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August 8, 2015

United States

New York—Consumer Reports Says Shrimp Is Good For You!


Cholesterol: Shrimp does have a lot of dietary cholesterol: A 3-ounce serving packs 179 milligrams of it, more than the half of the 300 mg per day that the government has long recommended as the daily maximum.  But the government is actually contemplating new recommendations that downplay the dangers of dietary cholesterol, since the newest research suggests that it isn’t strongly linked to the risk of heart attack and stroke.  “It’s really saturated fat, not dietary cholesterol, that is more strongly linked to cardiovascular risk,” said Consumer Reports’ dietitian Amy Keating. 


Fat: When it comes to fats, shrimp get high marks for heart-health.  A 3-ounce serving contains only trace amounts of saturated and unsaturated fats, compared with 13 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated, in a typical 3-ounce beef burger.  Of course, how you cook your shrimp is important, too.  “Avoid pan frying or deep frying your shrimp, which can add fats,” Keating says.  “The healthiest option is to grill or steam them.”  Another healthy cooking tip: “Try grilling jumbo shrimp in their shells and they will come out moist and flavorful without adding extra fats,” says Claudia Gallo, Consumer Reports’ in-house chef.


Calories: Shrimp can also be low-calorie, says Keating.  That same 3-ounce burger has about 212 calories (bun not included), while a 3-ounce serving of grilled or steamed shrimp tops out at about 100 calories.  But avoid battered or deep-fried shrimp, and watch out for high-calorie dips and sauces, too.  “They all add calories and fats, minimizing shrimp’s health benefits,” Keating says.


Protein: Even though shrimp has much less fat and fewer calories than a burger, it has almost as much protein: 19 grams for 3 ounces of shrimp, compared with 22 grams for the burger.


Vitamins and Minerals: Shrimp is also a good source of vitamins B6 and B12.  Our bodies need these vitamins to manufacture neurotransmitters, chemicals that help control alertness and mood.  They’re also essential for keeping our immune systems strong.  And shrimp delivers a host of valuable minerals including, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and zinc.


Mercury: Unlike some other seafood, shrimp is low in mercury, which can harm the nervous system of a developing fetus or a young child.  This makes it a good choice for women who are pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant, as well as young children.


Source: Consumer Reports.  Eating Shrimp May Be Healthier Than You Think.  Lauren Cooper.  August 7, 2015.

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