Characteristics and nutritional properties of lobster

Lobster, like shrimp, crab or prawn, is a crustacean with a high nutritional value. And although it is known as a luxury delicacy, from time to time it can be part of a healthy and delicious meal.

Written and verified by the nutritionist Anna Vilarrasa on August 23, 2021.

Last update: 23 August, 2021

Lobster It is usually the protagonist of large meals on days of celebration. And although many people only eat it in restaurants, it can also be a perfect ingredient for some homemade recipes.

In many regions it is part of traditional dishes, although it is not necessary to complicate much to obtain a very tasty meal. If you want to know what this food is and what properties it has, we encourage you to continue reading the article.

Lobster: a highly valued seafood

Known by the scientific name Palinurus elephas, lobster is a crustacean that lives on rocky or coral bottoms shallow. Its main catch areas are the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

It is often confused with lobster because of its similar shape and color. The best trick to differentiate them is to look at the head. The first has large front claws and the lobster has long antennae.

In addition, externally it is formed by a shell that covers both the head and the abdomen. The tail of the adult specimens is used to move and develops strong muscles. This is the most appreciated part on a gastronomic level.

Nutritional composition

Lobster it is a low calorie food, but accompanied by proteins and a good number of vitamins and minerals. These are the most prominent nutrients in 100 grams of fresh product:

  • Energy: 77 calories.
  • Water: 81 grams.
  • Proteins: 16.5 grams.
  • Lipids: 0.75 grams.
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams.
  • Fiber: 0 grams.
  • Copper: 1.35 milligrams.
  • Selenium: 63.6 micrograms.
  • Zinc: 3.53 milligrams.
  • B12 vitamin: 1.25 micrograms.
  • EPA and DHA (omega 3): 170 grams.

In its nutritional composition cholesterol is also present. Specifically 127 milligrams per 100 grams of lobster, which could be a considerable value.

However, there is no reason to be taken as negative. Today, considerations about cholesterol and its relationship to cardiovascular health are changing. Not in vain has it ceased to be a component to limit in the 2020-2025 American Dietary Guide.

Some studies show that dietary cholesterol is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease. In addition, the percentage of saturated and trans lipids (which do seem to be harmful) is very low in lobster.

Cholesterol considerations are changing and new recommendations focus more on oxidized fats and trans lipids.

What properties does lobster have?

Lobster is a food with a high nutritional density that almost everyone can eat. Seafood has a composition similar to that of fish, so it shares some of its health benefits with it.

Nutritional value

Like most ingredients of animal origin, lobster it is an appreciated source of proteins of high biological value. This means that it provides all the essential amino acids that the body needs to perform its functions and build structures.

In addition, it is accompanied by other very interesting nutrients for health, such as zinc, selenium and vitamin B12. It is a suitable food for a healthy diet.

Also, it does not contain carbohydrates, so it can be part of a diet low in this macronutrient and also a ketogenic one. Seafood is suitable for coeliacs, as long as they are not contaminated during handling and cooking.

Cardiovascular protector

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in many countries. And one of the nutrients that seems to have a positive effect on its prevention is omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

This is due to the reduction of blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. In addition, they have an anti-inflammatory effect that protects against arteriosclerosis.

Today it seems that many people do not reach the recommended amounts of this nutrient. For this reason, including fish and shellfish (especially oily fish and shellfish with omega 3) twice a week is a very positive habit.

Brain function and neuroprotection

In recent years, scientific evidence has discovered how essential fatty acids are to the integrity and function of the brain. A deficit of them can cause a deterioration in performance and more prone to brain diseases and neuropsychiatric problems.

This is important throughout all stages of life. Beyond being part of the membranes, they also have a role in the synthesis of protective brain neurotransmitters and immune system molecules.

Source of B12

Cobalamin is a vitamin that can only be obtained from foods of animal origin or dietary supplements. Contributes to the formation of red blood cells, to cell metabolism, DNA production and nerve function.

Although it is not a common deficiency, the deficiency produces fatigue, muscle weakness and nerve damage. Mood-related problems could also appear.

Possible contraindications of lobster in the diet

First of all, it is necessary to know that we are in front of a very perishable product. Whether purchased fresh or frozen, it is necessary to consume it in a short time interval. In addition, it is necessary to handle it properly to avoid any contamination.

Crustaceans have a high allergic potential, more so than shellfish or cephalopods. They can cause severe allergic reactions with symptoms ranging from hives and itching to angioedema (swelling under the skin).

In principle, a cross reactivation with fish has not been demonstrated. In contrast, patients with allergies to mites have a higher risk of suffering from shellfish allergy. The best recommendation is to be careful the first time this food is consumed and to discard it completely in case of allergy.

Another risk associated with the consumption of seafood is the presence of mercury in some spices. Its intake and accumulation in the body leads to serious health problems. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies lobster as a low-mercury food.

Lobsters are expensive ingredients, but their nutrients can be used on some special occasions.

Lobster can be cooked and eaten at home from time to time

Lobster is part of the seafood group. Like most of them, it is a good source of protein, vitamins and some minerals. For this reason, adding it to the diet can provide the body with some benefits.

The problem is that it is not one of the most affordable spices. However, it can be prepared at home from time to time, at special meals or with guests.

There are many ways to do it: cooked, grilled, in stews, rice dishes, a la marinera. Its flavor is very delicate and smooth and combines well with sauces such as vinaigrette, tartar or garlic and parsley. Be that as it may, we encourage you to try it.

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