Answered by on Monday, June 1, 2009
"One doesn't have to eliminate any specific food or food categories for a diet," says Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.S.C., a nutrition professor at Tufts University and spokesperson for the American Heart Association. "If you want shellfish one day, it shouldn't be a problem, as long as the other foods you've eaten that day don't far surpass three hundred milligrams of cholesterol [the daily allowance],"says Lichtenstein. "Shellfish is actually a great source of protein and is very low in saturated fat, so it shouldn't be shunned." If you have had your share of cholesterol that day and still want to enjoy a seafood dinner, stick with shellfish that is lower in cholesterol. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), these three-ounce portions (the quantity served at most restaurants) of fish contain the following milligrams of cholesterol in raw form: oysters, 44.52; clams, 28.92; mussels, 23.80; shrimp, 129.20; lobster, 80.75; scallops, 28.05; squid, 198.05. To find the cholesterol counts for other foods, visit the USDA's Web site: www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp.