Shrimp or not to Shrimp — that is the question! What do we need to know about these tasty crustaceans? When Shrimp is good, it is really good. When it is bad, well, you get the picture! My conclusion for this post is that Shrimp is a mixed bag. Since we Americans eat more Shrimp than any other item of seafood, it is essential to know more about what it is we are eating.
Here are six areas to consider:
1. Shrimp are rich in protein. Besides having a high water content, Shrimp are primarily made of protein. With minimal fat or carbohydrates, their protein content is comparable to chicken.
2. Shrimp have a rich array of nutrients. The impressive list contains Selenium for thyroid and immune health, Vitamin B12 for healthy red blood cells and DNA production, Phosphorus for strong bones and teeth and Choline for liver function and healthy metabolism. Astaxanthin, the antioxidant that provides the color pigment in Shrimp, reduces inflammation and may even activate the “longevity gene!”
3. Shrimp are dangerous allergens for some people. Along with Peanuts and tree nuts, exposure to shellfish can cause a severe reaction and even life-threatening anaphylaxis. Remember, a food allergy can occur at any age.
4. Shrimp can contain contaminants. Oceana conducted research that revealed misrepresentation of Shrimp across the United States. Using DNA testing, they confirmed that 30 percent of the 143 Shrimp products tested from 111 restaurants and grocery stores were mislabeled and misleading. For example, farmed shrimp (treated with chemicals including antibiotics and fungicides) were labeled as “wild caught” Shrimp. Seafood Watch appears to be a good source of labeling information. Fortunately, it is usually low in mercury since it is low on the food chain. Some adverse reactions to Shrimp can be due to the sulfite preservatives. It is important to have a fishmonger that you trust in these areas.
5. Shrimp is high in cholesterol but also in Omega 3 fatty acids. However, Shrimp is very low in total fat, with minimal saturated fat. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that its alteration in cholesterol appears to influence a healthy ratio of HDL:LDL cholesterol. Omega 3 fatty acids are absolutely crucial for brain function.
6. Shrimp are low in calories. One medium Shrimp contains only about seven calories and has only about 80 calories per three ounce serving.
Shrimp is a mixed bag and is in the crustacean family along with Lobsters and Crab. Quality Shrimp is delicious and nutritious but it is important to know the source and then enjoy it in moderation. NOURISH LIFE by knowing more about your food. You can do it. I will help you.