The Hemp Connection + [vitamin D]

Food of the week: shrimp

In the spirit of Mardi Gras week, I thought I'd highlight a kissin' cousin of that Cajun crawfish…shrimp.

Shrimp are one of those foods people love…and they have learned to be afraid of. When I started out in this field, I was taught to teach patients to avoid shrimp because of their high cholesterol content.

Turns out, dietary cholesterol in foods such as eggs and shrimp do not influence our own cholesterol nearly as much as pro-inflammatory fats, saturated fats, and trans fats. Some researchers even suggest that shrimp consumption may IMPROVE cholesterol and triglyceride levels!

In addition shrimp, lucky for a shrimp lovin' woman like myself, is extremely low in fat! A 3.5 oz (deck of card-sized) serving of fish has about 1 gram of fat…whenever I'm questioned about shrimp I always remind the person with the question that shrimp is so low in fat, it almost squeaks from lack of lubrication against your teeth when you bite into it.

Shrimp is also a great source of protein, vitamin B12 (crucial for mental health), tryptophan (needed to make serotonin), and vitamin D (thought to be important in managing PCOS). In addition, shrimp helps omega-3 balance by contributing a moderate amount of DHA. And, when you're replacing red meat with seafood, you're exchanging pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats with healthier fats, which ensures that your omega-3's are not metabolically destroyed before they have a chance to benefit you.

So if you see shrimp cocktail, shrimp fajitas, grilled shrimp on the menu…go ahead! Enjoy! It's contributing to your health while providing a tasty adventure.