Despite the fact that there 166 mg of cholesterol in a 3 oz. serving of shrimp, recent studies have shown that there are many benefits of eating shrimp. It appears that consuming shrimp will increase your LDL cholesterol, which is the type of cholesterol you want to reduce if you are at risk for high-blood pressure or heart disease. The good news is that shrimp also increases your HDL at a greater rate, and you want your HDL numbers to be higher and your LDL numbers to be lower. That is exciting news for seafood lovers like me who also struggle with weight, blood-pressure, and heart issues. Living here in the seafood capital of Alabama, I would hate to have to take shrimp off my menu.
Shrimp Are Packed with Nutrients
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, studies have shown that eating 8 ounces of seafood per week, that is a serving twice a week, is associated with reduced risk of cardio vascular disease, and these eating patterns are associated with reduced risk of obesity. Shrimp are a good source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and a 3 oz. serving only contains 84 calories. Additional nutrients include selenium, vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus, niacin, zinc and magnesium in healthy amounts. Shrimp is also a great source of the mineral iodine which is important for thyroid function and brain health. Shrimp also include astaxanthin, an antioxidant that may help reduce inflammation and strengthen arteries.
Not All Shrimp are Created Equal
Buy wild-caught American shrimp to avoid consuming pollutant-laden seafood that is farm-raised in foreign countries. Aside from the fact that many of these shrimp farms use workers that are paid next to nothing, their farming techniques include high levels of antibiotics and their ponds are often rampant with disease-causing microbes. The inspection protocols in many of these countries are not very stringent, unlike US Food and Drug Administration requirements for the seafood processors in our country.