Shrimp and Cholesterol

Did you know that these decapod scavengers may help you live longer if you have underlying coronary artery disease or risk factors for heart disease? How, you may ask? Three simple letters: HDL.

Shrimp, historically, has gotten a bad reputation for increasing your cholesterol. I actually have borderline high cholesterol and eat shrimp on the regular! As a practicing, board certified medical doctor, I recommend shrimp consumption (as long as it’s NOT fried) to all my patients, EVEN if they have high cholesterol.

There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad cholesterol”) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein or “good cholesterol”). Research has demonstrated that shrimp increases LDL by 7% and HDL by 12% (a favorable HDL/LDL ratio). Increasing levels of HDL actually REDUCES risk of cardiac disease and mortality.

Shrimp has also been shown to decrease triglycerides by 13%. It is also an excellent source of protein. Time to stock up on the shrimp and eat away. It’s just what the doctor ordered!

About Dr. Adam Rajoulh, MD

Board Certified Family Medicine Hospitalist Physician