Find out why the cholesterol that shrimp contains is in some ways beneficial.
Years ago people with high cholesterol were advised against eating shrimp since it has relatively high levels of cholesterol. However, these days it is possible to include shrimp in the diet of these people as long as it is prepared in a manner that is low in saturated fats.
Why is it so?
This is because studies on shrimp and cholesterol found that there were beneficial effects of the cholesterol shrimp contains.
Although the National Institutes of Health advocates that those who have high cholesterol eat shrimp only occasionally since it is moderately high in cholesterol, they don't tell people not to eat it at all since it is low in saturated fat (1).
Not only is this case, but the cholesterol shrimp contains can actually change the ratio of good to bad cholesterol in the body so that there is a higher percentage of good cholesterol.
There was a study that compared the effects of a diet high in eggs to one high in shrimp that showed that "When compared with the baseline diet, both the shrimp and egg diets produced similar increases in the LDL concentrations, 7.1 and 10.2 percent respectively, however the shrimp diet tended to increase HDL more than the egg diet, 12.1 and 7.6 percent respectively." (2)
What does this mean?
This means that even though eggs and shrimp both are high in cholesterol, the type of cholesterol shrimp contains has a more beneficial effect. The increase in good cholesterol is more than the increase in bad cholesterol, so the overall effect is beneficial rather than detrimental.
This is great news for people suffering from high cholesterol since shrimp is one of the most popular types of seafood in the United States.
Now that the effects of shrimp on cholesterol levels are better known it is easier to fit this low fat form of protein into diet in a healthy way. You just need to prepare it so that they don't add a lot of saturated fat in the process.
(1) "Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol With TLC", NIH NHLBI, pg 23, 35, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/chol_tlc.pdf
(2) "Shrimp Okay for Heart Healthy Diets", Rockefeller University, October 25, 1996, http://runews.rockefeller.edu/index.php?page=engine&id=250
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