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.

About Sanjana Shenoy

A dietitian from Mangalore, India. A post graduate diploma holder in “Dietetics” and a university topper from Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration from the prestigious Manipal University. At present working as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. Consultant for corporates like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.

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15 Responses to Nutritional value of Shrimps and Prawns

  1. Vivek July 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    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. Sanjana - Dietitian July 27, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    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. vivek July 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    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. khushboo December 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    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. Ramu March 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    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. Sanjana - Dietitian March 31, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    The fishes that have a oily sheen are known to have the oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids…

  7. Raheel November 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    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


  8. brian March 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

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

  9. Lakshmanan July 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Hi Sanjana,

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


  10. mataf July 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    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.

  11. Riyas September 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    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 ?

  12. Sanjana - Dietitian September 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm #


    Small onions are very healthy and being a south indian myself, i love adding it to sambhar and other preparations. No harm in including it in your daily diet.

  13. mridul October 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    hi doctor ,

    is it correct that intake of prawns and shrimps causes migraine ?

  14. DR. ZEAR AHAMED February 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm #


  15. David Reyes August 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    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

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