Calorie wikiNutrition 101Shop

Community food / recipes

Is shellfish really that bad for you?

I've heard that I should only eat regular (salmon, tuna) rather than lobster, shrimp. Anyone have any more info on this?

Wed. Nov 16, 9:40am

Add comment  
Salmon is great for you! You have to watch your tuna intake due to higher mercury levels and keep it to two servings per week. I think some shellfish (shrimp) may have higher cholesterol levels but haven't heard that it's just plain bad for you. Shrimp is not high in calories though. Good fish to stick with are salmon, mahi mahi, halibut, cod & tilapia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 9:53 AM

Add comment
are scallops a shellfish?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 10:04 AM

Add comment
shellfish is fine....

Just because a food is high in cholesterol does not mean it will raise your cholesterol. In fact cholesterol is necessary for brain function-it has gotten a bad rap because high levels are linked to (but not necessarily the cause of) heart disease. Shellfish is any sea animal with a shell, including mussels, shrimp. scallops, crab, clams and lobster. They are all good for you, but like any other food, eat in moderation and avoid farmed varieties.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 11:52 AM

Add comment
It is the bottom feeder of the ocean though. Everything they eat, you eat. It's not like salmon, or cod or the like. I know many people that have allergies to shellfish and not to the other swimmers.

Thursday, November 17, 2005, 7:58 AM

Add comment
Here is an easy-to-read table with mercury levels in different fish and shellfish. Shrimp, lobster and scallops are in the "low mercury" category.

Shrimp do contain cholesterol, but much less than eggs, meat and dairy.

Bon appetit!


Thursday, November 17, 2005, 9:22 AM

Add comment
I learned from my doctor that the reason they'll ask you if you're allergic to shellfish if you go in for many kinds of tests is b/c most shellfish allergies are actually iodine allergies! So I guess they contain a decent amount of iodine??

(I am allergic to iodine, but not to shellfish - found that one out when I had some tests done and was injected with iodine, after telling them that I'm not allergic to shellfish... My reaction wasn't ridiculously severe, but still not fun. So, I guess the levels of iodine in shellfish can't be excessively high...)

Thursday, November 17, 2005, 1:30 PM

Add comment
Shellfish is different though. There might not be high levels of mercury, but there is a reason that cultures through the generations recommend that you do not eat shellfish. However, they are a wonderful source of protein and I love it.

Friday, November 18, 2005, 7:41 AM

Add comment
I have Graves Disease and one of the things I can't eat to much of is shellfish because of the iodine, it does have high levels of iodine and is very low for mercury. A lot of cultures don't eat shellfish, including practicing Jews because shellfish are considered unclean, they are bottom feeders, sort of the same thing as pork. As far as cholesterol goes a lot of it is genetic. I eat all sort of high cholesterol and don't have a problem, in fact no one in my family does. My husband on the other hand eats hardly any high cholesterol and has high cholesterol as well as most of his family.

Friday, November 18, 2005, 8:13 AM

Add comment
I'm not sure I understand the concept of bottom feeders in terms of shell fish - they do eat all the stuff at the bottom of the ocean (since that's where they live), but they are also the bottom of the food chain. Why a lot of the bigger fish have so much mercury is that mercury isn't flushed by the body, so the big fish eats the slightly smaller fish, who ate the smaller fish, who at the tiny fish, and the big fish ends up with all those other fishes' mercury in his body, which we get when we eat him.

Shellfish, on the other hand, only eat little tiny plankton or plant matter, which has almost no mercury (and probably very little other bad stuff, too, although this is where my knowledge gets fuzzy), making them, at least in that way, healthier for us to then eat.

Friday, November 18, 2005, 9:55 AM

Add comment
Your right, but for some reason they are considered bottom feeders and bottom feeders are considered unclean in many cultures. They sure do taste good though.

Saturday, November 19, 2005, 9:52 AM

Add comment
I have completely cut shellfish out of my diet. Maybe it is a function of age, but I can't take it anymore. I actually read that the water in New England has actually gotten cleaner in the last few years.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 11:20 AM

Add comment
"Shellfish" is a ridiculously unspecific term, encompassing crustacea (shrimp, lobsters) and mollusca (mussels, clams). Totally different kinds of animals, totally different nutritional content. Shrimp float around in the upper layers of the water, and are not "bottom feeders." Lobsters are true bottom feeders, eating rotting fish from the sea floor, while mussels and clams are filter feeders. Treating all these animals as one category is like saying chicken and dragonflies have the same nutritional content because they have wings!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 1:17 PM

Add comment
I thought bottom feeders meant they crawled along the bottom of the ocean, therefore consuming more heavy metals like lead and mercury, regardless of whether they ingested plant or animals. I have a mild reaction to shellfish, I think it's the iodine. After a very embarassing date in high school - where I spent half a movie throwing up in the restroom - I avoid too much of these. Love salmon and other fish though!

