The answer to this is confusing to many, even to docs out there… Even though they are high in cholesterol, and may raise your total cholesterol, shrimp and shellfish are actually heart healthy.
Shrimp are very low in fat but the fat they do contain is omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a diet high in shellfish will not increase your risk for heart disease. Shellfish has anti-inflammatory properties to decrease your risk of clogged arteries, heart attack or stroke. Dietary cholesterol is very different then the cholesterol in our bodies. Most studies suggest that it’s not dietary cholesterol that raises LDL cholesterol or clog arteries. It’s the saturated fat and hydrogenated oils in foods that you should be wary of. Shellfish has neither of these fats. Some studies suggest that shellfish raises cholesterol in some individuals but it raises the good cholesterol (HDL) more than the bad cholesterol (LDL), and is therefore protective to the heart any way you look at it! Shellfish is almost pure protein. Shrimp and scallops have only 80-100 calories for 4 ounces. That’s about half of the calories of a chicken breast. So eat up!