Nutritional value of Shrimps and Prawns

Nutritional value of Shrimps and Prawns

Prawns and shrimps are an extremely good source of protein, yet are very low in fat and calories, making them a very healthy choice of food.

Although shrimps and prawns have a high cholesterol content, they are low in saturated fat, which is the fat that raises cholesterol levels in the body and is bad for you. For this reason, there is no need to avoid eating shrimps or prawns.

Meat and dairy products are also sources of protein but they tend to be very high in calories and saturated fat. A 4 oz (115 g) portion of shrimps contains almost half the recommended daily protein needed but only contains 112 calories and less than 1g of fat.

Shrimps and prawns do contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, but these fatty acids are good for you and help prevent against heart disease, circulatory diseases and many other types of illnesses. These valuable fats lower triglyceride levels and have many other benefits for heart health

Prawns and shrimps also contains high levels of vitamin B12, zinc, iodine, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and iron and have smaller quantities of calcium, magnesium and sodium.

Many of these vitamins are essential for healthy skin, bones and teeth. Prawns are an excellent source of vitamin E.

Most shellfish is naturally low in total fat and saturated fat, and only moderate in cholesterol content. That means it can still fit into a heart healthy diet.

Here’s the catch
Of course, portion control is the key. If you consume double the recommended portion of shellfish, then you must double the cholesterol content as well, which is okay as long as you are careful with your cholesterol intake for the rest of the day. It depends on how it is cooked. If it deep fried in oil, baked with butter or cooked in a coconut gravy, then the amount of saturated fats increase, which in turn increase the cholesterol levels.

Here’s the catch
Of course, portion control is the key. If you consume double the recommended portion of shellfish, then you must double the cholesterol content as well, which is okay as long as you are careful with your cholesterol intake for the rest of the day.

So, include it in moderation in your diet.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows. She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore. Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

17 Replies to “Nutritional value of Shrimps and Prawns”

  1. Dr. Sanjana, I am Vivek. I live in Bangalore. I would like to know the names of fish in Kannada (especially those like Salmon and other fish which contain a lot of Omega-3 content). If you know the information, please pass it on to me (

    Thank you for taking the time to read my request.

  2. Hi Vivek,

    I have a few names for you. Firstly salmon is not available in India. You may need to buy them canned, and hence we dont have a kannada name for it.

    Herring is called selakku, anchovies as engallu, mackeral as bangadei and sardines as pedi. These fishes are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. I hope this is of some help to you.

  3. Dr. Sanjana, thanks for your reply. Yes, it helps me a lot. I already get bangadei(or bangda as it is called in B’lore) here. I will search for selakku, engallu, and pedi as well. This information will greatly help in restoring a good part of my health. Thanks again.

  4. DR.Sanjana,i’m khushboo from yamunanagar(haryana).i wanted to know what i should have in non veg,like eggs,fish,chicken etc..and plz let me know whwn i should take them..thankyou..

  5. Dr. Sanjana,
    How about fish like Bhetki (bass), Rawas (some call it Indian Salmon) & Seer fish? Aren’t these fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids too?
    Thank you.

  6. Doctor i want to strong my immune system. i make hardcore deiting and lose 25 kgs of weight and now my immune system effected. kindly give me some tips according to the india and pakistan environment.

    waiting for your response


  7. I heard from somewhere that prawns contain uric acid.
    is this true ?
    if so, how does this affect my health and in what way ?

  8. Hi Sanjana,

    Can I consume ragi (finger millet) foods thrice daily? Will it have any adverse effects (like kidney problems)? Kindly clarify.


  9. hey,want to know what effect does prawns have on wound healing? i’m from around mumbai n its a myth here that it has a bad effect on wound it true??
    plz let me knw coz i’ve been operated for pyeloplasty 2o days back n i just cant live without eating fans but my parents dont allow me……..plz help.

  10. Hi Madam, i am riyas from coimbatore, tamil nadu.
    I would like to know, are the small onions in daily diet is good or bad ?

  11. hi Dr. Sanjana,

    I’m 43 and lately discovered a place in Singapore where they sell prawns. I’ve been addicted. I wanted to ask if eating a lot of shrimps/prawns can lead to high uric acid or contribute to gout.

    Recently I started feeling some pain in my knees.

    Could this be directly related to my sudden higher consumption of prawns?

    thank you
    David Reyes

  12. Hi doctor,
    I’m a post kt patient and I would like to know whether prawns are good to me or do I avoid it for life time.

    Thank you

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