Shellfish: is it making or breaking your diet?

November 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Shellfish – a ‘dieters’ friend or foe?

In the 4th lesson of our six step weight loss program at Spectrum Nutrition, our dietitians teach clients a little known fact about the calories in the different protein sources they eat.  One that often comes as a surprise for many of our clients is how low calorie protein from the shellfish family is.

Shrimp, prawns and scallops are all about 0.8 calories per gram.  So every 100g (or about ¼ of a typical package of frozen shrimp), you’ll only get about 80 calories (give or take depending on the food label).  If the prawns are fairly large sized, that’s a good cup of shrimp for only 80 calories, and all the protein most of us need in a meal!

Compare that to a piece of salmon which weighs in at about 1.8 calories per gram which means you’re looking at more than double the calories for the same amount of salmon compared to shellfish.  It is true that prawns, in particular, are much higher in dietary cholesterol than many other foods so if you’re cholesterol is on the watch I would recommend consuming prawns no more than once weekly, otherwise – enjoy! …for a whole lot less calories.