Are Crab Legs High in Cholesterol?

Are crab legs high in cholesterol? Crab meat and other shellfish were when considered taboo if you were watching your cholesterol. Luckily, that is not the case. Crabs, like all sources of meat, contain cholesterol. Nevertheless, as long as you do not overindulge, they can be a healthy choice. The American Heart Association even recommends crab as one of the healthiest choices in regards to meat.

Crab Legs and Cholesterol


Cholesterol is a substance produced naturally in the body and discovered in specific foods, like meat, dairy products and shellfish, such as crab legs. The body needs cholesterol for food digestion and to make essential hormones and vitamin D, however excessive cholesterol causes problems. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol develops in your arteries, restricting blood flow and increasing your risk of heart disease, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute alerts. Genetics, weight and age affect your cholesterol levels, however your risk increases if you eat a great deal of high-cholesterol foods.

cholesterol structural formula

Cholesterol (structural formula)


Your body naturally produces cholesterol, however everyone’s body produces a different quantity. For that reason, depending on your family history, you might be at a higher risk for high cholesterol.

Cholesterol is also consumed through the foods you eat, so a poor diet is likewise a significant risk element for high cholesterol. If you think your cholesterol is high, contact your primary doctor. Your cholesterol can be examined through an easy blood test. Diet alone may not be enough to handle high cholesterol.


Not long ago shellfish were infamous for the amount of cholesterol they apparently included. The confusion was caused by that shellfish consist of numerous types of sterols. Some of the sterols consist of cholesterol and others do not. At the time, researchers couldn’t compare the various types of sterols, and they were all counted as cholesterol. This approach overestimated the quantity of cholesterol that shellfish in fact consist of.

king crab legsAmount

Medline Plus encourages that healthy adults restrict their everyday cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg. According to the Swedish Medical Center, one Alaskan king crab leg has 72 mg of cholesterol. One Dungeness crab has 96 mg of cholesterol per crab. By contrast, one large egg consists of about 213 mg of cholesterol. Crabs are likewise a dietary source of protein and potassium, and unlike most meats, they do not contain any saturated fat.

Factors to consider

To prevent including extra fat and cholesterol, it is necessary to prepare crab in a healthy fashion. Attempt steaming them with low-salt flavorings, garlic or other fresh herbs. Preparing them in this way should get rid of the requirement for butter. Crabs can likewise contain mercury and other contaminants. For this factor, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are encouraged to limit their intake of the majority of types of fish.

Numerous varieties of crab are used for food, consisting of snow, Alaskan king and Dungeness. Crab legs are boiled or steamed, both of which are healthy cooking techniques, however the crab itself includes some cholesterol. The quantity is not enough to classify crab as a high-cholesterol food or to classify crab legs as bad for your cholesterol levels, as long as you do not eat fatty accompaniments with the seafood.

Crab Legs

Crab legs are broken open to reach the meat within, which includes chemicals called sterols. That chemical group consists of cholesterol, keeps in mind Mary Calvagna of the Swedish Medical Center, which at one time caused the amount of cholesterol in crab meat to be overestimated. Crab legs actually contain the same amount of cholesterol or less than beef or poultry. For instance, the leg of one Alaskan king crab contains 72 milligrams of cholesterol, and an entire Dungeness crab contains 96 milligrams, about the same quantity as 4 ounces of chicken breast meat.

crab legsFactors to consider

Crab legs end up being a high-cholesterol food when served with typical accompaniments, like fatty sauces and melted butter. The meat from crab legs is also used in high-cholesterol meals, such as pasta with Alfredo sauce, or as a topping for steak Oscar. Eat boiled or steamed crab legs with lemon juice to reduce your cholesterol consumption. The juice tastes the meat without including fat and calories.

Safety measures

You can eat crab legs without problems if you take some dietary safety measures. Your total cholesterol intake for a day ought to not surpass 300 milligrams, so balance crab legs with low-cholesterol foods such as nonfat milk and other dairy products, whole grains, fruits, veggies and beans. Lose weight, workout a minimum of 30 minutes each day, and stop smoking to reduce your cholesterol levels naturally. You might need to take medication if you make dietary and lifestyle changes and still have high cholesterol.


Updated: 26.12.2016 — 16:52

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