It's National Shrimp Day, people. Read on for how (and how not!) to celebrate...
Here are a boatload of reasons shrimp ROCK (not to be confused with ROCK shrimp...tee hee):
*Shrimp are super-low in calories and fat but are packed with protein. A 4-oz. serving of steamed or boiled shrimp has about 110 calories, 1g fat, and close to 25 grams of protein (2 Points). They're also pretty much carb-free, for those of you who count those.
*Shrimp are stocked with good-for-you vitamins and minerals: B12 to reduce your risk of heart disease, selenium to protect against cancer, and vitamin D for strong bones. They're also a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
*They cook quickly, can be safely thawed and enjoyed after up to a month in your freezer, and taste delicious, hot or cold, in dozens of different dishes -- from salads to stir-fries and everything in between! Go shrimp!
HG Heads Up! Shrimp are known to be a bit high in sodium and cholesterol, but many health experts agree that their benefits outweigh these negatives. Still, if you are sensitive to sodium or battling high cholesterol, please keep this info in mind.
Check out these shockingly diet-destructive shrimp dishes (these restaurants should be VERY ashamed!):
Pay very close attention. The nutritional information above is for the sizzling shrimp from their Juicy Shrimp Fajitas WITHOUT any tortillas, rice, sour cream or guacamole -- not even that sweet little corn cake -- NADA! (The shrimp are drowned in a skillet of Mexican butter before hitting your plate, in case you're wondering how those freakish stats are even possible.) Once you factor in three tortillas and those sides, your plate clocks in with around 1,500 calories, 90 fat grams and 37 Points! Ummm...gross! We recommend requesting your shrimp without butter. Then top 'em with salsa, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and black beans to save hundreds of calories and dozens of fat grams. Then splurge on that tasty sweet corn tomalito, which has only 85 calories & 4 fat grams and packs a gram of fiber (2 Points).
P.F. Chang's Sriracha Shrimp Salad (1,130 calories, 46g fat, 163g carbs, 29g protein = 26 Points!)
There's certainly no shortage of absurdly high-calorie shrimp selections to "out" on the P.F. Chang's menu. But while we expect fried, honey-glazed entrées and pan-fried, noodle-packed platters to pack a calorie wallop, we found this simple shrimp salad's stats most surprising. Sriracha is a hot 'n sweet sauce that's the basis of this salad's dressing; we think it's the combo of that sugary salad dressing, the roasted pine nuts and the candied papaya that do this dish in (who candies a papaya, anyway?). Fulfill a shellfish craving at Chang's with some of their steamed Shrimp Dumplings (290 calories, 9g fat, 6 - 7 Points) or their surprisingly low-cal Cantonese Shrimp (330 calories, 12g fat, around 7 Points), instead.
The name says it all. The stats on this dish are the work of the devil! Again, we'd expect a pasta dish with breaded brine and creamy sauce to be a calorie catastrophe, but this one's sautéed in a simple tomato sauce. No fair! If you find yourself at Macaroni Grill, save the shrimp (and yourself) and order their awesome "Skinny Chicken" entrée (complete with steamed veggies, fat-free feta and honey balsamic dressing for a mere 330 cals, 5 fat grams and 6 Points!) instead.
Shrimp-tastic Recipes For YOU!
Still in need of MORE MORE MORE shrimpy-good info? Fine! Check out our guilt-free recipe swaps for the following: