Calories in Shrimp
The really good news for people who are concerned about calories in shrimp is that there aren't many. Three ounces of shrimp contains about 80-90 calories.
Calories in Shrimp = 84
The facts you see above show that the number of calories in a typical 3 ounce serving of steamed shrimp contain only 84 calories, and only 8 of those are from fat.
Compared with chicken, shrimp gets good marks, actually surpassing it in providing some vitamins and minerals, and comparing favorably in others, according to Wholesome Foods(opens new window).
Their food ranking system marks shrimp as an excellent source of selenium and unusually low-fat, low-calorie protein in which a four ounce serving of shrimp supplies almost half ( 47.4%) of the daily nutritional requirement of your body for protein) for a mere 112 calories and less than a gram of fat. Shrimp also emerged as a very good source of vitamin D and vitamin B12.
Fat and Cholesterol
While the news is good concerning calories in shrimp there is some confusion about fat and cholesterol in shrimp. Shrimp is very low in total fat, yet it has a high cholesterol content (about 200 milligrams in 3.5 ounces, or 12 large boiled shrimp). Although some people have avoided eating shrimp precisely because of its high cholesterol content, research on shrimp and blood cholesterol levels show that avoiding shrimp for this reason does not seem justified.
In one study, researchers compared two diets, one which contained shrimp and the other eggs. In this trial, people ate either 300 grams of shrimp per day or two large eggs then switched diets. With the shrimp diet LDL levels (bad cholesterol) increased by 7%, but HDL levels (good cholesterol) went up by 12%! In comparison, the egg diet raised LDL levels by 10% and HDL by 7%.
The results showed that the shrimp diet produced significantly lower ratios of total to HDL ("good") cholesterol and lower ratios of LDL ("bad" cholesterol) to HDL cholesterol than the egg diet. What's more, people who had the shrimp diet, saw their levels of triglycerides (a form in which fat is carried in the blood) go down by 13%!
omega-3 fatty acids
Shrimp are also a good source of cardio-protective omega-3 fatty acids, noted for their anti-inflammatory effects and ability to prevent the formation of blood clots. Eating at least 10 ounces of omega-3-rich food each week improves the electrical properties of heart cells, protecting against fatal abnormal heart rhythms, according to a Greek study. (Three cheers for the Greeks!)
Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure
So in addition to answering concerns about calories in shrimps diets which provide greater amounts of omega-3 fatty polyunsaturated fatty acids such as shrimp have lower blood pressure than those who consume less according to data gathered in the International Study of Macro- and Micro-nutrients and Blood Pressure which studied 4,680 men and women aged 40 to 59 living in Japan, China, the U.S. and the U.K.
Omega-3 Fat- DHA - Destroys Alzheimer's Plaques
DHA boosts production of the protein LR11, which destroys the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease, shows brain cell research and as a result of these findings, the National Institutes of Health has begun a large-scale clinical trial with DHA in patients with well established Alzheimer's disease.
DHA is the most abundant essential fatty acid in the brain, is crucial for healthy brain development, and low levels have been linked to cognitive impairment.
Feeling depressed? - eat shrimp!
Researchers from Ohio State University discovered that people with high ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 were more likely to suffer from depression. (Now I know why eating shrimp has always made me feel better!)
Their study suggests that a diet that is rich in omega-6 fats but includes few of the foods rich in omega-3 fats which shrimp have promotes depression.
DHA is active in the brain, making it easier for to transmit electrical signals, and is involved in serotonin production which is a key factor in depression.
The practical steps: Cut back on sources of omega-6 fats, such as beef, and corn, palm, peanut, safflower and sunflower oils and enjoy omega-3-rich foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, cold water fish such as salmon or sardines and, of course, shrimp!
So the next time you go shopping, grab an extra portion of shrimps and tell anyone who is interested: "Doctor's orders"!