Shrimp are considered as part of a balanced diet, they provide some important nutrients that are good for cardiovascular health. Even those with high cholesterol, the benefits of eating shrimp outweigh the risks.
1. Do shrimp have a lot of cholesterol?
Around the question of whether people with heart disease should eat shrimp, doctors have previously advised these subjects not to eat a lot of shrimp because of their high cholesterol content. However, researchers now believe that shrimp do not contribute to heart disease or raise cholesterol. So shrimp can still be an excellent option for a healthy,balanced diet.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 100g of shrimp contains 189mg of cholesterol. Nutrition guidelines for Americans recommend consuming as little cholesterol as possible. Although not giving a specific amount, a healthy menu only needs about 100 – 300mg of cholesterol per day.
Previously, doctors thought that all cholesterol was bad for health. However, experts are now discovering that high-density lipoproteins (HDL), also known as good cholesterol, can balance the negative effects of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or bad cholesterol, to help stabilize health. In other words, good HDL cholesterol can help reduce the risk of heart disease, while LDL bad cholesterol does the opposite.
In 1996, a team of scientists found that eating shrimp simultaneously increases LDL cholesterol levels and also HDL. Foods rich in saturated and trans fats can also increase LDL cholesterol levels. However, 100g of shrimp contains no more than 0.3g of fat and is mostly unsaturated. In other words, the fat content in shrimp is unlikely to increase bad cholesterol levels.
A study in 2018 noted that most foods with high cholesterol content are also high in saturated fats. However shrimp and egg yolks are the exception. Both are low in saturated fats, even many other nutrients. The authors argue that shrimp and eggs are healthy foods and do not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The American Heart Association (AHA) even lists shrimp on a list of foods that can lower cholesterol levels – as long as you don't make fried shrimp. The AHA adds that shrimp contain some omega-3 fatty acids. It is a healthy type of fat, beneficial for the cardiovascular system and other functions of the body. Therefore, eating shrimp is better for the heart than making the disease worse.
2. Shrimp nutrition compared to other seafood
In addition to cholesterol, 100g of cooked shrimp also provides many of the following nutrients:
- 99 kcal of energy;
- 24g protein;
- 0.3g fat;
- 0.2g carbohydrates;
- 70mg calcium;
- 0.5mg iron;
- 39mg magnesium;
- 237mg phosphorus;
- 259mg potassium;
- 111mg sodium;
- 1.64mg zinc.
It can be seen that shrimp are low in calories but high protein and many other essential minerals.
Other seafood also have certain levels of cholesterol and nutrients. So just like shrimp, they can also bring health benefits. For example, lobsters contain more cholesterol than ordinary shrimp. This seafood is also low in calories and saturated fats, but rich in proteins, omega-3 and selenium.
Crab meat is high in protein, less fat, calories and cholesterol than shrimp, in addition to providing more vitamins. However crabs contain more sodium than shrimp, so are not suitable for people with high blood pressure.
Salmon is a good source of protein and B vitamins, very rich in healthy omega-3 oils. These substances help boost energy, support metabolism and build a healthy nervous system. Salmon has a higher fat content than both lobster and shrimp, but less cholesterol.
2.5. Oysters, clams and mussels
Oysters, clams and mussels are rich in nutrients such as iron, zinc,vitamin B-12, phosphorus, niacin and selenium. Clams can also reduce bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol.
3. Risks of eating shrimp
Eating shrimp may not increase cholesterol levels, but people should consider some of the following factors before including shrimp in their daily diet.
3.1. How to prepare
People with heart disease should eat shrimp on the condition that the processing method must be healthy. To ensure that the shrimp is as quality and low in cholesterol as possible, you can cook it in the following ways:
- Bake, boil, or sauté with little oil;
- Season with spices, garlic and herbs;
- Use a few drops of fresh lemon.
It is not recommended to:
- Fry or sauté with plenty of butter or oil;
- Served with cream sauce or butter;
- Add more unnecessary salt;
- Served with plenty of carbohydrates, such as noodles, rice,…
Some experts allow you to eat raw shrimp – for example in sashimi. However, carefully choose the right type of shrimp that can be eaten raw, ensuring freshness and no fishy smell. It is best to eat raw shrimp only at restaurants with professional chefs, who know how to handle it carefully to ensure safety. Experts advise that children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems should not eat raw shrimp.
It is recommended to check the origin of the shrimp before buying. Shrimp can be contaminated by contamination at sea or uns controlled shrimp farming facilities. However, even the information on the label cannot guarantee safe shrimp. Both farmed and naturally caught shrimp are at risk of containing contaminants.
Shrimp originating from process-certified farms are often the better choice. Mercury is a particular concern with some types of seafood. However, the AHA said the mercury content in shrimp was quite low.
3.3. Storage and storage
Improper storage of shrimp may increase the risk of food poisoning.
- Shrimp should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of ≤ 4°C for 2-3 days;
- If you want to store for longer than 2 days, place the shrimp in a plastic container and store it in a freezer;
- Do not free defrosted shrimp when sold in-store;
- If you do not eat shrimp immediately after cooking, cool quickly and put it back in the fridge for storage for 2 hours;
- In addition, the bacteria will proliferate at a temperature of 4.5 – 60°C. So it is necessary to cook the shrimp immediately after being removed from the refrigerator;
- It is not recommended to use when the shrimp meat becomes cloudy after a while to outside the room temperature;
- When cooking shrimp it is necessary to reach a minimum of 63°C or more.
Like clams, oysters and mold, some people with shellfish food allergies may also be allergic to shrimp. These subjects should avoid all shrimp-related dishes, including those made from shrimp or shrimp flavored.
Signs of an allergic reaction are usually:
- Urticaria or rash;
- Difficulty breathing.
If there are any of the above symptoms, the patient should be taken to a medical facility immediately because of the risk of anaphylactic shock. This is a serious allergic reaction, which can quickly be life-threatening.
In summary, doctors rate shrimp as safe food for most people, regardless of whether cholesterol levels are high or low. Consuming shrimp in moderation can provide the body with many essential nutrients, even eating shrimp that are good for the heart. Those who are subject to a strict diet set by a doctor or nutritionist should ask carefully before eating shrimp. Patients with seafood allergies should avoid eating shrimp altogether.
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Source: medicalnewstoday.com, healthline.com
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