Are Shrimps Bad For Cholesterol?

What is Shrimp?

The term shrimp is used to refer to multiple crustaceans that are eaten by humans and apart from the flavor that seems to be favorite with many; shrimps do have some nutritional value. Shrimp is eaten more in some parts of the world than others; however, it is safe to say that shrimp is a favored variation of seafood in almost any corner of the world.

Are Shrimps Bad For Cholesterol?

The Nutritional Value & The Cholesterol Concern Regarding Shrimps

Shrimps are a rich source of proteins, vitamin B12, potassium, sodium, calcium and iron depending on how much you consume; however, shrimp does account for 189 mg of cholesterol for every 100 grams of its serving; which on the surface, seems like a cause for concern. Bearing the cholesterol content of shrimp in mind; many people find themselves asking the question “is shrimp bad for cholesterol”? The summarized response to this query is an emphatic ‘NO.’ Eating shrimp is actually good for your cholesterol; however, this article aims to further elaborate on this subject. Read on to know more.

Shrimp and Your Daily Cholesterol Allotment

For the average individual; 300 mg of cholesterol is the limit per day. Eating 100 grams of shrimp on any given day supplements you with 189 mg of cholesterol, which is in no way hazardous for those with normal cholesterol levels. For those with high cholesterol; 189 mg of cholesterol consumption is rather close to the 200 mg limit for cholesterol intake. Eating lesser quantities of shrimp may be required or abstaining from other cholesterol rich foods may be imperative to avoid overstepping this dietary cholesterol limit and to remain healthy.

Research Pertaining to the Effects of Shrimp Consumption on Cholesterol Levels

A 1996 study at Rockefeller University closely studied the effects of shrimp consumption on body cholesterol levels. The study was based on 18 participants who were put on a controlled diet for 9 weeks. For the first 3 weeks; all 18 men and women were fed a diet of 10 ounces of shrimp per day, for the next 3 weeks; their diet consisted of 2 eggs every day, which has about the same cholesterol content of 10 ounces of shrimp, the final 3 weeks; the participants were limited to a low cholesterol diet.

As expected both diets consisting of eggs and shrimps resulted in elevated cholesterol levels; however, there was a marked difference between the two. The shrimp diet resulted in higher levels of HDL or good cholesterol and lower levels of triglycerides; and the eggs diet….not as much. This study points out to potential benefits of shrimp in your diet. Higher HDL levels are associated with better cardiac health. HDL or “good cholesterol” was increased by 12 percent according to this study and triglyceride levels were reduced by 13% with the inclusion of shrimp in the diet. It is important to mention that higher triglyceride levels are associated with heart disease and stroke as well as obesity. Higher HDL levels and lower triglyceride levels are always desirable if an individual is proactively eating healthy.

The Relationship Between How The Shrimps Are Cooked And Your Cholesterol

The way you cook shrimps could very well determine its effects on your LDL and triglyceride levels. Cooking with too much oil and in thick gravies and sauces may negate the benefits of eating shrimp. Cooking and eating shrimps with minimal oil in sautéed, grilled or broiled form presents no reason for bad cholesterol concerns when eating shrimp. In conclusion; shrimp is not bad for cholesterol and can actually reduce the chances of health issues associated with high cholesterol levels. This is because shrimp effectively increases good cholesterol and reduces triglyceride levels.

The Need to Control Other Dietary Aspects When Consuming Shrimp

As mentioned before; 100 grams of shrimp has one 189 mg of cholesterol content, which is mostly safe. However, if your diet also consists of other cholesterol rich foods; you are at the risk of heart disease and other health problems. Your focus should be on balancing out your shrimp consumption with any other food on your plate that may elevate your cholesterol levels. Once again; eating shrimps are mostly safe and good for cholesterol; however, you can benefits from reducing the consumption of other cholesterol rich foods.


The conclusion from this study effectively answers any doubts about eating shrimp and its effect on cholesterol levels. So, the answer to the question: “are shrimps bad for cholesterol?” is a resounding NO! It is perhaps common knowledge that overall higher cholesterol and greater LDL levels can lead to health complications, but increased HDL levels do balance out these negative implications to a large extent. By itself; eating up to 100 grams of shrimp per day is not bad for cholesterol.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 3, 2019

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