Can Diabetics Eat Shrimp? Nutrition, Glycemic Index, Statistics and Benefits

Shrimp is a kind of seafood consumed worldwide that is healthy and rich in nutritional Omega-3s fatty acids with low carbs.

However, not all seafood are the same and contain the exact compositions of nutrients. All the shrimps may taste different, and it’s difficult to say if all of them are healthy or can be included in a diabetic diet. 

Eating shrimp can be considered healthy for people with diabetes only if you cook them correctly.

Shrimp Nutritional Composition

The extent of the healthiness of eating shrimp is primarily determined by how they are cooked. Shrimp is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates which is beneficial to diabetics since it helps maintain diabetes balance in the bloodstream.

nutritional value of shrimps

Here is a nutritional breakdown of 85 grams of essential cooked shrimp meal:

  • Calories: 84 kcal, i.e., 11g
  • Protein: 18 grams
  • Selenium: 48% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B12: 21% of the RDI
  • Iron: 15% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 11% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 9% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 7% of the RDI

NOTE: Here, RDI stands for reference daily intake. RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake) is the average daily dietary need, and it is an adequate level of dietary intake to meet the nutritional requirements of all healthy individuals. 

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Glycemic Index of Shrimp

GI of shrimp is 50, which comes under the low category. The glycemic index is a measurement of how rapidly food raises our blood sugar levels. On a scale of zero to one hundred, the meal is ranked. Foods with a high glycemic index, or GI, digest and dissolve rapidly, leading to a spike in blood sugar level.

A diabetic person can eat shrimps as it has a low glycemic index with additional low carb ensures the gradual increase in blood glucose level.

Statistics Relating Shrimp and Diabetes

Here are some vital statistics to consider in order to determine whether shrimp is safe for diabetes individuals.

A detailed 2017 research found that when a person gets 24 weeks of omega -3s rich diet, his diabetic health improves. Those with a rich Omega-3s diet had reduced waist circumference, lower glucose levels, and low leptin levels among type-2 diabetic patients.  Those who were undergoing treatments also had improvement in lipid content in their body and lower triglycerides. 

A 2018 reviewed analysis concluded that the Omega-3 supplements in one’s diet improved the cardiovascular system in Type-2 diabetic patients. 

On the contrary, one study concluded that marine-derived or fish omega-3 long-chain fatty acid increases the chance of diabetes. Further, the study also stated that plant-derived omega-3 long-chain fatty acid was not concerned with incident type-2 diabetes. 

Various studies have concluded that individuals who have metabolic disorders like type 2-diabetes have been observed to have decreased levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood. 

Is Shrimp Good for Diabetics?

Shrimp is good and safe for diabetics. Shrimps that are high in protein and low in carbohydrate content are considered good for diabetic patients as protein tends to help stabilize blood sugar levels and plays a significant role in making one feel full; This reduces the urge to eat more at one time. Besides, low carb content ensures a stabilized glucose level in the blood.

Nevertheless, food high in protein and saturated fat gives stable energy, which will help diabetic patients hold over the energy until the consumption of their next meal. When consuming more carbs, they burn up quickly and increase the glycemic load eventually.

Fried Shrimp and Diabetes

Deep-fried shrimps are not good or safe for diabetics because the vegetable oils used in frying the shrimps overshadow the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients in the food. 

A diabetic should avoid deep-fried food like shrimp because they lose all their salubrious omega-3 fats when shrimp is fried deeply. The frying also leads to the deterioration of the food value, making it unfit for cardiovascular health.

Shrimp cocktails can have added sugars because of the ketchup used; however, the no-sugar version is suitable for diabetic patients.

Shrimp: A Healthy Seafood for Diabetic Patients

When choosing from seafood options, it is challenging to select something that might show harmful effects on heart health. As long as the seafood is concerned, they are low in carbs and high in proteins and fats, and this fat content is good fat which refers to Omega-3s fatty acids. 

Omega-3s is a class of fats that is beneficial for their anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatory properties refer to reducing pain in the body, insulin sensitivity improves in the body, and better metabolic function in the whole body. 

Shrimp has a moderate amount of Omega -3s, which helps enhance diabetic health and works as a bonus for people with poor heart health. Healthy cooked shrimps could be a bonus meal for people prone to heart attacks.

The Bottom Line

We talked about people with type-2 diabetes and different studies conducted on omega-3 fatty acids.

In a nutshell, people with diabetes can eat shrimp as it has a low carb low glycemic index nutrient composition.

Shrimp is a nutritious food to include in diabetic meals, and it has low carbs in it with reasonable amounts of proteins and good fats.

However, long-chain fatty acids increase the concern of incident diabetes, so the serving per day is unpredictable. The serving size may vary for each individual; however, the process of cooking shrimps is to decide whether it is healthy for a diabetic person. You should prevent unhealthy oils for cooking shrimp to maintain the nutrient content in shrimps such a protein and other minerals


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