Keto diets primarily focus on lowering your overall carb intake and increasing the fat content in your diet. This allows your body to enter a stage of ketosis which uses body fat as a source of energy and, at the same time, allows you to gradually lose a substantial amount of weight.
Whether you have just started a keto diet or have been following one for some time now, it is crucial to pay attention to the foods you are consuming. This is because all foods have a different nutritional composition, each having a different amount of carbs and fats.
Generally, keto diets usually restrict your carb intake to over 30 – 50 grams per day. Due to this, you are only limited to a few food options, including meat, eggs, fish, and nuts, amongst others. Now, as you can see, keto allows seafood like fish to be added to the ketogenic diet.
So, what about shrimp if fish is allowed on a keto diet? Can you eat shrimp on a keto diet? Is shrimp keto? Let’s first look at what shrimps are and whether you can make it a part of your keto diet. Here is an insight into this:
What Are Shrimps?
Shrimps are a type of seafood that is widely consumed throughout the world. Ideally, the average American eats about 4.4 lbs. of shrimp annually. This is way more than any other seafood.
Shrimps are often confused with prawns due to their similar appearance, but shrimps and prawns are two different types of seafood.
There are hundreds of different species of shrimp. But they are classified into two primary categories:
- Warm Water Shrimps
- Cold Water Shrimps
The difference between warm and cold water shrimps is their size and juiciness. Ideally, a general rule of thumb when distinguishing between warm water or cold water shrimps is that the colder the water, the smaller the shrimp will be. Similarly, the smaller the shrimp, the juicier its meat.
Shrimps are of different sizes ranging from small to large. Typically, they are 1 – 3 inches long.
It is a favorite seafood of many people because these are minimally processed, and there are no harmful components in seafood -thus making them entirely safe for your consumption.
Apart from the size and tenderness differences, shrimps also differ in color.
The most common types of shrimps range from deep red shrimps, pink shrimps, grayish-white shrimps, and yellow shrimps to dark green ones in their uncooked form.
Crustacean shrimps are usually found in warm and cold waters worldwide. In contrast, the pink ones are found in cold water and often come cooked and already peeled.
On the contrary, warm-water shrimps like white, brown, and pink shrimps are available in both cooked and raw forms. When shrimps are cooked, their color changes due to exposure to heat, so their color may vary.
Furthermore, over 90 percent of the shrimps you can find in your local stores are farm grown. Only 10 percent come from the coastal waters and are called wild shrimps.
Interestingly, shrimps are widely versatile in terms of how they are cooked. There are hundreds of recipes for shrimp, including battered and fried, steam-cooked, sauced, boiled, and so many more.
Now that you clearly understand shrimps let’s look at whether shrimps are keto friendly.
Is Shrimp Keto?
Generally speaking, for a food to fall perfectly into the keto diet, it has to be low in terms of its carbohydrate composition.
Based on this, shrimps are keto friendly. You can consume shrimps on a keto diet without worrying about pulling your body out of the ketosis stage. Shrimps are recommended for keto diets since they are extremely low in carbs.
Now looking at the carb content of shrimps, a 100-gram serving of cooked shrimps contains only about 1.5 grams of carbohydrates. This is an extremely low number considering that 100 grams of shrimp equate to over 20 pieces of shrimp!
In other words, even if you consume 20 shrimp in one go, you will only get 1.5 grams of carbs from them. This is surprisingly low and will not affect your ketosis in any way whatsoever, even if you consume shrimp every day!
But that’s not all. Shrimps are rich in nutrients, including proteins, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and several different nutrients. So, eating shrimp on keto will lead to several health benefits -thus making it ideal for your keto diet.
More on the health benefits of shrimp is discussed in the next sections of this article. For now, let’s look at the overall nutritional profile of shrimps.
Shrimp: Nutritional Profile
Shrimps are excellent for keto diets considering that 90 percent of the calories in shrimps are protein-based, whereas 10 percent are from fats. Apart from this, there are plenty of beneficial minerals in shrimps. Here are the nutritional facts of shrimp per 100-gram serving.
|Energy/ Calories||119 kcal|
|Total Fats||1.7 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.5 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbs||1.5 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|
|Vitamin D||0.1 mcg|
Besides these nutrients, shrimps are a rich source of antioxidants and other macronutrients like zinc.
Why Are Shrimps a Good Option for Low-Card Diets?
Shrimps are a good option for low-carb diets because they have low calories and carb content. Furthermore, a 100-gram serving of shrimps roughly equates to 20 shrimps, with just 1.7 grams of fats and 1.5 grams of carbs.
There are several reasons shrimps are a good option for low-carb diets. Here is a detailed insight into this:
- Low-Calorie Seafood:
Shrimps are a low-calorie food. However, the caloric composition of shrimps comprises over 90 percent of proteins. When you consume protein-based foods like shrimp, it will lead to a feeling of fullness for longer periods than usual.
As a result, it will provide you with a good amount of proteins and help you manage your weight better.
- Low in Fats:
Shrimps are low in fats. Although it may seem bad initially, the low number of fats in shrimp allows you to consume other foods with high amounts of healthy fats. Since ketosis requires you to consume fatty foods, shrimp will allow you to do that with more flexibility
- Shrimps Are A Whole Food:
Shrimps are a type of whole food. This means they are packed with essential nutrients that complement a healthy keto diet. So, not only will you be able to stay in ketosis when consuming shrimp, but you will also be improving your health in terms of:
- Lowering the risk of cardiovascular complications
- Preventing certain cances
- Lowering the chances of type-2 diabetes in your body
- Shrimps Are Minimally Processed:
Unlike other seafood, shrimps are very minimally processed. No harmful ingredients like refined oils and additives are added when preparing shrimp. This makes shrimp extremely safe for consumption on a keto diet.
Keto Friendly Shrimp Recipes
There are hundreds of shrimp recipes, which require long hours of searching on the internet. However, to get you started, here are two of the most loved shrimp recipes:
- Heavy Cream
- Seasoning of your preference
- Grab a large-sized skillet and heat it over medium heat. Make sure it is a heavy bottom skillet for better results.
- Add the butter to the skillet and let it melt. Once melted, add shrimp, garlic, and the spices of your choice.
- Stir the ingredients well so that the garlic and spices are thoroughly mixed, and covers the shrimps.
- Let it sit on medium heat for over 3-5 minutes and wait for the shrimps to change their color. When cooked, your shrimp will turn pink. But it may change its color further depending on the size of the shrimp.
- Once your shrimps are cooked, add extra butter if you want to (optional).
- After that, add the heavy cream and cover the skillet with a lid. Let it cook on low heat for a couple of minutes so that the butter and the cream can melt, which will turn into a Cajun sauce.
- Make sure to stir the shrimp so the sauce can cover them evenly.
- After they are covered entirely, turn off the stove and serve the freshly made shrimp immediately.
- Although this is an optional step, you can add seasonings like fresh lemons, sauces, and/or parmesan cheese.
Creamy Tuscan Shrimp:
- Shrimp (peeled and the tails removed)
- Olive oil
- Parmesan (grated fresh)
- Baby Spinach
- Heavy Cream
- Grab a skillet, add some oil and butter, and put it on medium heat.
- Once the butter is melted, add the shrimp and season it with salt and peppers
- Let the shrimps cook thoroughly, and make sure you turn them around after every minute till the shrimps change their color
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, and baby spinach. Sauté the ingredients for 1-2 minutes, and then add the heavy cream, parmesan, and basil.
- Let it simmer on low – medium heat for a couple of minutes till the sauce becomes thick.
- Serve hot, and enjoy!
Health Benefits of Shrimps:
Shrimps are a good food on the keto diet, and you can receive several health benefits simply by eating shrimps on a keto diet. These include:
- Protects Against Cardiovascular Diseases:
Although the amount of cholesterol in shrimp will say otherwise, consuming shrimp is beneficial for your heart health.
Shrimps contain omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, which counteracts the amount of cholesterol in shrimps and essentially leads towards lowering the bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Moreover, it also helps retain good cholesterol.
So, regardless of the high amounts of cholesterol, the omega-3 fatty acids will help you balance out the cholesterol levels. This ultimately leads to substantially lowering cardiovascular complications and keeping your heart healthy. Besides, it also has anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of shrimp, it also aids in diabetes, gastrointestinal, and kidney complications.
- Improves Brain Health And Your Moods:
Shrimps contain iodine, which is usually overlooked in our diets. When you consume iodine from shrimp, it helps meet the dietary requirements of iodine in your body. Apart from this, shrimps also contain tryptophan.
It is essentially a trigger for releasing serotonin in your body, uplifting your moods. The omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12 content in shrimps also improve your overall brain health and cognitive functioning.
Thus, just by eating shrimp, you will have a more active, sharp, and alert brain.
On a side note, Alzheimer’s disease can also be avoided by adding shrimp to your diet.
- Filled With Antioxidants:
Shrimps contain an antioxidant referred to as astaxanthin. As you might already know, antioxidants help fight off free radicals from your body and reverse the damage from the free radicals.
When this happens, you will have a lower risk of suffering from chronic complications, including heart issues and neurogenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
- Excellent For Thyroid Issues:
Surprisingly, shrimp can help with thyroid diseases. This is because shrimps contain two essential nutrients, iodine, and selenium. These minerals are often overlooked, and only a few people are in an iodine deficit without realizing it.
The iodine and selenium content in shrimps help ensure normal thyroid function in your body and lowers the risks of thyroid complications which is pretty painful otherwise.
- Improves Your Eye Health and Protects Your Skin:
Shrimps contain astaxanthin which has significant benefits, specifically in improving your eye health. The astaxanthin content in shrimps allows your body to protect itself from oxidative damage in your retina, which usually occurs due to extreme sunlight exposure.
The astaxanthin content in shrimps can also work wonders in protecting your skin due to frequent exposure to the sun. It helps tone down the damage caused by the UV lights of the sun, which ultimately lowers the risks of skin cancer.
Furthermore, the astaxanthin content also helps lower the wrinkling of your skin by moisturizing your skin and improving its elasticity. So, you will have beautiful and healthy skin simply by consuming shrimp as part of a balanced keto diet.
- Helps Strengthen Your Bones:
Like other seafood, shrimps contain phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin D. Collectively, these minerals and vitamins work to strengthen your bones. As a result, the risks of bone fractures are significantly lowered as you grow old.
- Lowers The Risks Of Cancer:
The antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in shrimps collectively help lower the risks of cancer in your body. Ideally, both of the nutrients significantly halt the growth of cancer cells in your body, which prevents cancer.
- May Help With Hair Loss:
Shrimps are extremely beneficial; as you can see, this is the 8th benefit of consuming shrimps. There are a wide number of macronutrients in shrimps, including zinc. Many people also overlook zinc, but it is, in fact, a crucial part of our diets.
If you suffer from hair loss, it may be due to a zinc deficiency in your body. So, to deal with this, you will have to consume foods that contain zinc. Fortunately, shrimps contain zinc which can help lead to new cell development in your body, including hair and skin cells.
So, ultimately your hair loss problems will also go away when you make shrimp a part of your keto diet.
Is Shrimp keto? Yes, absolutely! Shrimp is one of those foods highly recommended to be made part of a keto diet. The reason is that there are a very small number of carbs in shrimp which allows you to eat them without having to worry about ketosis.
Furthermore, over 90% of calories in shrimp come from proteins, whereas the rest is mainly fats. So, it can be an excellent means of adding protein-based foods to your diet. Moreover, shrimps are also rich in nutrients that can substantially improve your overall health.
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