Study: Shrimp may actually contain lower cholesterol than an egg

A new study contends with the long-held belief that shrimp contains considerably elevated levels of cholesterol.

According to research conducted by the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture in Chennai, shrimp may have lower cholesterol levels than even an egg. Moreover, it appears as though shrimp contains low saturated fatty acids, moderate levels of cholesterol, low lipid levels and high levels of protein when compared to other meats, the researchers said.

For the study, researchers worked to analyze the nutritional composition of 100g tiger shrimp and white shrimp, ultimately finding that the presence of saturated fatty acids – which tend to increase blood cholesterol – were low in shrimp (0.25mg/100mg) when stacked alongside other proteins like chicken, mutton, beef, pork and egg. Scientists found the dietary cholesterol in shrimp (173mg/100g) was less than that found in the eggs analyzed (400mg/100g).

Shrimp were also found to contain many macro and micro minerals like calcium, phosphorus and selenium; the researchers also noted that shrimp are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which can help improve blood cholesterol while decreasing one’s risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Healthy individuals may consider consuming a small quantity of shrimp as part of their routine diets in light of the study, recommended Government Medical College Hospital’s head of cardiology, Dr. Kannan. “As for heart patients, we would still recommend small fish as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids," said Kannan.

As the Times of India reports, while moderate shrimp intake is suitable for healthy individuals seeking the true benefits of the aforementioned nutrients existing in shrimp, consumers with a demonstrated risk of CVD and diabetes should steer clear.

Recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA) find that less than 300mg per day of dietary cholesterol is allowable for healthy individuals, and less than 200mg per day is preferable for those with diabetes.


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