Post, recipe, and picture by: Amena Khan, MS, RD
Have you heard that shrimp is high in cholesterol?
While it does have a considerable amount of cholesterol, what you may not know is that the cholesterol in shrimp does not adversely affect blood cholesterol levels in the body. In fact, including shrimp as a part of a balanced diet can improve heart health. It’s a rich source of a number of nutrients. Shrimp is high in vitamin D, which can improve bone health, help maintain a healthy immune system, and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It’s also a good source of the mineral and antioxidant, selenium, which has been linked to decreasing certain types of cancers. A serving of shrimp also provides a good amount of vitamin B12, which is good for red blood cells and your nervous system.
While many of the popular shrimp recipes are deep fried, there are many low fat shrimp recipes you can try. Here is one that I make for my family—created by going through my spice cabinet.
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
- 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp old bay
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 pound of peeled, deveined shrimp
Mix together first seven ingredients. Add Cayenne pepper if you enjoy a little heat in your food. Add the marinade to the shrimp for at least 30 minutes.
Using a nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat, add a single layer of shrimp. Make sure to add the marinade to the frying pan, as it has the oil to prevent sticking to the pan. The shrimp will be ready to turn once it changes to a pink color. The trick with cooking shrimp is to cook it quickly on both sides and remove from heat to avoid over cooking.
Serve with steamed rice, pasta, or salad.
Amena Khan is a registered dietitian who works hard to put healthy meals on the table for her family.