7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss and Muscle Gain

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Is Shellfish Healthy?: Oysters vs Clams vs Mussels vs Crab vs Scallops vs Lobster vs Shrimp

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering I’m sharing the 7 best shellfish for weight loss and muscle gain, as well as answering a viewer question who asked: is shellfish healthy?

Although shellfish isn’t a major part of my diet, like grass fed beef, whole eggs, and chicken breast is, I do still enjoy eating it on occasion.

From a calorie and macronutrient standpoint, if you’re looking to lose weight, shellfish is dieter’s dream, as it’s low in carbohydrates and calories.

In addition to being low carb and low calorie, shellfish is also a great source of high quality protein, to help in muscle building and recovery.

So in this episode, I’m going to share the 7 best shellfish for weight loss, as I compare oysters vs clams vs mussels vs crab vs scallops vs lobster vs shrimp.

7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

Not all shellfish are as nutrient rich as others

Most shellfish contains many non-essential and essential nutrients your body requires to be at it’s best.

However, if you think all shellfish contains similar nutrition benefits, you may be surprised at some of the differences between:

  • oysters
  • clams
  • mussels
  • scallops
  • lobster
  • crab
  • shrimp

From micronutrient perspective, check out the high levels of these key essential vitamins and minerals contained in most of these shellfish:

However, from a nutrient perspective, not all shellfish are equal.

So with that said, lets find out the best shellfish for weight loss, as well as, which shellfish are the healthiest.

7 best shellfish for weight loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

#1. Oysters

7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

You may have heard that oysters are an aphrodisiac.

The reason is, oysters are very high in zinc, which is important, as it’s required by the body to produce testosterone.

But that’s not all.

When it comes to shellfish, oysters are at the top of the list for being the most nutrient rich.

Oysters are very high in b vitamins, especially vitamin B12.

Are oysters good for you?

A 3oz serving of pacific oysters provides the following nutrition benefits:

  • Calories: 139
  • Protein: 16g (49% of total calories come from protein)
  • Carbohydrates: 8g (24% of total calories come from carbohydrates)
  • Fat: 4g (27% of total calories come from fat)

This includes 1.3g of omega 3 fatty acids.

  • Vitamin B12: 24.5 mcg which is 408% of the daily value (DV)
  • Zinc: 28.3 mg which is 188% of the daily value (DV)
  • Selenium: 131 mcg which is 188% of daily value (DV)
  • Copper: 114% 2.3 mg which of daily value (DV)

Fresh oysters or canned oysters are both decent options.

#2. Clams

7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

Although not as rich in nutrients as oysters, clams are still a healthy shellfish option, loaded with vitamin B12.

Clams are higher in protein and lower in calories and carbohydrates when compared to oysters.

Are clams good for you?

A 3oz serving of clams provides the following nutrition benefits:

  • Calories: 126
  • Protein: 22g (72% of total calories come from protein)
  • Carbohydrates: 4g (13% of total calories come from carbohydrates)
  • Fat: 2g (15% of total calories come from fat)
  • Vitamin B12: 84.1 mcg which is 1401% of the daily value (DV)
  • Iron: 23.8 mg which is 132% of the daily value (DV)

#3. Mussels

7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

Mussels are good for building your muscles as they are a high protein food that contain the highest calories when compared to the other shellfish.

Are mussels good for you?

A 3oz serving of mussels provides the following nutrition benefits:

  • Calories: 146
  • Protein: 20g (55% of total calories come from protein)
  • Carbohydrates: 6g (16% of total calories come from carbohydrates)
  • Fat: 4g (25% of total calories come from fat)
  • Vitamin B12: 20.4 mcg which is 340% of the daily value (DV)
  • Manganese: 5.8 mg which is 289% of the daily value (DV)
  • Selenium: 76.2 mcg which is 109% of daily value (DV)

#4. Crab

7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

Although not as nutrient rich as oysters, mussels, and clams, crab does have a good amount of vitamin B12.

Crab may be slightly better for weight loss, as it’s packed with protein, and much lower in carbohydrates and calories.

Is crab good for you?

