Shrimp are high in LDL cholesterol, according to Heal With Food. Concentrations of LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase plaque build-up in arteries, which contributes to hardening of the artery walls and can cause a stroke or heart attack if a clot forms and blocks the flow of blood.
Shellfish, including shrimp, are among the dirtiest seafoods, states Dherbs.com. Shrimp are crustaceans, which means "insects of the ocean." They scavenge dead flesh and waste from the ocean floor. On the shrimp's back is a dark-colored intestinal tube that harbors bacteria and should be removed before the shrimp is eaten. Shrimp may also contain high levels of mercury. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that eating shrimp can be beneficial. Shellfish are high in protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids, which should be included in a healthy diet. Shrimp are free of carbohydrates, and they provide zinc supplementation, which increases the hormone leptin. Insufficient levels of leptin are believed to cause food cravings and a tendency to eat obsessively. Iodine in shrimp helps with proper thyroid gland function, which prevents sluggishness and moderates weight gain and loss. The shrimp's pink coloring comes from astaxanthin, an antioxidant that helps prevent premature aging, and shrimp are rich in selenium, which may reduce the risk of cancer.