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Will Shrimp Raise Cholesterol?

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Q. Plain boiled or steamed shrimp are one of my favorite foods for salads and stir-fry. What is the impact on my cholesterol?

A. Although shrimp were spurned for years as high-cholesterol foods, more recent research shows that, in general, shrimp prepared without additional fat does not raise cholesterol. One study in mice even showed that shrimp could lower blood cholesterol (<em>Bioscience, Biotechnology & Biochemistry, July, 1998). (This research was done by Japanese scientists, who might have extra interest because of the importance of shrimp and other shellfish in the national diet.)

Perhaps because shrimp, like fish, contain omega-3 fatty acids, they may even have heart benefits. Harvard scientists have found that women who include shrimp and fish in their diets have a lower risk for heart disease (JAMA, Apr. 10, 2002). Enjoy your shrimp!

Anyone who wants to learn more about eating for good health will find our book, Recipes and Remedies from The People's Pharmacy (over 25% discount) a great investment. You may also want to check out our Guide to Cholesterol and Heart Health. It will destroy other myths about foods to avoid.


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I LOVE shrimp and still eat it fairly regularly, but always with trepidation. I am delighted to read that it does not raise cholesterol, but I am still concerned about the unhealthy farming of shrimp, particularly in the polluted waters around Asian countries where most of our shrimp comes from, or the oil polluted waters of the Gulf, where most of our domestic shrimp comes from.

Do you have any information on the positive or negative health effects of this farmed shrimp?

Like Sandy C, I wonder about the safety of farmed Asian shrimp. Can you help us find out?

Seafood is supposed to have Omega 3, but does the current market/restaurant stuff really have it? It seems most of it is farm raised. It would be interesting to find out.

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