The US Government Guidelines recommends Americans consume a diet of fats, carbohydrates, sodium and potassium. Yet with so many labels, commercials, and colorful grocery store displays it’s hard, very hard to know what to eat, much less what to serve.
Here’s some straight nutritional facts:
More than 40% of the calories in beef and pork come from fat. Less than 20%s of shellfish calories come from fat. The proportion of saturated fat is lower in shellfish than in beef and poultry. Shellfish are low in overall fat with higher positive unsaturated fats, rich in omega 3 and fatty acids.
Shellfish provide high quality protein with all the dietary essential amino acids needed for the maintenance and growth of the human body.
Cholesterol is essential in a healthy diet. Because the cells in the body produce 2/3of the needed cholesterol, it is important not to over consume cholesterol from food eaten. Shellfish are again an excellent dietary choice because they are low in bad LDL cholesterol and high in HDL good cholesterol.
Clams are an excellent source of iron, 100 grams contributing 78% of daily iron needs. Oysters and mussels are equally beneficial.
Zinc is important to the immune system and the healing of wounds. Oysters offer diners the highest level of zinc in any single food.
Copper is vital to forming hemoglobin and collagen. And yes, here too, shellfish are an excellent source.
Vitamin B-12 maintains sheaths around nerve fibers and supports many cellular processes. Yet it is very hard to find in food. Clams, mussels and oysters thankfully provide 100% of this very necessary vitamin.
SO WHAT'S THE TRUTH
Total up all these dietary benefits, add in fantastic taste as well as environmental sustainability and it’s perfectly clear: Shellfish should be a major part of every healthy American diet.