A 3oz serving of lobster provides the following nutrition benefits:

  • Calories: 98
  • Protein: 20g (82% of total calories come from protein)
  • Carbohydrates: 0g (0% of total calories come from carbohydrates)
  • Fat: 1g (9% of total calories come from fat)
  • Vitamin B12: 8.8 mcg which is 147% of the daily value (DV)

#5. Scallops

7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

Again, scallops are not as nutrient rich as oysters, clams, and mussels.

But just like crab, it may be slightly better for weight loss as it has a good amount of protein, while be much lower in carbohydrates and calories.

Are scallops good for you?

A 3oz serving of scallops provides the following nutrition benefits:

  • Calories: 93
  • Protein: 20g (86% of total calories come from protein)
  • Carbohydrates: 0g (0% of total calories come from carbohydrates)
  • Fat: 1g (10% of total calories come from fat)

Although scallops don’t provide 100% of your daily value of any micronutrient, they do provide 40% of your daily value of selenium.

#6. Lobster

7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

Lobster is a major Christmas Eve tradition in the Gouthro household.

Falling in the same group as scallops and crab, lobster is not as nutrient rich as oysters, mussels, and clams.

However, lobster may be a slightly better option for weight loss, as it’s high in protein, and much lower in carbohydrates and calories.

Is lobster good for you?

A 3oz serving of lobster provides the following nutrition benefits:

  • Calories: 77
  • Protein: 16g (83% of total calories come from protein)
  • Carbohydrates: 0g (0% of total calories come from carbohydrates)
  • Fat: 1g (12% of total calories come from fat)

#7. Shrimp

7 Best Shellfish For Weight Loss: Is Shellfish Healthy?

Shrimp is not as nutrient dense as it’s other shellfish.

It is great for weight loss, as it is still a good source of protein, that is very low in calories and carbohydrates.

Is shrimp good for you?

A 3oz serving of shrimp provides the following nutrition benefits:

  • Calories: 84
  • Protein: 18g (86% of total calories come from protein)
  • Carbohydrates: 0g (0% of total calories come from carbohydrates)
  • Fat: 1g (11% of total calories come from fat)

When it comes to the daily value of minerals, shrimp is highest in selenium providing approximately 48% of your daily value.

Although all these shellfish options are great for weight loss, the crab, scallops, lobster, and shrimp contain the least calories.

However, the higher calorie shellfish, being the mussels, oysters, and clams, are all still excellent foods for weight loss, as they still under 150 calories for a 3 oz serving.

Plus mussels, oysters, and clams are much more nutrient rich, so the extra calories are worth it.

Bottom line: is shellfish healthy?

From a weight loss perspective, these 7 are the best shellfish for weight loss, but the oysters, clams, and mussels are filled with the most nutrients.

And if you’re worried about the cholesterol content of shellfish, we’re not living in the 1960’s, when all the poorly controlled research came out on foods higher in cholesterol, like whole eggs.

So if you’re still avoiding egg yolks and shellfish because of the high cholesterol, it’s time to open your eyes to the fact that healthy foods high in cholesterol may actually help increase your good HDL cholesterol, without raising your bad LDL cholesterol, while reducing triglyceride levels.

Just stay away from the unhealthy creamy sauces that are usually associated with eating shellfish.

Is farmed shellfish healthy to eat?

Also, most shellfish on the market are farmed, but based on the way they are raised, most are fine to eat.

However, I’d do your research on each shellfish before eating farmed shellfish from Asia.

What about the mercury in shellfish?

When it comes to mercury in fish and shellfish, it is a concern, but for most people it’s just a trace amount.

Plus in most cases, all the health benefits from eating shellfish a few times per month, outweigh the potential issues from the trace amounts of mercury.

How to make shellfish taste delicious

For added flavor, try adding a little lemon and hot sauce to your oysters.

You can also add butter, garlic, and white wine to your clams and mussels for extra flavor.

Or make a big batch of delicious seafood chowder.

That is just one of the over 200 cooking video recipes we share with our Team Live Lean group coaching clients.

If you want access to our delicious recipes, cooking videos, meal plans, grocery lists, and 4 week workouts, go join our team at Team Live Lean.

Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.


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