It’s a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life, according to Phoebe Buffay. (“You can actually see old lobster couples walking around their tank, holding claws!”) But what about the nutritional specs?
They’re more impressive than you might think. Here’s a look at all the clawsome deets, plus whether it’s possible to go overboard with the crustacean.
Lobster meat nutrition 101
Lobster is basically a protein powerhouse that’s low in calories and fat. Here’s what you’ll get from 1 cup of the cooked meat:
- 128 calories
- 27 grams protein
- 1.2 grams fat
- 0 grams carbs
- 198% of your daily value (DV) for copper
- 190% of your DV for selenium
- 53% of your DV for zinc
- 51% of your DV for vitamin B12
Lobster is also rich in omega-3s and low in mercury. So as far as safe, healthy seafood choices go, it’s pretty solid.
The only potential downside is that lobster is pretty high in cholesterol. A single serving has about 70 percent of what you should get in a day. But that’s not necessarily a problem unless you’re at higher risk for heart disease.
Lobster’s reputation is more delicacy than health food. But it’s legit loaded with benefits beyond just making you feel fancy. Let’s take a look.
Loads of lean protein
Trying to get lots of the muscle macro but need a break from the usual beef, chicken, or salmon? Lobster is another top protein source, delivering 27 grams of protein per cooked cup.
Packed with trace minerals
A single serving of lobster loads you up on key trace minerals your body needs to function at its best. These include:
- Copper. This is a must for feeling energized, since copper works with iron to help your body make red blood cells.
- Selenium. Selenium functions as an antioxidant to fight free radicals and help keep your cells healthy. And it plays a key role in immune health, so getting your fill might reduce your risk of getting sick.
- Zinc. Zinc is a primo immune system player that’s also involved in healing wounds. Since your body can’t store it, you need a steady source every day.
Serves up omega-3s
There are So. Many. Reasons. to get your fill of these essential fats. Omega-3s are thought to play an important role in heart and brain health. And a growing body of research suggests they might have mood-boosting properties.
Also good to know: If you deal with dry eyes, loading up on omega-3s might help make your peepers more comfortable.
Good source of B12
Vitamin B12 is a must for helping your body make red blood cells and keeping your brain functioning properly. Animal foods are the best sources. If you don’t eat a lot of meat, eggs, or dairy but are cool with seafood, lobster can help you hit your daily B12 benchmark.
The $$$ factor means that most of us prob aren’t eating lobster on a daily basis. But just for the sake of argument, what if you had enough moolah to shell out on lobster, say, multiple times a week? Would that be OK?
Yup, probably. Lobster is a low mercury seafood choice, so it’s perfectly fine to enjoy it two or three times a week, even if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. (In fact, the omega-3s in low mercury seafood options like lobster are super good for your baby’s brain development. So it’s worth the splurge.)
Other than that, just be sure to follow the usual guidelines about buying and cooking seafood safely. Lobster is highly perishable once it dies, so if you’re buying the whole shellfish, make sure it’s still alive when you bring it home and cook it until the flesh is firm and white.
Mmm, lobster recipes
You can’t go wrong with eating lobster straight from the shell (esp when there’s some melted butter involved). But if you wanna take it to the next level, here are some options to try:
- Add lobster to mac and cheese (or virtually any other pasta dish).
- Fold lobster into scrambled eggs for an instantly fancy brunch.
- Add lobster to seafood soups or stews. You can pretty much use it interchangeably with shrimp or crab.
- Use it as a salad topper.
- Bind it with a little mayo or mashed avocado and stuff it into a pita or wrap. It’s like a tuna sandwich but way nicer.
- Toss it into fried rice.
Aside from the potential of getting pinched by a claw, lobster is a pretty low risk food. But here are a few FYIs to keep in mind.
It’s a common allergen
Allergies to lobster, crab, and shrimp can develop in adulthood. So if you notice any itching, hives, or discomfort when you dig in, stop eating and contact a medical professional to get checked out.
It’s high in cholesterol
A single cup of lobster meat packs about 70 percent of your recommended daily cholesterol intake. That’s not actually as scary as it sounds, since experts now agree that food sources of cholesterol don’t affect heart disease risk for most people.
But if you have a genetic tendency toward high cholesterol or have diabetes, you’ll still want to limit your intake. A lobsterrific meal every once in a while is probably fine, but it’s worth getting your doctor’s take before chowing down.
It can make you sick if not cooked properly
Raw lobster can harbor bacteria that could give you a nasty case of food poisoning. Always make sure to cook it until the flesh is firm and white.
Lobster is an awesome source of protein that packs plenty of important vitamins and minerals. And since it’s low in mercury, you can have it up to two or three times a week with no problem, assuming your wallet can handle that.
Just be sure to cook it thoroughly and look out for the signs of a possible lobster allergy, since allergies can develop in adulthood. And if you’re predisposed to high cholesterol, check with your doc about how much lobster is safe to eat on the reg.