Oysters nutrition facts. Are those little shell-clad guys good for you, or what? Most of us have the general impression that seafood is pretty much good for you. But there's a wide variety of seafood out there, and its nutritional value varies just as much. What about oysters?
Let's start with some oysters nutrition basics. One serving will net you about 150-200 calories, 6 grams of fat (2 grams saturated), 10 grams of carbs (no fiber sugar), 17 grams of protein, and maybe a couple grains of sand. These numbers tell you that oysters are actually a pretty balanced food, in terms of macronutrient levels. Their high protein content makes them good for hair, skin, and building and maintaining muscle (which can help you to lose fat, by increasing your metabolism).
Oysters are rich in many nutrients. One serving gives you a ton of vitamins B12 and D, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, zinc, copper, selenium. How much is a "ton," you ask? They contain almost your entire day's worth of iron, almost twice your daily recommended amount of vitamin D, and eight times your daily recommended amount of vitamin B12. Eight times! And that's not all. They have over 200% of your DV for selenium, 500% of your DV for copper, and 1500% of your DV for zinc. Yikes.
In case you're wondering, those are high numbers.
Another great thing about oysters is that their fat content comes mainly from omega-3 fatty acids (about 1650 mg, compared to only 150 mg of omega-6 fatty acids). This is really important because ideally, we should be eating an equal amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but our modern western diets are typically much higher in omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. This is what they call a pro-inflammatory diet. Inflammation is bad (in excess), so it's important to get enough omega-3 fatty acids from sources like salmon, flax seeds, and oysters.
Now the bad. Oysters are high in sodium and very high in cholesterol, two things which may be bad for your heart and cardiovascular system. High sodium has been linked to increased blood pressure, so when you eat oysters, try not to eat other sodium-rich foods, like canned soup. Also, try to eat something high in potassium, to counteract the sodium, and drink plenty of water. Dietary cholesterol may or may not be bad for you. The more traditional view is that cholesterol is what leads to heart attacks and strokes, so we should limit how much we eat. On the other hand, some say that while cholesterol causes heart attacks and stroke, your dietary cholesterol (the amount you take in through food) is irrelevant, and what matters is how much cholesterol your body itself produces. Others say that the lipid hypothesis is wrong, and that cholesterol doesn't cause cardiovascular disease at all! I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you what to do. All know is that right now, nobody knows the truth for sure. So talk to your doctor, and most importantly, educate yourself so that you can make healthy choices.