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 5:04 AM

Add comment
Not All Shellfish are bad

There are certain countries that have taken progressive steps to eliminate polluion form their local waters and as such, the shellfish caught there is cleaner and healthier than other places. New Zealand, for example, has setup dozens of protected areas where fish and shellfish are protected from pollution and overfishing; as a result, the food caught in these areas contains lower levels of mercury and other contaminants than elsewhere.

Friday, April 13, 2007, 6:02 PM

Add comment
scallops are a shellfish

Yes Scallops are a shellfish. The big Shell oil sign is actually a scallop shell

Friday, April 13, 2007, 11:21 PM

Add comment
it is so yummy, who cares!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007, 4:08 PM

Add comment

I am a US Marine and lift weights on a regular baisis and cardio, in my diet is almost constily with boiled shrimp and salad, and thats about it, i take Winadrol by CTD labs, i have a mean ass six pack, killer arms and a body people would dream ta have, and my cholorsal levels are fine, mostly becuase the Winadrol lowers cholostal levels, its a bad ass diet and it works!!!!


Sunday, October 14, 2007, 1:37 AM

Add comment
Unless you have allergies, shellfish are generally pretty healthy.

Most are low in fat/calories, high in protein and iron, and the cholesterol is not significant if you eat it on an occasional basis.

Oysters, clams and other mullusks are considered bottom feeders and potentially unhealthy or dangerous because they are actually filter-feeders, so if they are cultivated in contaminated water, they can be poisonous. HOWEVER, there are current processes for pasteurizing oysters that purify them.

[I don't know whether clams or mussels are pasteurized, but they don't have the same issues as oysters, and aren't eaten raw as often]

Most restaurants and seafood houses buy pasteurized oysters from reputable wholesalers.

Anecdotedtly - my grandmother has eaten oysters, shellfish, and fish her whole life at least 3-4x a week and is healthier at 93 than most people I know.

Sunday, October 14, 2007, 12:55 PM

Add comment

All fish is good for you. If you start listening to shite like this you will end up in the laughing house worrying about how fishy your fish should be before its unhealthy and other counterproductive shitey arguments.

Eat what the fuck you like but avoid too much shit food. What's shit food? I think we all know. Forums like these are an exercise in self deception.

Monday, December 17, 2007, 8:38 AM

Add comment
Incidentally - refuse pastuerised oysters. They are compromised in terms of flavour. If you are too much of a gay lord to eat oysters in their natural state then don't eat them. They should be consumed raw and fresh. Only a bloody American could come out with the shite I've just read.

Monday, December 17, 2007, 8:40 AM

Add comment
bottom feeders/marines

hmmm...too bad you can't spell worth a sh*t, despite your 6-pack...

Me thinks you need a bit more "skooling," bro! (or, do a spell check, eh?)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 12:07 AM

Add comment
classic PT - a 3 year old thread gets revived to insult a post from nearly a year ago!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 8:24 AM

Add comment
How can shrimps be virtually fat free (by looking a their nutritional info) and STILL have cholesterol???

Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 11:39 AM

Add comment
comment to US marine

wow You Sound SOOOO FU****G STU***. Can you please figure out where your a** is from your mouth and then post things on the web?!

WOW! I LOVE US MARINES, but you are just a shame.

Thursday, August 26, 2010, 2:31 PM

Add comment
Yes, they really can hurt you. Not only are the oceans more polluted than ever, the shellfish are the worst of the bunch. They eat everything on the bottom and that means everything and anything. You are literally eating garbage.

Friday, August 27, 2010, 10:08 AM

Add comment
The link below will give you great information about fish/shellfish as a food source. It's not all about why they can do for us, it's about how we can respect them as a food source.


Friday, August 27, 2010, 11:12 PM

Add comment
Great link, thanks a lot.

Saturday, August 28, 2010, 10:48 AM

Add comment

Explore Related Articles
Weight Loss Motivation   Sustainable Weight Loss
Weight Lifting    Hypnosis and Weight Loss
Emotional Eating   Help Losing Weight
Free Weight Loss Program   Weight Watchers Points  NutriSystem
How To Change Anything

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge