What is the Healthiest Shrimp to Order?

Q: What’s the healthiest way to order shrimp?

A: If you’re a fan of shrimp, you probably know there are plenty of different ways to prepare this succulent little shellfish, and restaurants use them all.  When it comes to enjoying shrimp AND maintaining a healthy diet, some of those shrimp dishes are better choices than others…at least most of the time.  You’re smart to ask about the best ways to order shrimp at restaurants.

In general, avoid ordering shrimp that is deep fried or cooked in lots of butter and stick to just one serving of this tempting seafood.  Instead, look for menu choices such as these:

Steamed – Steamed shrimp pack flavor and nutrition into a simple and delicious package.  Squeeze on a little lemon and enjoy as an appetizer or pair with a side of vegetables for lunch or dinner.  Try choices like this:

  • Appetizer: Steamed Shrimp —  ½ pound at Hooters

Grilled – For heartier, richer flavor, opt for grilled shrimp choices that use herbs and spices for seasoning.  Look for skewers paired with whole grains and vegetables or pastas and salads with grilled shrimp added in.  These choices are a good place to start:

  • Ensalada de Camaron con Miel at Cantina Laredo
  • In The Pink Menu: Low Fat Fiesta Shrimp Pasta at T-Bones

Stir-Fried – Many Asian stir-fry dishes include shrimp as a lean protein.  This option can be a great way to incorporate shrimp with lots of fresh veggies.  For these, be sure to ask questions about oil and sauce used (to monitor ingredients and quantities) or order dietitian-recommended Healthy Dining menu choices like these:

  • Thai Basil Shrimp at Mama Fu’s Asian House

Shrimp is low in calories and saturated fat and a good way to get selenium in your diet.  Choose the healthiest way to order shrimp at restaurants to make this good-for-you food work for your diet.
What are your tips for ordering healthier shrimp dishes at restaurants?