It’s the new year and you are probably getting bombarded by fitness advertisements, diet company commercials, and lots of pressure to BE THE BEST YOU!
Instead of feeling pressured by society to look and be a certain way, why don’t you simply focus on living a healthy lifestyle by making good food and exercise choices. You don’t have to go on an actual diet to make healthy food choices. The types of diet programs out there are endless, and there is no research to suggest that dieting will be effective long-term and help you maintain your weight and overall health. Instead, choosing foods full of beneficial nutrients is the best way to go.
So let’s talk about CRABS! Dungeness crabs to be specific.
Sans all the sodium and sauces that can be added to a crab meal, crab meat has tons of protein, vitamins, and minerals...and it is very low in calories to boot! A 3-oz portion of raw Dungeness crab meat is only 73 calories! Comparing it to other meats of the same portion size, a steak is around 230 calories, chicken is about 107, and salmon is 177. Crab is the obvious low-cal choice.
Dungeness Crab Nutritional Facts
Take a look at the nutritional facts for Dungeness crab (3-oz).
- Calories: 73
- Total Fat: .8g or 1%
- Saturated Fat: .1g or 0%
- Cholesterol: 50mg or 17%
- Sodium: 251mg or 11%
- Total Carbohydrates: .6g or 0%
- Dietary Fiber: 0g or 0%
- Protein: 15g or 30%
Dungeness crab is rich in vitamin B12, B6, niacin, riboflavin, cooper, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Lots of other vitamins, minerals, proteins, and amino acids are found in crab meat.
Check out Nutrition Value’s full list.
A few downsides to eating Dungeness crab are that cholesterol and sodium can be high in crab meat and adding butter, lots of spices, or frying the meat doesn’t help.
The maximum recommended intake of cholesterol is between 200 and 300 milligrams and really depends on if you already have high cholesterol or have been advised by a physician to decrease your intake. Raw Dungeness crab has about 56 milligrams; therefore, those who are wanting to watch their cholesterol intake need to monitor the remainder of their meals closely.
Dungeness crab naturally has sodium, as it comes from the sea--so you’ll definitely want to watch out what you cook the crab in; adding a bunch of extra spices can significantly increase your sodium intake for the day (Live Strong).
How to Cook Dungeness Crab in a Healthy Way
First you need to make sure you have acquired fresh, live crab. Fathom Seafood, for example, sells fresh, live Dungeness crab and ships their orders all over the United States within a 24-hour period. If ordering from Fathom, you will receive your crabs live and chilled and ready to cook.
The Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission gives advice on when to buy the most fresh crab:
“During the peak of the Dungeness crab harvest (Dec – April) fresh whole-cooked crabs are readily available at supermarket seafood counters and specialty seafood markets throughout the region. Prolonged winter storms will occasionally disrupt the supply so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather when planning an important event or function that features fresh Dungeness.”
Going along with purchasing crab, here are two facts that may help you with any future crab-shopping from Seafood Health Facts, which strives to help consumers make smart food choices:
- Most crab species are available as either live whole crabs, fresh cooked whole crabs, or frozen cooked whole crabs, sections or single legs. Crab meat is available as refrigerated fresh, pasteurized, or frozen meat. The meat of various types of crabs harvested in the U.S. and many other countries around the world is also available as a canned product.
- As with any seafood product, buy crab and crab meat from a reputable source that has high standards for quality and sanitation. Live crabs should be alert and active in the tank and can be stored outside of water for a short period of time. Fresh and pasteurized crab meat must be refrigerated.
When cooking live Dungeness crab, you can boil, steam, or oven-roast for a healthy meal. Limiting the spices and sauces you use in the meal will help cut back on unnecessary sodium and calories. If you aren’t too worried about that, garlic butter sauce, dill butter sauce, variants of a spicy aioli are popular choices. Lemon and pepper go well with crab meat and you can create your own seasoning mix or use a quite popular one, Old Bay seasoning.
Try putting crab into a salad, such as a crab and avocado salad, or make crab cakes by substituting some of the ingredients for less-caloric versions. You can also make hearty soups using Dungeness crab or a Mediterranean crab bowl.
You seriously can get creative with crab and keep it healthy!
The good thing about recipes is that they don’t all have to be followed 100%. You can tweak it, add to it, substitute ingredients, or combine two recipes and make it your own. Crab is such a versatile meat and really goes well in a dish during every season (when you can get fresh crab in your area).
Hopefully this has enticed your tastebuds and you are now interested in buying some fresh, live Dungeness crab. Head on over to Fathom Seafood’s site and see what they have to offer. You will not be disappointed. Dungeness crab is the healthy choice you need to make!
Kick that diet to the side and stay healthy and happy by creating colorful crab dishes with Fathom’s delicious selections!