Page 0025


continued over

not least of which is that

d the best bits.

You might be surprised to

know that shellfish are

low in fat (especially low

in saturated fat), contain

the omega-3 fatty acids,

are excellent protein sources, and are

especially good sources of iron, zinc,

copper and vitamin B-12.

As defined on Wikipedia, 'shellfish'

is a culinary and fisheries term

for 'exoskeleton-bearing aquatic

invertebrates used as food, including

various species of molluscs, crustaceans,

and echinoderms'. It's what the rest of

us would think of as prawns (or shrimp),

crayfish, lobster, crab, scallops, oysters,

mussels and, less obviously, squid and


After our lead feature in the last issue

on the benefits of omega-3 oils in the

diet, it was good to find that the Shellfish

Association of Great Britain has a report

which shows that shellfish are equally full

of omega-3 fatty acids as oily fish, but

also contained other benefits too.

"There is a lot of evidence that is given

out by health professionals that is not

correct," said Dr Tim Pickerell, director of

the Shellfish Association of Great Britain

(SAGB), back in 2010. As many results of

studies looking into the benefits of shellfish

are highly technical, the association has

published its own report to address the

needs of the public, policy advisors and

decision makers. In the SAGB study

they acted to address the inequality by

carrying out a comprehensive review of

all the health benefits of eating shellfish to

produce an easy to understand guide for


The report shows that shellfish are

among the best possible dietary source

of protein, containing as much protein per

100g as meat, and the protein content

is high in essential amino acids and is

highly digestible because of the lack of

connective tissue.

As well as the amino acids - some

shellfish have nine - brown crab, mussels

and oysters also have long chain omega-3

fatty acids, which are good for heart health

and are comparable to those found in fin

fish such as salmon. The report shows

that crab, oysters, mussels and squid only

come below herring and mackerel for their

omega-3 fatty acid content.


Shellfish are also low in fat and calories.

A dozen oysters contains less than

100 calories and only 0.2g of saturated

fat. Most shellfish are lest than 5% with

many varieties having less than 1% fat.

The report also shows that shellfish are

a good source of trace minerals such

copper, iodine and zinc. Cockles, oysters

and mussels also contain iron, while

crab, octopus, squid, lobster, shrimps

and mussels also contain selenium.

Most shellfish also have 10% of the

recommended daily amount of potassium

in every 100g.

Finally, the report shows that oysters

contain vitamin A, prawns vitamin E and

shellfish are also a good source of the B

compound vitamins.

At the time Dr Pickerell set out to



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