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Claudann Jones

Seafood is a wise choice when deciding what you are going to eat for the day. Shrimp is by far the highest consumed type of seafood. It’s popular and it’s healthy. The fat in fish and shellfish, such as shrimp, are oils. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage the consumption of this type of fat because it may reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Shrimp, along with other shellfish, provide a high amount of unsaturated fat. This includes omega-3 fatty acids that reduce blood pressure, giving you two important nutritional benefits: It’s “heart healthy” and it has a low caloric intake. The fatty acids in shrimp provide calories to your body, which then converts them to energy to perform many functions associated with your heart, blood vessels, lungs and immune system. A medium shrimp is only 7 calories and 12 medium shrimp are a little over 85 calories. Don’t think that will fill you up? A jumbo shrimp is 14 calories and three of them are only 42 calories.

Shrimp are not only low in calories, but they are rich in protein. Just 3 ounces of shrimp provide 20 grams of protein, nearly equivalent to the protein quality of 3 ounces of chicken. You also can check attaining key minerals and vitamins off the list. In a 4-ounce serving, you receive 100% of the daily value of selenium, 30% of vitamin B12, 50% of phosphorus and 30% choline, copper and iodine.

Shrimp is all around a very healthy product with many key nutrients, and the best part about shrimp is that it adds a different flavor to your balanced diet.

In addition to being a healthy and tasty protein source, shrimp are a vital part of the Texas economy. On average, the Texas shrimp harvest generates $371 million of economic activity and supports 5,400 jobs in Texas. Next time you’re looking for a protein source for your healthy and balanced diet, add in some shrimp!

For more information on nutrition and food safety, contact Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension agent for family and community health, at 903-590-2980 or email at cmjones@ag.tamu.edu. Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County.

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