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Weight Loss » Food For Weight Loss » Is Shrimp Good For Weight Loss: Losing Pounds Without Giving Up The Good Stuff

Is Shrimp Good For Weight Loss: Losing Pounds Without Giving Up The Good Stuff

is shrimp good for weight loss

Is Shrimp Healthy?

Everyone has their favorite food or type of food. Some people have a sweet tooth, and often crave candy and desserts, some prefer fresh fruits, some would die for kimchi, and some can’t live without junk food. If you are a vegetable lover, then it is a win-win, as almost all diets allow and encourage consumption of veggies, or any other healthy food, however, in other cases, you may not be able to enjoy your favorite food while shedding pounds. And if you can be sure that ice-cream will only make you put on pounds, you can only wonder whether you should eat that avocado and chicken toast or is shrimp good for weight loss. Well, wonder no more! Read on to find out if these delicious crustaceans are the right option for you.

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“How many calories are in shrimp?”, “What are the health benefits of shrimp?”, “Can eating shrimp cause weight gain?”, “Is shrimp fried rice good for weight loss?”, “Is shrimp healthier than chicken?” These and some other questions will be answered today. 

Nutritional Value of Shrimp

To answer the question, “Is shrimp good for weight loss?”, first you need to answer, “How many calories are in shrimp?” So, here is the nutritional value of 100 g (3.5oz) of cooked shrimp (1):

  • 99 calories
  • 24g protein
  • 0.3g fat
  • 0.2g carbohydrate
is shrimp fried rice good for weight loss
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Shrimp is also packed with different minerals, including the following:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

To sum up, shrimp is quite low in calories and rich in protein, which makes it one of the best options for a high-protein diet. It may also be a great source of protein on a low-carb diet, such as the Keto diet, as it is extremely low in carbs. Shrimps are also low in fat and are a suitable option for low-fat diets. Thanks to a great number of essential minerals, shrimp can fill you up and help prevent nutrient deficiencies, while keeping your caloric intake relatively low.

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is shrimp healthier than chicken
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Health Benefits of Shrimp

Although some people may think that all healthy food tastes bad, shrimps are here to prove them wrong. Shrimps contain antioxidants, which are good for your health. These antioxidants help protect your cells against damage, may prevent wrinkles, and reduce sun damage. Selenium, which is also found in shrimp, may also lower the risk of certain types of cancer (7).

Shrimps are known to contain cholesterol, which is thought to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Although in the past, all cholesterol was considered harmful for your health, now experts believe that the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol, may balance out the harmful effect of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, and lead to a healthful balance (6). Studies show that consumption of shrimp increases the levels of both LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may not be a big deal as the ratio between the two (LDL and HDL) stays the same (4).

Shrimp is overall extremely low in fat with 100 g (3.5 oz) of shrimp containing only 0.3 g of fat, most of which is unsaturated. So, the fat content of shrimp is unlikely to make drastic changes in your cholesterol levels, especially if consumed in little or moderate amounts.

The American Heart Association (AHA) even claims that these crustaceans, if prepared correctly (meaning not deep fried or in a cream sauce), can lower your cholesterol levels and that they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their health benefits (6).

health benefits of shrimp
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Risks of Shrimp Consumption

Although shrimp is overall healthy, in some cases you are required to steer clear of this crustacean. As shrimp and other shellfish are often the cause of food allergy, its consumption may be dangerous for some people. It often develops in adulthood, rather than childhood, which makes it even more dangerous and unpredictable. The symptoms of a shellfish allergy may vary from indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and itching rash, to loss of consciousness, swelling in the mouth or throat, and even life-threatening anaphylaxis (10). That is why, if you notice any odd body reactions after consuming shrimps, immediately contact a doctor.

Is Shrimp Good for Weight Loss?

Some people are wondering, “Can eating shrimp cause weight gain?” or “Is shrimp good for weight loss?” And the answer to these questions is: if prepared in the right way and consumed in moderation, shrimps are a great dietary choice for weight loss. They are filled to the brim with essential minerals and protein while being relatively low in calories, which makes them a perfect option if you want to healthily burn fat and preserve your lean muscle.

