Diets pervade our every pore and being in society today, with many people having some kind of dietary requirement going on today. Some of these are due to medical conditions, some of these are about getting healthy, and some of them are about just cutting certain foods out.
This is a good thing, as people are being more aware of their health and less likely to eat burgers three times a day, no matter how good it is. However, this new precedent on dieting has made us wary of foods we’ve been eating for centuries, with a lot of it coming down to whether it contains the right macronutrients for your diet.
A big one of these macronutrients is protein and whether we are getting enough in our diet. The favorite seafood and meat in general of many people is shrimp, but now people are questioning whether shrimp is worth it.
Does it have a lot of nutrients in it? Particularly protein, how much protein does shrimp have?
What Are Shrimp?
This will be a short section for those who don’t eat shrimp regularly or have never had it. For those surprised by this, know that there are many foods not eaten or not known by others from places where they are not common.
Shrimp are small decapod crustaceans with long, thin bodies, small, fragile legs, and powerful tails used for swimming.
They are a species that is widespread, and they live in abundance, making them a primary food source for not only humans, but a lot of creatures that live in the ocean – whales, most fish, other crustaceans, and seafaring mammals, but name a few.
Shrimp live in the open ocean, in seas, in lakes, and in riverbeds from the tropics around the equator to the far reaches of the world in both polar regions.
Not only that but they can be easily farmed and reared as well, making them available as food almost everywhere near a body of water.
Is Shrimp High In Protein?
Shrimp are a fantastic source of protein, as they are basically just all protein and water. The US department of agriculture states that per 100 grams of cooked shrimp, there will be about 24 grams of protein to be absorbed by the person who eats it.
While there are several thousand varieties of shrimp, their biological makeup is pretty similar, so we can take the amount of protein in their bodies and infer that they will have around the same amount of protein.
Most people should aim for between 40 and 50 grams of protein per day – these are for the average, fairly sedentary man or woman, if you are more active you will need more protein.
This means that just from 100 grams of cooked shrimp, you gain about half of your daily protein amount, which is about the same as eating 100 grams of beef.
Other Nutritional Information About Shrimp
While both beef and shrimp are high in protein, shrimp has far fewer calories than beef, with only 99 calories per 100 grams. This makes them a great protein source for anyone on a calorie-based diet.
Shrimp is also low in fat and carbohydrates, but they are high in cholesterol, which is something that needs to be considered. Shrimp have a pretty good nutrient profile overall, with 4% of a person’s total vitamin A and C amount, 6% of a person’s total Calcium amount, and 10% of a person’s total iron amount in 100 grams.
While these numbers are not the highest, they are certainly not low either and contribute equally to an individual’s nutritional health. Another thing to note about shrimp is that they are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium.
Omega-3 is incredibly important to muscle activity, digestion, and immune function, with the highest proportion of dietary intake of Omega-3 coming from consuming fish and seafood, like shrimp. Without this key food source, we would become lethargic and sickly very quickly.
Selenium is also found in abundance in shrimp, while its role is not as important as Omega-3, it still aids with brain function, cardiovascular function, and thyroid problems.
Risks Of Eating Shrimp
Before we start this section, we want to say: Shrimp is not a dangerous food to eat, unless you shouldn’t be eating it, or you eat far too much. For the first point of the prior sentence, what we mean when we say ‘shouldn’t be eating it’ are allergies.
Shellfish is one of the most common food allergies that people have, with roughly 7 million Americans having a slight or serious reaction to shellfish, including shrimp.
When shrimp is eaten by these particular people, their immune systems will overreact to the presence of shellfish and begin attacking the person’s own body.
Symptoms can include vomiting, stomach pain, swelling of the throat and body, and anaphylactic shock, which can result in death. Therefore, if you have an allergy to seafood, stay away from shrimp or any other shellfish.
Shrimp also can contain a fair amount of cholesterol. Now, for most people, having some form of cholesterol in their diet is good.
Cholesterol basically acts as a protective barrier for the arteries and keeps them healthy.
However, if you eat too much cholesterol, then it can build up in your arteries and cause a blockage.
If you have been advised by your doctor to cut down on your cholesterol, then do not eat any shrimp.
The last thing to note is logistics. The meat of the shrimp degrades very quickly once the animal is dead and unless seen to it will become spoiled within hours.
Therefore, you need to freeze your shrimp or use it as soon as possible, otherwise, you could become ill.
Shrimp is an incredibly versatile and useful meat that is eaten the world over. It contains a very high amount of protein, on par with beef, but has very few of the downsides of other meats.