Shrimp Sizes & Counts per Pound: Your Simplified Guide
We all want to serve up a delicious entrée or appetizer to impress our guests. But, when it comes to choosing shrimp, the process can get a tad overwhelming. How do I know which size...
Keto diets focused on eating high fat and low in carbs have led to weight loss and a myriad of other health benefits for many. The Keto diet requires cutting carbs to 50 grams or less per day so that the body burns fat for energy rather than carbs.
With this in mind, understanding the carb counts of common foods is essential. Whether you count macros or follow a fully keto diet, you’ll need to know what foods to eat to stay in ketosis. If you’re curious about shrimp and whether it’s safe to eat on a low-carb diet, read on.
Is shrimp keto? If you’re following a keto diet, shrimp is keto-friendly, virtually carb-free, and very low in fat and calories. Healthy, clean proteins like shrimp make it painless to limit carbs, and the low fat and calorie counts mean you can manage weight while feeling full and enjoying fantastic meals.
Bonus: shrimp also contains lots of nutrients, including vitamin B12, folate, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids to help your heart and brain function properly.
Of course, the way you prepare shrimp affects its carb count. Shrimp is great for you, but if you dunk it in beer batter and deep fry it, the carb count skyrockets, and your waistline and long-term health can suffer. On the other hand, whipping up keto lemon pepper shrimp leaves you with a tempting meal that’s healthy and keto-friendly.
Shrimp is easy to cook and works in so many dishes; whatever cuisine you’re in the mood for, shrimp will fit right in. The American Heart Association notes that fish and shellfish, including shrimp, are lower in saturated fat than red meat. Learning delicious ways to prepare shrimp can improve your low-carb lifestyle.
So, is shrimp low-carb? Definitely.
Shrimp has just 0.2 grams of carbs in a 3-ounce serving; although shrimp come in different sizes, this is roughly 3-5 shrimp. Shrimp has less than a gram of fat per serving that comes from omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats that are beneficial to your body. Additionally, a 3-ounce serving has 85 calories and 20 grams of lean protein, making shrimp an ideal choice for low-carb meal plans. Shrimp is packed with nutrients, including:
Preparation matters if your goal is keeping shrimp low-carb. Creating keto-friendly meals is easier the closer you stick to foods in their natural form; using our first example above, stir-frying shrimp will keep carbs in check better than battering and frying will. Grilling and boiling shrimp are great ways to cook shrimp because they don’t add many ingredients (other than seasonings you enjoy) that could up the carbs.
Boiled: boiled shrimp are great for salads, dipping, or as an appetizer, and since you just drop them in boiling water for a few minutes, they couldn’t be easier to cook. Anyone looking to keep shrimp low in carbs will rejoice; 3 ounces of boiled shrimp comes in at just 1.4 grams of carbs.
Grilled: warm weather calls for grilling, and tossing marinated shrimp on the grill adds flavor and texture to your meal, whether you’re making fajitas, kebabs, or surf and turf. It might surprise you that grilled shrimp has only 1.3 grams of carbs per 3-ounce serving, but remember, that means marinating without high-carb sauces, like BBQ or other condiments high in sugar.
As we already know, shrimp is virtually carb-free, but the devil is in the details. Boiled and grilled shrimp are very keto-friendly, but other recipes might send carbs soaring. Let’s look at the carb count in beloved shrimp dishes to see how they fit into low-carb eating.
Shrimp scampi is a simple but incredibly flavorful dish made with shrimp, butter, garlic, and white wine. These are all keto-friendly ingredients; a one-cup serving of scampi provides just 0.01 grams of carbs. However, most people love scampi on a bed of pasta or white rice, something low-carb eaters want to avoid. Creative cooks can make shrimp scampi with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles to keep the meal keto.
Not surprisingly, fried shrimp aren’t keto-friendly, clocking in at almost 40 grams of carbs per serving. If you aim to stay under 50 grams for the entire day, this is one shrimp dish you probably should avoid. Fried shrimp should be a rare treat for everyone, considering the calorie count: while a serving of boiled shrimp is 85 calories, the same serving of fried costs over 500 calories.
Although coconut is often used for keto recipes, it doesn't mean that coconut shrimp is keto-friendly. These delectable appetizers are deep-fried shrimp coated in a mix of panko crumbs and coconut, so along with upping the calorie count, the carb count shoots to 31 grams per serving. There are ways to make keto versions of coconut shrimp by substituting coconut flour and keto bread but remember to use unsweetened coconut.
Shrimp cocktail, a simple appetizer of boiled shrimp dipped in cocktail sauce, is healthy and low calorie. However, the cocktail sauce is the rub for those looking to eat low-carb. It’s yummy and easy to make: ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Unfortunately, ketchup is the villain here, adding carbs in the form of sugar. Unless you make your own with no-sugar-added ketchup, a quarter cup of cocktail sauce will cost you 19 grams of carbs.
Tempura shrimp, a Japanese version of battered, deep-fried shrimp, has a light, puffy batter made from flour, egg, and ice water. This combination takes the carb count to 31 grams for four pieces of shrimp, so ordering this dish at your favorite Japanese steakhouse is probably the wrong choice for keto dieters.
Shrimp is healthy and nutritious for everyone, especially those counting macros or following a keto diet. While keto diets rely heavily on fat, making us think of bacon, steaks, and cheese, eating protein sources low in fat makes keeping calories in check easier. Also, since shrimp has almost no fat, you’ll eat fewer saturated animal fats, which cause high cholesterol and heart disease. The protein in shrimp helps the body build muscle and keeps you feeling full longer so you can manage weight loss and a leaner physique. Other benefits include:
Now that you know shrimp makes an ideal choice for keto-friendly meals, let’s talk about easy ways to use shrimp in delicious meals the whole family will love. Prime Shrimp is shrimp made simple, with flavors perfect for a wide variety of recipes, or plain shrimp you can season any way you want. All of our shrimp comes peeled, deveined, and ready to cook in a bag, sous-vide style.
For delicious low-carb shrimp meals, Prime Shrimp has you covered. Shop our selection of cook-in-bag shrimp in multiple flavor varieties. Ready in minutes and filled with flavor, our shrimp is the clean protein you’ve been waiting for.
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