Shrimp is a popular type of seafood that is low in fat and calories but high in protein. Many people enjoy shrimp as part of a healthy diet. When watching your calorie intake, it’s important to know how many calories are in the foods you eat. This article will provide a detailed answer to the question: How many calories are in a half pound of cooked shrimp?
Calories in Shrimp
The number of calories in shrimp depends on several factors:
- Type of shrimp – Different shrimp species have slightly different calorie contents. Some common varieties include white shrimp, pink shrimp, rock shrimp, royal red shrimp.
- Cooked vs. raw – Raw shrimp contains fewer calories than cooked shrimp.
- Cooking method – How the shrimp is prepared affects its calorie content. Grilling, broiling, boiling, frying all impact the calories.
- Size of shrimp – Larger shrimp tend to have more calories than smaller shrimp.
On average, a 3 oz (85 gram) serving of small cooked shrimp contains approximately:
- 84 calories
- 1 gram fat
- 18 grams protein
- 1 gram carbohydrate
The number of calories can vary up or down about 10% depending on the specific type and size of shrimp.
Calories in a Half Pound of Shrimp
Since a half pound of shrimp is 8 ounces or 227 grams, we can calculate the calories as follows:
- There are 84 calories in 85 grams (3 oz) of cooked shrimp
- To get the calories in 227 grams, we multiple as follows:
84 calories x (227 grams / 85 grams) = 227 calories
So in a half pound (227 grams) serving of small cooked shrimp, there are approximately 227 calories.
Exact Calorie Count by Cooking Method
The cooking method impacts the calorie content of shrimp. Here is the calorie count for a half pound of shrimp prepared different ways:
|Cooking Method||Calories per Half Pound|
As shown, fried shrimp contains significantly more calories than other cooking methods because of the added oils and batters used in frying. Grilling, broiling, and boiling add minimal extra calories beyond those naturally in the shrimp.
Calorie Differences in Shrimp Size
Larger shrimp contain more calories per pound than smaller shrimp. Here is a comparison:
|Shrimp Size||Calories per Half Pound|
Jumbo shrimp can have about 35% more calories than small shrimp in an equal serving size. This is because larger shrimp have a higher meat to shell ratio.
Calories in Shrimp vs. Other Protein Sources
Compared to other high protein foods, shrimp is low in calories:
|Food||Calories in Half Pound|
|Chicken Breast||495 calories|
|Lean Beef||577 calories|
Shrimp provides high protein and very low calories compared to most other protein rich foods. Shrimp is an excellent choice as part of a healthy diet.
Ways to Enjoy Low Calorie Shrimp
There are many great options for preparing low calorie shrimp meals:
- Shrimp Kebabs – Thread shrimp and vegetables onto skewers and grill or broil. Try pairing with pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and zucchini.
- Shrimp Tacos – Fill corn tortillas with shrimp, salsa, avocado, and cabbage for a light and flavorful taco.
- Shrimp Salad – Mix cooked shrimp with leafy greens, tomatoes, avocado, and lemon juice for a refreshing salad.
- Shrimp Soup – Simmer shrimp in a broth with tomatoes, corn, okra or other low calorie vegetables for a hearty soup.
- Shrimp Stir Fry – Stir fry shrimp with snap peas, broccoli, carrots, and ginger. Serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice.
Tips for Cooking Low Calorie Shrimp
Here are some useful tips for keeping shrimp low in calories:
- Opt for grilling, broiling, boiling, or steaming instead of deep frying.
- Avoid batters and breaded coatings which add calories.
- Flavor with herbs, spices, citrus, and other zero-calorie flavorings.
- Remove the shell before eating to avoid overconsumption of high-calorie tail fat.
- Enjoy shrimp raw in dishes like ceviche for the lowest calorie option.
Should You Eat the Shrimp Tail?
The tail of the shrimp contains higher amounts of fat compared to the shrimp meat. Leaving the shell on will add slightly more calories. Here is a calorie comparison:
|Shrimp Eaten With:||Calories in Half Pound|
|Tail removed||210 calories|
|Tail on||240 calories|
There are about 15% more calories if you eat the shrimp with the tail on versus removing it. While the extra 30 calories or so is minimal, people watching their weight may want to remove the tail before eating.
Calorie Differences Between Cooked vs Raw
Cooking shrimp increases the calorie density slightly compared to raw. Here is the comparison for half pound portions:
Cooking accounts for about a 10% increase in calories over raw shrimp. The difference comes from loss of water weight during cooking. The impact is minimal, so both raw and cooked shrimp can be enjoyed as part of a low calorie diet.
Nutritional Benefits of Low Calorie Shrimp
In addition to being low in calories, shrimp provides many beneficial nutrients:
- Protein – High quality source of lean protein to support muscle growth and satisfaction.
- Selenium – Provides over 50% of your daily selenium needs, an important antioxidant.
- Vitamin B12 – Excellent source of vitamin B12 for energy and brain function.
- Choline – Contains choline needed for cell membranes and neurotransmitters.
- Omega-3s – Provides anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA.
In conclusion, a half pound of cooked shrimp contains about 220 calories, depending on size and preparation method. Grilling, broiling, boiling, and steaming are best for minimizing calories if not eating shrimp raw. Shrimp provides lots of nutritional benefits for the low calorie count and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.