Shrimp is among the most popular seafood that is used around the world due to its delicious taste and its wide range of health benefits. It can be cooked in different ways that satisfy all tastes.
It was noticed that the countries that include seafood more than red meats in their diets like the Mediterranean countries, enjoy better health and live longer. That’s due to the healthy nutrients that are in seafood that have a positive impact on overall health.
It’s a challenge for diabetics to choose healthy foods that do not negatively influence their diabetic symptoms. Shrimp is a safe option for them. It’s considered healthy and delicious as well. It contains healthy nutrients that support their health and helps maintain their blood sugar levels.
Throughout this article, I will try to answer the most common questions about eating shrimp. Can diabetics eat shrimp? What are the health benefits of shrimps? What are the side effects of eating shrimp? And more questions.
What is shrimp?
Shrimp is a kind of shellfish, which is commonly consumed around the world. There are many species of shrimp, but most of them live in saltwater. On the other hand, there are some species that live in freshwater. There are many sizes and colors of shrimp, and they can be cooked in different ways.
Nutrition facts for shrimpCrustaceans, shrimp, mixed species, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories (self.com)
- It’s a good source of lean protein, as one cup of shrimp contains 25 grams of amino acids
- It contains omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats
- It is very low in carbs
- It’s low in calories
- It’s high in cholesterol
- It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and chlorine
Health benefits of shrimp
Shrimp is not delicious only but it has a wide range of health benefits including:
- It’s considered one of the heart-healthy foods because it contains omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for promoting heart healthOmega-3 Supplements and Cardiovascular Diseases – PMC (nih.gov)
- Since it contains high levels of iron, which is essential for increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain and that helps in improving brain function and enhancing memory and concentrationThe role of iron in brain ageing and neurodegenerative disorders – PMC (nih.gov). Additionally, it contains iodine, which plays an important role in developing the brains of babies during pregnancy and infancyThe role of iodine in brain development – PubMed (nih.gov)
- High levels of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and phosphorus help support bone health by protecting against bone degeneration. Minerals for Bone Health – American Bone Health
- It’s low in carbs and calories which makes it a great option for people who seek to lose weight. In addition, it is rich in zinc, which helps increase leptin levels in the body, which plays an important role in curbing cravings and feeling full, and that means losing weightLeptin and zinc relation: In regulation of food intake and immunity – PMC (nih.gov)
- Shrimp does not contain mercuryMercury concentrations in store‐bought shrimp – PMC (nih.gov), which makes it safe for pregnant women. Furthermore, it is rich in various healthy nutrients that are beneficial in pregnancy such as calcium, choline, zinc, magnesium, and protein. For that, shrimp helps support pregnancy health
- The presence of Astaxanthin, which is a natural antioxidant in the shrimp, helps increase the production of the antibody cells in the body, which leads to lowering the damage of the DNA, by fighting the microbes that cause this damage. In addition, Astaxanthin helps support the immune systemAstaxanthin: Sources, Extraction, Stability, Biological Activities and Its Commercial Applications—A Review – PMC (nih.gov)
- The high levels of zinc in shrimp help create and maintain hair and skin cells, for that, it helps reduce hair lossA 3-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the ability of an extra-strength marine protein supplement to promote hair growth and decrease shedding in women with … Continue reading
- Shrimp may decrease menstrual pain for women http://eprints.semums.ac.ir/523/1/1-s2.0-S0020729211006564-main.pdf
- Since shrimp contains Astaxanthin, which is a carotenoid antioxidant, that helps reduce signs of aging, improve skin elasticity, and support the eye healthAstaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review – PMC (nih.gov)
- Strengthens the nerves due to the high levels of magnesium, which protects nerve tissue, which protects against premature aging dementiaAntioxidant and Oxidative Stress: A Mutual Interplay in Age-Related Diseases – PMC (nih.gov)
- The presence of magnesium and omega-3, which help change the mood and get rid of anxiety, tension, and symptoms associated with depressionAssociation of Use of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids With Changes in Severity of Anxiety Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis | Anxiety Disorders | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network
- The high levels of selenium in shrimp, which is an oxidizing agent has an effective role in getting rid of free radicals that cause cancerEffects of Selenium and Vitamin E on Enzymatic, Biochemical, and Immunological Biomarkers in Galleria mellonella L | Scientific Reports (nature.com)
What are the side effects of eating shrimp?
