also found that 100 grams of shrimps contained less than 0.3 grams of fat, which was unsaturated fat. This fat content of shrimp was doubtful to increase LDL cholesterol levels and may support heart health instead of making it worse. The American Heart Association suggested shrimp be included in the diet for lowering cholesterol levels, but people using them should not fry them to serve the purpose.
Eating shrimp may help lower the levels of triglycerides and lower bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.
Effect of eating shrimps on the cholesterol level
As per a survey conducted, those who ate shrimps for around three weeks reported having a rise in their LDL cholesterol by about 7% compared to a low cholesterol diet.
Simultaneously, it also increased the good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol by 12%, lowering the triglycerides by 13%. Thus, eating shrimp did not harm heart health, and in fact, it was helpful by raising the HDL cholesterol levels and contributing to a healthy heart.
The American Health Association has also claimed that shrimps contain Omega 3 fatty acids up to some extent. Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of healthful fat and benefit the cardiovascular system and other bodily functions.
Should a person with high cholesterol include shrimps in the diet?
It is a big puzzle for those who are watching their diet due to high cholesterol whether to have shrimps in the diet or avoid it. Shrimps are low in fat but high in cholesterol. Though 100 grams of cooked shrimp contains 65% of the daily consumable cholesterol, a single large shrimp contains only 3 to 4% of it. Therefore, the key to having shrimp is eating them in moderation.
Healthy ways to include shrimps in the diet
Shrimps may be healthy for the heart, but some cooking methods make them unhealthy.
To ensure that the shrimp one eats is healthy for the heart as well as low in cholesterol as much as possible, take care of the following :
- Try to bake the shrimp, boil, grill, or cook with little oil or no oil.
- Use spices, herbs, and garlic to season it.
- Add lemon juice to the shrimp.
Avoid these unhealthy ways to have shrimps.
While having shrimps in the diet, one should definitely avoid the following unhealthy ways to cook them :
- Avoid frying or sauteing shrimps in butter or oil.
- Avoid serving them in a very creamy or buttery sauce.
- Avoid adding unnecessary salt while cooking and eating them.
- Try serving them over-processed carbohydrates such as white pasta.
Nutritional value of shrimp
Shrimp, if included as a part of a healthy diet, offers a variety of nutrients. Apart from cholesterol, 100g of cooked shrimp provides the following nutrients:
- Energy – 99 kilocalories
- Protein -24 g
- Fat – 0.3 g
- Carbohydrate – 0.2 g
- Calcium – 70 mg
- Iron – 0.5 mg
- Magnesium – 39 mg
- Phosphorus – 237 mg
- Potassium – 259 mg
- Sodium – 111 mg
- 1.64 mg of zinc
This calorie table shows that shrimp is low in calories but high in protein and various other essential minerals. It means that shrimp is safe to eat for most people, irrespective of their cholesterol levels. However, people should have it in moderation. Also, those people who are following a strict diet should consult a doctor or dietician before the consumption of shrimp.
Experts have recommended that pregnant women, children, and people with a weak immune system must not eat shrimp.
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Amanda Wingfield is a certified Diabetes Management Specialist who also holds an MD in Endocrinology, with certifications from ABIM and AACE. She has a decade of experience serving thousands of patients through her independent practice and has been working in the capacity of an expert diabetes consultant for the past 4 years. Ms. Wingfield is revered by her regular readers for her in-depth research and evidence-based analysis of diabetes medications, supplements, and treatments, and her highly critical style of writing.