Shrimp's high cholesterol may not be so bad
October 24, 1996
From Correspondent Eugenia Halsey
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Even though
shrimp is low in fat, many doctors tell their patients to avoid it
because it's high in cholesterol. The typical serving of shrimp has
two-thirds the amount of cholesterol you should consume in an entire
Well, shrimp lovers take heart. A study published in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition says despite all that cholesterol shrimp
is perfectly good for you.
For more than two months, researchers at Rockefeller University in
New York and Harvard tested several different types of low fat diets on
18 people with normal cholesterol levels, including a diet containing
more than half a pound of steamed shrimp a day.
The scientists found the
shrimp diet did not raise participants' overall cholesterol levels.
They're not sure why, however, the scientists say perhaps it's because
shrimp is low in fat and contains fish oils that are good for your
"In fact, consuming shrimp instead of other high fat foods will have
beneficial effects," said Elizabeth De Oliveira of Rockefeller
While the shrimp diet did increase people's so-called bad
cholesterol or LDL slightly, it also boosted their so-called good
cholesterol or HDL enough to offset the increase in bad cholesterol.
"If you love shrimp, and you follow a heart healthy diet, enjoy your
shrimp with no guilt," De Oliveira said.
That's good news, because Americans eat more shrimp than any other
kind of seafood, except for tuna.
But nutrition experts say
stick to steamed or grilled shrimp.
"I want to remind people that if they're going to eat shrimp, and it
is low fat, it's not going to help them if they fry it or eat in a high
fat sauce or recipe," said Barbara Howard of the American Heart
While the study didn't test the effect of shrimp on people with high
cholesterol, health experts say moderate amounts of shrimp should be
fine for them too.
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