Protein also adds to your feeling of fullness, which is also important in slimming (8). Shrimp is also extremely low in carbs and fats, which is also beneficial for weight management. However, in some cases, you would like to avoid shrimp. Why is shrimp not good for weight loss then? – you may ask. And that is because eating too much protein and too little carbs may, over time, lead to various health problems (5). Also, fried shrimp is not that healthy or low in calories, and may make you put on some pounds, especially if consumed in big amounts.

is shrimp healthy
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FAQs

  • Can I lose weight if I eat shrimp?

Yes, you can, but only if you consume it in a moderate amount and cook it in the right way. Shrimp is high in protein and minerals, which only adds to healthy and successful slimming.

  • How many calories in shrimp?

100 g (3.5 oz) of cooked shrimp contains 99 calories (1), the same amount of raw shrimp contains 85 calories (3). There is a huge difference when it comes to fried shrimp, as 100 g (3.5 oz) of breaded and fried shrimp contains 242 calories (2).

  • Is shrimp healthier than chicken?

Both shrimp and chicken can be healthy and unhealthy, depending on the way they are prepared and the amount in which they are consumed. If you compare a cup of deep-fried chicken tenders and a cup of steamed shrimp, then shrimp is healthier, and vice versa, steamed chicken breast is healthier than shrimp tempura.

  • Is shrimp fried rice good for weight loss?

It depends on the amount in which you consume it. A 1-cup serving of shrimp fried rice contains 339 calories (238 from fried rice and 101 from shrimps), 5.4 grams of fat of which only 1 gram is saturated fat, and 24.5 grams of protein (9). So, in general, fried rice can be good for weight loss.

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Conclusion

Is shrimp good for weight loss?

Yes, as long as you don’t drown it in tons of oil and eat it in small or moderate amounts. Shrimp is low in calories, carbs, and fat, but high in protein and essential micronutrients. It is also quite beneficial for your health and may promote better heart health. However, you should be very careful with these crustaceans, as they are often the cause of a shellfish allergy, which occurs in adulthood and is accompanied by unpleasant and sometimes even life-threatening symptoms. If you feel body reactions that are deviant from the norm, immediately contact a health professional.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Crustaceans, shrimp, cooked (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
  2. Crustaceans, shrimp, mixed species, cooked, breaded and fried (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
  3. Crustaceans, shrimp, raw (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
  4. Effects of shrimp consumption on plasma lipoproteins (1996, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  5. Extra protein is a decent dietary choice, but don’t overdo it (2013, health.harvard.edu)
  6. Health Benefits of Shrimp (2019, webmd.com)
  7. Is shrimp high in cholesterol? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
  8. Protein-Heavy Meals Make You Feel Fuller, Sooner (2016, webmd.com)
  9. Shrimp-Fried Rice Nutrition (n.d., livestrong.com)
  10. What to know about shellfish allergies (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
Nikki Midland

Nikki Midland

Nikki is an experienced writer who specializes in nutrition, weight management and overall health. Due to her personal struggles with weight in the past, she has also developed a keen interest in fitness and exercising. Nikki believes that since she started doing sports, not only her body, her whole life has drastically changed for the better. Nikki has a great passion for helping people achieve their weight loss goals. She stands firm in her belief that tackling challenges is the only way to become a better version of yourself that is why she urges her readers to never give up.

Kristen Fleming

Kristen Fleming

I am a U.S. educated and trained Registered Dietitian (MS, RD, CNSC) with clinical and international development experience. I have experience conducting systematic reviews and evaluating the scientific literature both as a graduate student and later to inform my own evidence-based practice as an RD. I am currently based in Lusaka, Zambia after my Peace Corps service was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and looking for some meaningful work to do as I figure out next steps. This would be my first freelance project, but I am a diligent worker and quite used to independent and self-motivated work.

Kristen Fleming, MS, RD, CNSC

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