For years, I’ve avoided shrimp because it’s high in dietary cholesterol. But when Answers.com asked me to write an article entitled, “Clarifying the Connection Between Shrimp and Cholesterol” I was stunned to find I’d been avoiding one of my favorite (and easy to prepare) foods for far too long.
Yes, it’s true – shrimp does have a lot of dietary cholesterol. Specifically, one serving of 4 large shrimp contains 42.5 milligrams of cholesterol (according to the NYU Langone Medical Center’s All About Shellfish). And that 42.5 mg is about 20% of the 200 mg maximum dietary cholesterol recommended for those with high cholesterol or at risk for heart disease. And that’s just the shrimp – not the butter that frequently accompanies it. (And who eats just 4 shrimp – you know you need to double it…)
So for years, high-cholesterol shrimp was a no-no.
But it turns out that dietary cholesterol is no longer believed to be a key factor when trying to lower overall cholesterol. In the fight to lower cholesterol, avoiding saturated fat and trans-fat is key.
And shrimp is a ZERO FAT protein.
Oh, and it gets better. Shrimp delivers cholesterol-lowering Omega-3 fatty acids to boot.
So go ahead — break out a cookbook or two and find a shrimp dish where the shrimp is grilled or sautéed in heart-healthy olive oil. And if you’ve got a good recipe, please send it to me. I’m on the hunt now for easy-to-cook shrimp dinner recipes for my lo-co cookbook.