Can You Eat Shrimp on a Low Sodium Diet?

Shrimp is one of the most popular seafood in the United States. However, they might have high amounts of sodium because shrimpers dip and freeze them in salty brine. Taking a high sodium diet can negatively impact your health. The adverse effects become more pronounced in people with high blood pressure. Taking too much sodium may increase their heart disease or stroke risk. This follows that high sodium intake significantly increases blood pressure and causes serious complications. Therefore, hypertensive patients will want to stay on a low sodium diet to keep their blood pressure in check.

What’s the sodium content of cooked shrimp?

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According to the most recent data, 100 grams of cooked shrimp without additives contains 111 milligrams of sodium. However, shrimp with additives, such as sodium tripolyphosphate and other moisture retention agents, may have as much as 947 milligrams of sodium.

Shrimp has a lot of sodium due to the use of sodium-based preservatives or additives. Based on the USDA, 100 grams of canned shrimp contain 870 milligrams of sodium. The high sodium content in canned shrimp is a result of sodium bisulfite and sodium tripolyphosphate.

These chemicals help maintain the freshness and visual appeal of the shrimp. For instance, sodium bisulfite prevents discoloration or the development of black spots (melanosis) on the shell.

What’s the recommended daily sodium intake?

According to the American Heart Association, one can take as much as 2,300 milligrams daily. However, the ideal amount of sodium in a daily diet is 1500 milligrams. Clearly, lower sodium intake in the range of 1000 milligrams is better, considering that it leads to better heart health and blood pressure control.

Therefore, people who want to maintain a low sodium diet, such as those with high blood pressure, may want to keep their daily sodium intake at around 1000-1500 milligrams.

Can you eat shrimp on a low sodium diet?

cooked shrimp with garnish

Shrimp might fit perfectly into a low sodium diet if eaten in moderation. Taking 100 grams of fresh additive-free shrimp will suffice for those on low sodium diet. If your target is 1500 milligrams of sodium every day, this amount will represent 13% of your daily sodium intake.

As you can see, there is still an opportunity to take more shrimp as long as they have low sodium content. However, you should consider the sodium from other foods taken throughout the day.

If you cannot get the fresh additive-free shrimp, you can prepare a 1/4 cup of frozen shrimp. The relatively small portion will ensure you don’t add too much sodium to your diet.

How can you reduce sodium in frozen shrimp?

Soaking the shrimp in water and rinsing them thoroughly can help reduce sodium additives. However, it will only remove the additives on the surface.

On the other hand, boiling the shrimp in water before preparing them can help remove even more additives. It works, to a larger extent, because sodium tripolyphosphate is very soluble in water.

Where can you buy low sodium shrimp?

Low sodium shrimp is not easy to come by because most shrimpers catch and immediately put their shrimp in salty brine to ensure they don’t dry out.

Therefore, you might want to talk to a shrimper to set aside a fresh catch for you. Some restaurants also order and prepare fresh shrimp and may have low sodium shrimp.

Some food stores also sell frozen shrimp that does not have additives. In this case, you will want to check the label and confirm whether they have them.

Alternatively, you can order online from Perdue Farms. They can deliver jumbo shell-on uncooked shrimp that is deveined and easy to peel. The shrimp is clean and does not have any additives, preservatives, or chemicals. Instead of dipping shrimp in salt brine, Perdue Farms also flash freezes and vacuum seals their jumbo shrimp to maintain maximum freshness and guarantee a natural flavor and crisp texture.

However, it’s important to keep the portion sizes small, as eating too much shrimp can cause problems. If you want to learn why eating too much shrimp in one sitting is not good, check out our article What Happens When You Eat Too Much Shrimp in One Sitting?

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