While crabs and lobsters are some of the more well-known crustaceans, crawfish are just as delicious. They’re relatively small, growing to around three to four inches long, and bear a similar appearance to lobsters, which is why they’re often confused for each other. Crawfish are known by different names, like freshwater lobsters, crawdads, and crayfish. They’re usually cooked as stews, boiled, or grilled with spices.
Crawfish are tasty and full of nutrients, although many misconceptions have caused people to avoid eating them. One of the persisting rumors is that crawfish, mainly when boiled, are not good for you. The good news is that they’re great for your health while being low in calories! Here’s what you need to know:
The Health Benefits of Crawfish
Now that crawfish season is here, many people wonder if they can guiltlessly indulge in the delicious crustacean. Fortunately, they’re an excellent source of protein, are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and don’t have as many calories as other seafood. One serving of crawfish, typically about three ounces of peeled crawfish tails, has only 70 calories.
Crawfish are also low in total fat, containing zero saturated fat and 1 gram per serving of unsaturated fat. They have 14 grams of protein in a 3-ounce serving, contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and are high in B vitamins and minerals like niacin, iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Is Boiling Crawfish Healthy?
It’s important to note that the method of preparing crawfish will affect the nutrients and vitamins it gives you. Deep frying crawfish or preparing them in rich, savory sauces will add more calories and unhealthy fat, potentially canceling its health benefits. When it is boiled, the average person eats three pounds, usually six to eight ounces of crawfish tails. This amount is roughly 232 milligrams of cholesterol, just under the maximum 300 milligrams recommended by the American Heart Association.
Additionally, your plate is essentially a tray at a crawfish boil, making it difficult to track portions and restrict your intake to a healthy amount. However, the aspect to watch out for in a crawfish boil is sodium. Those with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure must take only 1500 to 2000 milligrams of sodium a day. Depending on the seasoning used in boiled crawfish, this can rapidly overshoot the recommended intake. Too much sodium will result in fluid retention, further stressing the blood vessels and the heart.
Enjoying a Crawfish Boil
Luckily, you can still enjoy a crawfish boil healthily. Pay extra attention to your portion sizes and use low-sodium seasoning blends to keep the sodium levels down. You can also opt for your favorite salt-free spices and herbs to pack in the flavor without adding more salt. Adding non-starchy vegetables like garlic, mushrooms, carrots, artichokes, and green beans will balance the meal and add more nutrients.
When eating a crawfish boil, be sure to drink plenty of water. While you’re free to enjoy other beverages with it, water is the best choice for the ultimate healthy crawfish boil. That way, you can enjoy the best crawfish in Houston, guilt-free!
Crawfish is a healthy crustacean you can prepare in different ways. However, to make the most of its health benefits, it’s best served boiled with low-sodium or salt-free seasonings, bringing you the most of the crustacean and its deliciousness in every bite.
Crawfish Café is the best crawfish restaurant in Houston. We are proud to offer crawfish in ten different flavors and other seafood, like gulf blue crabs, littleneck clams, shrimp, and more. Contact us today to order online!
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