The lowdown on shellfish and your cholesterol

So who isn’t glued to every episode of Hawaii Five-0? Between solving crimes and driving around the gorgeous island, the Five-0 team can generally be found at Kamekona’s, eating delicious seafood prepared by Kamekona himself in his prized shrimp truck. While watching them bite into some deep-fried garlic shrimp, my friend asked me why shellfish has become a “no go zone” when it comes to health and cholesterol…So here’s the lowdown:

Having high cholesterol is no joke, and watching what you eat most definitely plays a role in lowering it. Limiting the cholesterol you eat is important (our bodies also produce some), but looking at your total fat intake, especially the saturated fat from animal products, actually has far more of an effect on your cholesterol.

Prawns, crayfish, crab, lobsters etc. all contain some cholesterol, but not loads of it. Sure, if you eat them all day every day your cholesterol intake will increase, but eating them is generally an occasional occurrence. That doesn’t mean that that mouth-watering lobster is now off the hook! More often than not, shellfish is served in litres of butter or cream sauce, or battered in buttered breadcrumbs and then deep fried – all sure ways of hugely increasing your total fat intake very quickly! And then who doesn’t still mop up the remaining sauce with warm spongy bread?

So there’s no urgent need to cut out shellfish from your diet; it’s the extras that are the real culprits. But rather still keep your intake to a minimum, and either choose to have the sauce served on the side or opt for the tomato-based or lemon-based sauces. Better yet, make your own on a braai using olive/avocado oil (the good kind of fats) and fresh herbs. Sunshine, friends, laughter and healthier seafood – you’ll feel like you’re on the island!


September is Heart Awareness month, so check back then for our post on fish – the best ones to eat (for you and the environment), the ones to avoid, and tips on how to add some delicious flavour.

Image sourced from Pinterest

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply