Is shrimp good for diabetics is a question many people ask themselves. In this article, we will answer that question and provide more information on shrimp nutrition and safety facts you need to know before eating it. So is eating shrimp suitable for diabetics? Read on to find out!

In this Diabetic & Me article, you will learn about the following:

  • Can diabetics eat shrimp?
  • How is sugar content related to shrimp?
  • How much sugar does shrimp contain?
  • What are the benefits of eating shrimp?

Can Diabetics Eat Shrimp?

Yes, people with diabetes can eat shrimp without any problems. It contains even nearly zero carbohydrates and no sugar. It won't affect your blood glucose levels. Therefore, a great addition to your diabetes diet.

Ensure the shrimp is cooked or prepared in a dish like a wok in its original state. If you batter and deep fry the shrimp, it will be higher in fats and carbs. When you deep fry shrimp, the cooking oil penetrates its flesh, which is unsuitable for those with heart disease and diabetes.

The nutritional value of seafood is dependent on how it is cooked.

Does Seafood Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

The idea that seafood raises blood sugar levels isn't always accurate. If you are careful about what seafood you eat, then it can lower your cholesterol and glucose levels.

The American Diabetes Association (A.D.A.) recommends eating two servings of fish per week. The A.H.A. emphasizes eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines because these choices are exceptionally high in omega-3 fatty acids. Limit fish like sharks, swordfish, and tilefish, as these have a higher risk of mercury contamination.

Omega-3 fatty acids help us by not only regulating blood sugar levels but also reducing insulin resistance. They help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, which diabetics need to know about!

The way that seafood is cooked does affect its nutritional value. When you prepare shrimp in batter and deep fry it in oil, then this adds extra fat and carbs. So be careful with how you cook your seafood. If you can't avoid frying it, ensure there isn't too much oil involved because fried foods are high in fats if they aren't prepared correctly!

What Is The Glycemic Index of Shrimp?

The glycemic index measures how a certain food will affect our blood sugar levels.

The glycemic index (G.I.) and G.I. load of shrimp are 0 because they contain no carbohydrates. Eating shrimp will help you to stabilize blood sugar levels

How Much Sugar Is in 100g of Shrimp?

Shrimp contains as good as no carbohydrates and sugars. They are high in protein which is ideal for a diabetes diet.

One hundred grams of plain cooked shrimp contains the following nutrients.

  • Calories: 99
  • Protein: 23.9g
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.2g
  • Fiber: 0

Adding high-protein foods to your diabetes diet help to stabilize blood sugar and make you feel more full. Which leads to fewer cravings after eating.

What Are The Health Benefits of Eating Shrimp?

Eating shrimp has many benefits, especially if you're a diabetic. Some of these benefits are:

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Shrimp?

1. Protein

It contains a good amount of protein that regulates your blood sugar levels and stabilizes insulin levels. High Protein Content Shrimp has 23 grams of protein per 100g serving, so it's ideal for diabetics who need the extra energy that comes from enough proteins in their diet.

2. Low in Carbs and Sugar

Shrimp is low in carbs and sugars, which makes it a healthy food choice for diabetics to eat.

3. Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Eating seafood like shrimp help in managing diabetic health and helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases that affect those with diabetes, such as kidney failure and eye problems. Overall it's a great food for your heart health.

4. Rich Source of Omega-3

Shrimp are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help regulate blood sugar levels. They also help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels and help with brain function, the nervous system, the growth development of fetuses during pregnancy, your eyesight, and overall general health!

5. High in Vitamin B12

Shrimp are high in vitamin B12, which helps us by reducing our homocysteine levels. If you have a heart condition, we must keep these down, so shrimp is also great!

6. High Potassium Content

This food has a good amount of potassium which keeps our body healthy and regulates electrolytes within the cells. This means your muscles work properly without cramping up or getting tired easily due to a lack of potassium, so they can last longer when exercising.

Nutrition Value Of Shrimp

Let's start by examining the straightforward nutritional value of a typical serving of cooked shrimp that has only either been boiled, broiled, or grilled.

  • Protein - 20.35 g
  • Carbohydrate - 0.88 g
  • Fiber - 0 g
  • Sugar - 0 g
  • Cholesterol - 150 g
  • Calories- 70 kcal 
  • Fat- 0.9grams
  • Iodine-13 mcg
  • Iron-1 milligram
  • Salt 1-47 grams
  • Selenium-30 mcg
  • Zinc -1 milligram 

The shrimp is a very healthy seafood, as you can see. High in protein, low in fat, doesn't raise blood cholesterol levels, even has almost no carbs, and, most importantly, has a ton less sugar than you might think. Although it contains more cholesterol than most fish, dietary cholesterol has little to no effect on blood cholesterol.

The main goals of diabetic diets should be to reduce sugar intake and maintain health by avoiding things like saturated fats and excess carbohydrates.

Eating shrimp will undoubtedly be advantageous if you control your glycemic load because shrimp likewise has a zero rating on the glycemic index.

How Should Diabetics Consume Shrimp?

Naturally, if they are prepared and cooked improperly, even the healthiest foods in the world can become unhealthy options.

A few guidelines must be followed, and techniques must be avoided if one wants to maintain good health and ensure that the way they prepare shrimp will benefit their general health rather than put it at risk.

Here is some advice on how to enjoy shrimp to its fullest, as recommended by regulatory organizations like the American Diabetes Association:

  • Eat only fresh prawns that haven't gone through any processing, such as canning, as much as possible. Most fish and shellfish products are canned, which exposes them to several outside factors, including preservatives and other chemicals. Over time, this can greatly degrade the quality of the food and deplete it of part of its nutritious content. This indicates that it is not providing for your nutritional demands.
  • Avoid deep-frying fish or using unhealthy breading or crumbs on it. Fish that has been breaded and fried has significantly higher levels of fat and cholesterol, and eating it in this manner virtually removes any health benefits that you could otherwise obtain from the omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Cooked fish must be prepared so that the omega-3 fatty acids are evident and that no cooking techniques can affect your blood glucose levels to be as healthy as possible. Choosing a cocktail sauce that is low in saturated fat is one wise move you can do if you really want a traditional shrimp cocktail.
    While eating shrimp is a healthy decision in and of itself, you can benefit even more if you combine it with foods like veggies that are incredibly nutrient-dense in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Your overall nutrient intake will be increased by all of these components.
  • Vegetables are a rich source of all the nutrients your body needs to function properly, and combining them with seafood is an easy way to make a lunch or dinner that is considered healthy for diabetes and blood glucose levels in particular.

What Additional Health Advantages Does Eating Shrimp Offer?

We already know that eating shrimp is excellent for blood sugar and helps prevent conditions like cardiovascular disease, making it an excellent choice for a diabetes diet. But what other health advantages can you expect from regularly eating shrimp?

  • The benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids found in prawns to prevent heart disease and maintain heart health have already been extensively discussed. However, you may not be aware that omega-3 fatty acids are also excellent for boosting your body's immune system.
  • Another component in lowering the risk of heart attacks and high cholesterol is an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is found in shrimp and several other fatty seafoods. This is accomplished by aiding in promoting and establishing healthy artery function. When your arteries are clear and content, whether or not you have diabetes, your body can perform as it should.
  • You may have also heard the term "antioxidant," and incorporating a lot of shrimp and other shellfish in your diet will also lead to skin that is smoother and free of blemishes. Additionally, antioxidants combat free radicals and unstable atoms that can harm cells, speed up aging, and cause illness. Free radicals are also associated with a wide range of disorders.
  • The term "brain food" has also been used to describe fish and shellfish. This benefit is available to everyone, not only those who have diabetes. An important component in brain cell production, growth, and maintenance is the omega-3 fatty acid, which has been thoroughly discussed on this page.

Our investigation of the subject has shown that fish, shrimp/prawns, other shellfish, and seafood are safe foods for diabetics due to 

  • Their low glycemic index.
  • There is extremely little risk of unwanted effects, and it is highly healthy.
  • It won't result in blood sugar increases.
  • It is good for the heart and won't raise cholesterol.

However, it's crucial to remember that many of the health advantages of foods like shellfish depend on the preparation method you use. The best type of cooked fish for a diabetes diet is fish that has been broiled, grilled, or steamed. Fried and breaded fish is not advised.

Fish that has been battered, fried, or breaded should be limited in your diet because it lessens the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and does not aid in blood sugar control. Fish should be baked, not fried.

It is always advisable to schedule an appointment with your doctor to get the necessary tests performed if you or a family member is experiencing issues with blood glucose levels and other diabetic symptoms.

Ensuring you receive the proper expert diagnosis is the first step to improving your heart health and taking control of your blood sugar levels. Undiagnosed and untreated diabetes are exceedingly prevalent across the nation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Eat Fish Per Week?

Consuming fish 2-3 times per week is generally recommended for maximum health benefits. Fish, including shellfish like shrimp, are excellent sources of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote heart health, reduce inflammation, and support overall well-being.

For diabetics, incorporating fish into their diet can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications. However, it is essential to choose fish and seafood options that are low in mercury, such as salmon, sardines, and shrimp.

Does seafood spike insulin?

The seafood itself does not typically spike insulin levels, as it is primarily composed of protein and healthy fats, which have minimal effects on blood sugar.

However, certain preparations, such as breaded or fried seafood, can cause insulin level spikes due to the added carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. To maintain stable insulin levels, consuming seafood in its most natural form, like grilled, steamed, or baked, and avoiding added sugars or processed ingredients is crucial.

What Seafood Is Beneficial for Diabetes?

For individuals with diabetes, choosing seafood options that offer health benefits without negatively impacting blood sugar levels is essential.

Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring, are particularly beneficial due to their high omega-3 fatty acid content, which helps improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.

Shellfish, like shrimp and scallops, are also excellent choices as they are low in fat and rich in lean protein. However, it is vital to be mindful of portion sizes and preparation methods, as overconsumption or unhealthy cooking techniques can negate the benefits of these nutritious seafood options.

Is mercury contamination a concern?

It's possible that you've read or heard that eating shellfish and some other fish is dangerous due to mercury contamination. Mercury is present in all seafood,

In most situations, it is only traced with minimally damaging consequences for persons without dietary restrictions or diabetes.

The FDA and EPA suggest that as long as you limit fish to 12 ounces per week, it is safe for most individuals to eat fish and seafood foods in their diet routinely. There is a low danger of mercury contamination. You may have heard that pregnant ladies, expectant mothers, nursing mothers, and small children should heed the warnings.

Conclusion

Shrimp is a great food choice for diabetics because it's low in carbs and sugars. It also contains high amounts of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, potassium, and other nutrients essential to regulating blood sugar levels.

Shrimp can be cooked in any many ways you like, but make sure to cook it naturally; otherwise, fried foods will have an increased risk of being unhealthy! 

Sources

To ensure that we give you correct, accurate, and relevant information, all articles on Diabetic & Me are backed by verified information from academic research papers, well-known organizations, research institutions, and medical associations.

About the Author

Inez Briand

Inez Briand is the partner of a type 1 diabetic (Ely). She has always been interested in traveling and cooking, and now that she has a partner with diabetes, her interest in cooking even more healthily has skyrocketed. She loves finding new recipes for her partner and family and sharing any food and nutrition-related articles on Diabetic & Me.

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