Lobster is regarded as a delicacy or luxury food throughout the world.
Lobster, like shrimp, crab, and crayfish, is a crustacean, a shellfish distinguished by its segmented body protected by a shell. Crustaceans are commonly associated with high cholesterol foods. They do, however, have a high nutritional value.
This article explains everything you need to know about lobster nutrition, including whether the cholesterol it contains is cause for concern. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of eating lobster.
Nutritions fact for Lobster:
Here are the nutrition facts for 3 ounces of cooked lobster meat
0.7g total fat
0.2g saturated fat
As you can see, lobster is a low-fat protein source with a high protein content. However, cholesterol content is not affected by fat content, and a serving of lobster contains 70% of the DV for cholesterol. It also contains 280 mg of combined eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may protect heart health by lowering blood cholesterol levels. The American Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming about 250 mg of EPA and DHA per day. Lobster also contains high levels of the trace elements copper and selenium.
While copper is involved in the production of energy and DNA, selenium is an anticancer agent that may protect against chronic degenerative diseases.
How does it stack up against other crustaceans?
The nutritional profiles of most crustaceans, including lobster, are fairly similar.The nutritional content of a 1-cup (145-gram) serving of lobster, shrimp, crab, and crayfish is shown below.
Lobster Health Benefits
“Lobster is high in protein, low in saturated fat, and high in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12, copper, zinc, selenium, and iodine. Lobster also contains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart and brain health.
Lobster is similar to other shellfish in that it is a lean protein that contains many important nutrients that can improve health. It contains more EPA and DHA — two omega-3 fatty acids linked to a variety of health benefits — than other shellfish like shrimp and crab, but not as much as fattier fish like salmon and tuna. As a result, it’s always best to choose a variety of different kinds of seafood (and foods in general) throughout the week to ensure you’re getting a range of nutrients.
One minor disadvantage of lobster, as well as some other shellfish, is that it is relatively high in sodium compared to other protein-rich foods, with a 3-ounce portion containing just under 20% of the daily recommended maximum (2,300 mg for healthy people). So, if you’re eating lobster, be aware of other sodium sources in the meal as well as other meals you eat that day.
It may benefit brain health and mental health
Lobster contains 80 mg of choline per 3-ounces of cooked meat, which is about 15% of the Adequate Intake (AI) level for men and 20% of the AI for women. Choline is essential for brain function and may even lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been shown to play an important role in the development of a baby’s brain in utero, making it an important nutrient for pregnant women to consume. Because omega-3 fatty acids are known to play an important role in brain health, the omega-3 content of lobster may also contribute to its brain-boosting benefits.
It can help maintain a healthy immune system
Lobster contains nearly half of the daily recommended daily allowance (RDA) of zinc per serving, making it one of the best food sources of this mineral. Zinc is an important component of your immune system, aiding in the fight against infections and the healing of wounds. While zinc deficiency is uncommon in the United States, getting enough from food can help you stay healthy all year.
It can help with thyroid function
Lobster is high in selenium and iodine, two nutrients linked to thyroid health. Among other bodily functions, your thyroid is important in metabolism, body temperature regulation, growth and development, and proper hormone regulation. Keeping your thyroid happy and healthy is critical to your overall health and how you feel every day.
What about Lobster’s Cholesterol?
Lobster is a high-cholesterol food, containing 124 mg per 3 ounces of cooked meat. This amount was previously thought to be nearly half of the recommended daily limit for healthy people and nearly two-thirds of the limit for people at risk of heart disease. This was because it was believed that eating too much dietary cholesterol increased the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“However, cholesterol from food, including lobster, has far less of an effect on blood cholesterol than previously thought (for most healthy people). The type of fat we consume (saturated, trans, and unsaturated fats) has a greater influence on blood cholesterol levels “Rawn says Indeed, the USDA removed the recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol to 300 mg from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2015, citing evidence that dietary cholesterol is not well linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Instead, the guidelines recommend limiting saturated fat intake, eliminating trans fats from the diet, and increasing intake of unsaturated fats.
While many high-cholesterol foods, such as certain cuts of red meat and some dairy products, are also high in saturated fat and should be avoided, lobster and other shellfish, such as shrimp, have very little saturated fat and are a good source of protein for many people.
Some men and women may be “hyperresponders” to dietary cholesterol, which means that eating cholesterol-rich foods like shellfish and eggs raises blood cholesterol levels and, more importantly, the LDL/HDL ratio (which may increase risk for cardiovascular disease). However, the research continues to conclude that, even among hyperresponders, a small amount of dietary cholesterol is unlikely to be harmful.
Regardless of the nutritional benefits of lobster, there are some risks to be aware of when purchasing or consuming it.
Lobster is a highly perishable food that must be handled carefully to avoid microbial contamination. Foodborne illnesses can occur as a result of improper handling. However, eating raw or undercooked lobster increases your chances of contracting a foodborne illness. Vibrio species, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella species, and Shigella species are among the most common pathogens associated with improperly handled crustaceans and raw seafood in general.
Consuming these bacteria can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, and headaches. As a result, it is best to avoid eating raw lobster. You should exercise caution when handling lobsters.
Crustaceans, particularly lobsters, are among the most common allergens that can cause severe food reactions. An allergic reaction to lobster can cause mild to severe symptoms. In severe cases, contact with lobster can result in anaphylaxis. This is a potentially fatal allergic reaction that causes your airways to narrow, making breathing difficult.
The allergen tropomyosin is the most common in shellfish. Cross-reactivity is very likely because the structure of this protein is similar in crustaceans and mollusks. In other words, if you’re allergic to any crustacean, such as lobster, you might also be allergic to clams, scallops, oysters, mussels, and other shellfish. The inverse is also true: if you are allergic to shellfish, you may also be allergic to lobster. Food allergies currently have no cure. To manage an allergy, the allergen must be avoided. If you come into contact with an allergen, you may require emergency treatment.
Contamination with heavy metals
Lobsters and other shellfish may become contaminated with heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic as a result of water pollution. Heavy metal consumption through food may be harmful to your health. It can harm the brain, kidneys, and heart, as well as affect the brains of babies.
Nonetheless, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies lobster as a low mercury food and recommends two to three servings of lobster per week. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children, may be more sensitive to the effects of heavy metals and should limit their intake.
Anticancer effects are possible
Lobster may be cancer-fighting due to omega-3s and selenium. According to research, diets high in EPA, DHA, and selenium may protect against a variety of cancers, including breast, colorectal, prostate, lung, gastric, liver, and ovarian cancer.
In vitro and animal studies have revealed that omega-3 fatty acids’ anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects have reduced tumor growth and spread, resulting in cancer cell death. However, more human subjects research is required.
Furthermore, DHA appears to enhance the effect of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin on tumor spread and death. It may also help to reduce drug-induced side effects. According to research, selenium’s antioxidant capacity may also play a role in its potential anticancer effects. According to research, selenium may promote tumor death and aid in the prevention of cancer spread.
Lobster is a protein-rich crustacean high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Including it in your diet may help with weight loss and mental health, as well as reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Lobsters, on the other hand, are extremely allergenic. They could also become contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms or heavy metals. Individuals who are more sensitive, such as pregnant women, should limit their intake. To avoid bacterial contamination, only consume fresh and fully cooked lobsters. Avoid dipping your lobster in butter or mayo if you want to keep it healthy.