Nine out of ten persons love seafood and especially shrimp. What most shrimp lovers fear is the high Cholesterol in shrimp that may produce artery – blocking plaques causing heart attack. Even Doctors have been advising old people to avoid shrimp.
As with all seafood, shrimp is high in calcium and protien but low in food energy. A shrimp-based meal is also a significant source of Cholesterol from 7 mg to 251 mg per 100 g of shrimp, depending on the method of preparation.
What people generally do not know is that Shrimp Cholesterol actually reduces the bad Cholesterol in our body. And we can all enjoy shrimp as part of our balanced diet.
Cholesterol travels through the blood stream in lipoprotein or known commonly as plump little fat and protein packages. The fat part of the Cholesterol is “bad Cholesterol” or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). The packages are “Good Cholesterol” or high -density lipoprotein (HDL).
Good Cholesterol would help to discharge Cholesterol into the liver for excretion and reduces total Cholesterol level in the blood stream.
Cholesterol from food is harmful only if it is being absorbed by the body. And saturated fat such as meat, eggs and dairy foods help speed up LDL and Cholesterol absorbing process.
The high level of Cholesterol in shrimp, however, has only slight saturated fat (1gram per serving in comparing to 20 grams in beef). The Cholesterol in shrimp is also much harder to be absorbed than other high fat food, although the reason is still unknown.
In the past, food scientist could not differentiate the different Cholesterol and measured them all as “Cholesterol”. Today we can detect Cholesterol in bad LDL and good HDL.
Eating shrimp will certainly increase the total level of Cholesterol in comparison to low Cholesterol diet. Yet, shrimp Cholesterol increases HDL significantly more than LDL and render a better Cholesterol balance between the two.
Food technologists have all agreed that a healthy diet may include shrimp. As with most foods, it is better to avoid deep-fried, limit oil amount, butter and mayonnaise.