Q:

Is shrimp bad for you?

A:

Quick Answer

Shrimp has a high cholesterol content, and a large portion of it is imported from Asia, where pesticides and antibiotics that are harmful to humans are part of the farming practices. However, shrimp is also high in protein and various nutrients and low in saturated and trans fat, providing some health benefits.

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Full Answer

In a 1996 study, 18 participants experienced a 7 percent increase in bad cholesterol while eating a high shrimp diet. In addition, more than 90 percent of shrimp consumed in the United States is imported, mostly from Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand, where overpopulated shrimp farms are a perfect habitat for diseases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only tests 2 percent of imported seafood.

There are also benefits to eating shrimp. In the same 1996 study, the 18 participants on a high shrimp diet experienced a 12 percent increase in good cholesterol and a 13 percent decrease in triglycerides over three weeks. Shrimp is high in protein, vitamin D, vitamin B3 and zinc, which aids in fat storage, energy expenditure regulation and overall weight loss. Shrimp also provides selenium, which may lower the risk of cancer. Shrimp is also low in saturated and trans fat, both of which have a more significant negative impact on blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol.

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