- One of the concerns of eating shrimp is being high in cholesterol. So, it is advisable to eat it in moderation
- Many people have an allergy to shrimp due to the presence of tropomyosin which causes an allergic reaction for some peopleSeafood Allergy – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
Shrimp for diabetics
Shrimp is a low-carb food and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered healthy fats that are allowed in the menu of diabetics. Shrimp does not negatively affect blood sugar levels due to the very low carbs content. In addition, it is a good source of healthy fats and protein, which are essential for maintaining the health of people with diabetes.
Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids are considered a good type of cholesterolOmega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which is essential for maintaining diabetic health. It contains anti-inflammatory nutrientshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5352583/pdf/11357_2017_Article_9958.pdf, which play an essential role in reducing the risks of inflammation.
It has been proved that omega-3 fatty acids help improve the sensitivity of insulin, which leads to healthy levels of blood sugar. In addition, they help to repair the damage of the cell membranes, which is caused by diabetes.
Shrimp contains high levels of fats and cholesterol, so it’s important for people with diabetes to eat it in moderation and also to use a healthy way of cooking.
How much shrimp can a diabetic eat?
Diabetics should pay attention when they choose the types of foods that are included in their diet. If we take shrimp as an example, it should be consumed in moderation because it contains fats that can cause increased cholesterol levels if they eat too much of it. Also, it’s advisable for people who have diabetes to eat protein in certain quantities. About 150 grams of shrimp per week are considered acceptable for diabetics.
Different methods for cooking shrimp
- Grilled shrimp is considered healthy
- Shrimp cocktail, in which used a sauce that often contains unhealthy additions like ketchup, butter, and others
- Sauteed shrimp
- Baked shrimp
- Fried shrimp
- Use the boiling way especially for shrimps that are usually added to salads
Can you eat shrimp every day?
It’s not advisable to eat shrimp every day because it contains high amounts of cholesterol. So, eating too much shrimp leads to increasing the levels of cholesterol which is harmful to the heart and causes many health problems. It’s acceptable to eat it twice or three times per week.
Is it safe during pregnancy to eat shrimp?
To answer this question, I want to mention that shrimp contains low levels of mercury compared to different kinds of seafood, so pregnant women can enjoy eating it and getting its health benefits without worrying about mercury content. The healthy nutrients in shrimp play an essential role in supporting a healthy pregnancy and developing the brains of the babies as well. But, pregnant women should eat it in moderation to avoid any side effects.
Is shrimp cocktail healthy for diabetics?
The main component in this dish is shrimp, which is healthy and has many health benefits, especially for diabetics. But, it’s important for diabetics to pay attention to the other ingredients such as the sauce, which is considered high in sugar. So, if diabetics want to eat shrimp cocktails, they have to reduce the amount of ketchup and replace it with healthy ingredients such as lemon juice, parsley, and other healthy options. In this case, they can enjoy the delicious taste of this dish without affecting their blood sugar levels.
Is frozen shrimp healthy?
Using frozen shrimp is easy, convenient, and fast. It’s safe to eat it but try to buy from a reputable source. The other thing that you should pay attention to, the sodium content. So, read the labels well before purchasing.
How long do frozen shrimp and fresh shrimp last?
First, fresh shrimp can be eaten within two days. For the frozen shrimp, the duration in which it can be eaten is up to eighteen months in the freezer. Always check the texture, smell, and color of it.
Which is healthier, fresh shrimp or frozen shrimp?
As we mentioned before, frozen shrimp is safe and easy to eat, if it’s from a reputable source. The meaning of fresh shrimp is the shrimp that is alive because most of the shrimp in the markets were frozen before going on display. That makes them not completely safe. So, live shrimp is the best choice if it’s available, but the shrimp in the markets is not really fresh. So, it’s advisable and healthier to use the frozen shrimp.
Does eating shrimp cause high blood pressure?
Since shrimp is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats, they help support overall health and maintain healthy levels of blood pressure. It also does not contain trans fat. So, eating shrimp is healthy and helps reduce high blood pressure.
After all, it’s clear that shrimp is healthy seafood that is recommended to be included in your diet for better health, especially for diabetics who will need its health benefits to support their health. Finally, shrimp is a nutritious food and tasty as well. Just remember moderation is the key to better health.