With there being so many ways to eat it, it’s no surprise that shrimp is the seafood consumed by Americans most often. In addition to being so delicious, shrimp actually contains a variety of nutrients, too. Not only is it high in protein and low in calories, but it is also rich in selenium, zinc, vitamin B12, and even supplies some omega-3 fats. These vitamins and minerals are vital for health, supporting such things as metabolism, muscle growth and heart health.
Be aware that shrimp is relatively high in cholesterol and sodium compared to other lean proteins, but also keep in mind that the most recent revision to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has relaxed recommendations on limiting cholesterol intake. Research has shown that for most individuals, the amount of cholesterol consumed has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. Shrimp can generally be consumed in moderation among a variety of protein sources in a healthy diet, but for individualized advice – particularly for those following a cardiac diet – consult with your doctor, or ideally, a registered dietitian.
Shrimp is often offered on restaurant menus in appetizers, entrées and salads. Do choose shrimp that is cooked in ways that use the least amount of added fat such as baking, grilling, broiling, steaming, and boiling, to save on calories. Here some yummy, healthy ways order shrimp at a restaurant:
- Grilled shrimp on a salad
- Grilled shrimp tacos
- Shrimp skewers with vegetables
- Shrimp cocktail
- Seafood cioppino with shrimp
- Shrimp spring rolls (fresh, not fried)
- Shrimp ceviche