Benefits of Shrimp for Type 2’s

There is nothing puny about the health gains of this delicious protein! Although they have a small package, they boast big benefits such as improve...

There is nothing puny about the health gains of this delicious protein! Although they have a small package, they boast big benefits such as improved cardiovascular, bone, brain and muscular health and are even said to help with weight loss and reduce hair loss. The best part is, shrimp is known to be free of carbohydrates and high in protein, making it a satisfying and relatively low calorie food that doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. Let’s take a look at the great things about including shrimp in our diet, and what to avoid. 

Prawn Positives

Whether you are in a place that serves shrimp or prawn it is a great menu choice.  There are no documented differences between the nutritional profiles of prawns and shrimp. They both have a similar taste and consistency while providing a good source of protein, healthy fats and many vitamins and minerals, yet are low in calories. 

A health article by TIME magazine shares some of the nutritional praise surrounding these crustaceans.  “Shrimp is a rich source of lean protein; a 3-ounce serving provides nearly 20 grams of protein,” says cookbook author Tina Ruggiero, a registered dietitian. They’re also one of the most concentrated vehicles for selenium, a nutrient that may help fight cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and thyroid disease—that same 3-ounce serving fulfills about 45% of your daily requirement. And 3/5 experts give the crustacean’s high omega-3 content a thumbs up.” 

Quick nutritional shoutouts:

  • Shrimp have high levels of iron, which is a key mineral component in the bonding process with oxygen in hemoglobin. Iron is a mineral that the body needs for growth and development.
  • Shrimp has a good amount of potassium which keeps our body healthy and regulates electrolytes within the cells.
  • Shrimp have high levels of the omega-3 fatty acid that helps eliminate damaging cholesterol in the bloodstream, which can reduce the chance of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Shrimp are high in vitamin B12 which helps us by reducing our homocysteine levels.
  • Shrimp is a good source of iodine, which can help the human body make thyroid hormones - boosting metabolism. 

What to avoid?

Avoid the salt dump on our shrimp, which naturally have sources of sodium already.  According to everydayhealth.com, “Adults with type 2 diabetes who consumed the highest intake of sodium increased risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 200 percent compared with those who ate the lowest amount, according to previous research”. Instead of oversalting, choose other premixed seasonings that could include delicious garlic, cumin, or chili powder, curry, lime, cilantro and more! You can also make your own Old Bay seasoning with celery seed instead of celery salt.  There are so many great seasonings that won’t contribute to your daily sodium intake and add a lot of flavor and dimension to your dish. Additionally, the way shrimp is cooked can turn this healthy food into an unhealthy one.  Avoid battered and deep fried shrimps and opt for the grilled, baked, sauteed, and steamed varieties.

Shrimp in 30 minutes!

Easy Broccoli and Shrimp Stir-Fry

This is a super fast, easy and adaptable recipe that you can reuse with whatever veggies and protein you like! Pair it with brown rice and you have a well balanced type 2 friendly plate. The best part is you can enjoy this healthy home cooked meal in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 ½ tbsp lower sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp wheat or rice flour, potato starch (or whatever cornstarch substitute you prefer)

1tsp ground ginger

½ tsp sriracha

½ tsp stevia brown sugar blend (such as Truvia)

3 tbsp olive oil (divided use)

1 clove garlic (minced)

1 ¼ lbs raw medium shrimp (peeled, deveined, and tails cut off)

3 cups broccoli florets

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable broth, rice vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, sriracha, and brown sugar blend.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet or wok. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds). Add the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and place on a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in the same skillet. Add the broccoli florets and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked shrimp back into the skillet and toss to combine with the broccoli. Pour the broth mixture over the shrimp and broccoli and toss to coat. Continue cooking until the broth mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

If you always get a headache after eating any type of seafood then that could be a sign of fish allergy. It is better to talk to your doctor about it and also to start taking preventive measures. If you are allergic, or suffer from gout you should avoid eating shrimp. Remember, moderation is key and the most important part of a healthy diet is to eat a wide variety of vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates. To find more healthy recipes and discover a variety of resources to help you live a healthier lifestyle with type 2, join our community, ​​Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together.