Is Grilled octopus low calorie?

Octopus is a seafood that is growing in popularity for its unique taste and texture. Many people enjoy eating octopus dishes like grilled octopus, octopus salad, and octopus pasta. However, some may be wondering whether octopus is a low calorie food option.

The short answer is yes, grilled octopus can be a relatively low calorie seafood choice. A 3 ounce serving of grilled octopus contains around 120 calories. This makes it lower in calories compared to many other protein foods like chicken, beef, and salmon. Grilled octopus is low in fat and contains no carbs. This makes it an excellent option for low calorie diets.

Calorie and Nutrition Facts for Grilled Octopus

Here is the nutritional information for a 3 ounce serving of grilled octopus:

Calories 120
Protein 24 g
Fat 1 g
Carbs 0 g

As you can see, a serving of grilled octopus is high in protein, low in fat, and contains no carbs. The high protein and low fat and carb content make it a very diet-friendly choice.

The protein in octopus provides 4 grams of protein per ounce. This makes it an excellent source of this important nutrient. Protein helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating. It also helps build and maintain muscle mass.

The low fat content is another factor that contributes to the low calorie count. There is only around 1 gram of fat per 3 ounce serving of grilled octopus. And much of this fat is the healthier unsaturated type.

With no carbs or sugar, grilled octopus will not spike blood sugar levels. This makes it a good choice for diabetics and those limiting carb intake.

Calories in Grilled Octopus vs Other Proteins

How does grilled octopus compare calorie-wise to other types of proteins? Here is a calorie comparison with some other popular protein foods (based on a 3 ounce cooked serving):

Food Calories
Grilled octopus 120
Chicken breast 140
Salmon 175
Top sirloin steak 168
Tofu 88

As you can see, grilled octopus has fewer calories than popular proteins like chicken, salmon, and steak. The only protein with fewer calories is tofu. So if you are keeping calories low, octopus is one of the better protein choices.

Ways Grilled Octopus Can Fit Into a Low Calorie Diet

Here are some tips on how grilled octopus can be part of a healthy, low calorie diet:

– Use it in a salad – Toss grilled octopus into a salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light dressing. This makes a flavorful, low calorie meal.

– Make poke bowls – Build a poke bowl with grilled octopus, brown rice, edamame, avocado, and vegetables. Poke bowls are a customizable low cal way to enjoy octopus.

– Put it on skewers – Thread chunks of grilled octopus onto skewers with peppers and onions for a fun appetizer or light meal.

– Use as a pizza topping – Add grilled octopus to homemade thin crust pizza with veggies for a unique low calorie pizza option.

– Serve over greens – Plate grilled octopus over a bed of sautéed greens like kale or spinach. The greens bulk up the meal while keeping it low cal.

– Make octopus burger – Use grilled octopus in place of beef for a lean octopus burger patty on a whole grain bun.

As you can see, grilled octopus can be used in multiple ways as part of delicious low calorie meals. It provides satisfaction and nutrition without all the calories of other protein choices.

Low Calorie Ways to Cook Octopus

How you cook octopus also impacts its calorie content. Here are some of the best low calorie cooking methods:

– Grilling – Grilling octopus requires little added fat. It gives the octopus a delicious charred and smoky flavor.

– Broiling – Broiling in the oven lets the octopus roast in its own juices for intense flavor without added calories.

– Steaming – Steaming is a healthy cooking method that retains moisture without requiring large amounts of oil or butter.

– Light sautéing – Cook octopus in a skillet briefly in a small amount of olive oil, garlic, lemon, and herbs.

– Raw – Small young octopus can be enjoyed raw in poke bowls and salads for the lowest calorie option.

Avoid deep frying octopus or cooking it in a lot of oil, butter, or creamy sauces. Stick to these simple low calorie cooking methods to retain its naturally light nutritional profile.

Tips for Buying and Preparing Low Calorie Octopus

Here are some useful tips for purchasing and preparing fresh octopus:

– Look for fresh, raw octopus vs frozen. Frozen octopus is often pre-cooked increasing calorie content.

– Opt for small octopus when possible. Larger octopus tend to be tougher with more calories per ounce.

– Thaw frozen octopus in the refrigerator not at room temp to prevent bacterial growth.

– Rinse fresh or thawed octopus well under cold water before cooking.

– Remove any skin, cartilage, and eyes to reduce unwanted calories and fat.

– Give raw octopus a quick low heat pre-cook before grilling or broiling to tenderize the meat.

– Slice or chop pre-cooked octopus into pieces before adding to salads or grain bowls.

Following these tips will help you select the best quality low calorie octopus and prepare it to retain the most flavor while keeping calories down.

Health Benefits of Low Calorie Octopus

In addition to being low in calories, octopus offers a variety of valuable nutrients and health benefits:

– High in B Vitamins – Octopus provides thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and B12 for energy metabolism and red blood cell production.

– Excellent Source of Selenium – Octopus contains the antioxidant mineral selenium which supports immune and thyroid function.

– Rich in Iron – Octopus offers substantial amounts of the essential mineral iron which prevents anemia and aids circulation.

– Anti-Inflammatory – Compounds in octopus may suppress inflammation pathways in the body.

– Supports Heart Health – The omega-3 fats in octopus improve cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides.

– Good Source of Zinc – Zinc in octopus facilitates healing, growth, and immunity.

– High in Copper – Octopus contains copper which aids nerve transmission and collagen formation.

So in addition to its stellar nutrition stats, eating octopus provides you with a wide array of health-boosting nutrients and benefits.

Potential Drawbacks of Eating Octopus

While octopus is very nutritious overall, there are a couple things to keep in mind:

– High Cholesterol – Octopus contains substantial amounts of cholesterol, with over 140mg in a 3 oz serving. Those with high cholesterol need to eat it in moderation.

– Risk of Contaminants – As a bottom feeder, octopus can accumulate mercury, cadmium and other contaminants from the ocean. Eating a variety is advised.

– Can Cause Allergies – Some people may be allergic to octopus and experience reactions like rashes, nausea, and vomiting.

– Difficult to Digest – Due to its tough, chewy consistency, octopus takes longer to break down and digest than other proteins.

To limit any potential downsides, enjoy octopus in moderation as part of a varied seafood diet. Thorough cooking can also reduce contaminants. People with shellfish allergies should exercise caution.


Grilled octopus is a delicious seafood option that fits well into a low calorie eating pattern. With just 120 calories in a 3 oz serving, it is lower in calories than many other proteins. It also provides numerous nutrients and offers health benefits like improved inflammation, better heart health, and antioxidant effects. Octopus can be incorporated into salads, bowls, pizzas, and more as the protein component of a light meal. Focus on grilling, broiling, or quickly sautéing it to retain the naturally low calorie content. While moderation is still advised, grilled octopus is one of the best low calorie sources of protein from the sea.

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