Thursday, January 19, 2012

Food Worship #8: The Lobster



Ever since I was a very young child, Maine has probably been one of my most favorite places on earth.  It's filled with memories of family get-togethers, swimming, boating, and most importantly of course:  GOOD FOOD.  Specifically....LOBSTER!!!  Lobster is one of those foods that either you absolutely love it, or can't stand the sight of the thing.  I for one can't help drooling even now thinking about picking up my cracker and going to town on one of those red sea insects.  And to those who know what I'm talking about, let me give you  several more reasons why a trip to Red Lobster, Weathervane, or the great state of Maine itself should be planned for the near future.

You see, lobster is interesting in that it tastes soooo good that you would initially believe it to be somewhat bad for you.  I mean, that's the case with a good steak right?  The fatty, thick, juicy cuts of sirloin tend to have a lot of saturated fat and not so bioavailable protein (but it's not like it's that bad for you either...I'm just saying that we all know steak has a few hidden dangers).  Good news is.....no...wait...the REALLY good news is that lobster is one of the healthiest protein sources of all land and sea animals.  That's right, it's packed with lean protein, has almost zero fat, and almost no carbohydrates!  Here's the nutrition data for lobster:

Nutrition Facts
Calories 142(594 kJ)
% Daily Value 1
Total Fat0.9g1%
Sat. Fat0.2g< 1%
Cholesterol104mg35%
Sodium551mg23%
Total Carbs.1.9g< 1%
Dietary Fiber0g0%
Sugars0g
Protein29.7g
Calcium88.5mg
Potassium510.4mg
Not bad right?  In fact, almost all lobsters range from between 110 calories and 150 calories, and from between 27 g and 30 g of protein!  That's a LOT of protein!  If you're looking to add real muscle mass, I would suggest trying those double deals restaurants usually have on two lobsters for one dinner.  You're only eating around 300 calories, and are getting about 60g of protein.  That's absolutely astounding.  Not even your post-workout protein shake can match those kind of numbers.  

But, as with everything, people tend to find a way to make a healthy meal into a not so healthy one, so let me just say this:  WHEN YOU DIP YOUR LOBSTER IN BUTTER, THESE NUTRITION FACTS NO LONGER APPLY AND YOU'VE OFFICIALLY MADE A GREAT MEAL INTO AN AVERAGE ONE.  

Lobsters are also rich with certain vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin B12 (45% of rec. daily intake), phosphorous (15%), zinc (15%), selenium (50%), and copper (80%!).  vitamin B12 helps to maintain healthy nerves and blood cells, copper helps to reduce the chance of contracting diseases like Osteoporosis and colon cancer, phosphorous keeps your mouth and kidneys healthy, and zinc and selenium both help to strengthen your immune system against disease and free radicals.  

The only thing that lobsters don't excel at in the nutrition department is cholesterol.  3oz of lobster has about 20% of your recommended daily cholesterol, so keep that in mind.  I'm guessing though that lobster is expensive enough that you're not going to indulge daily anyway, so it becomes pretty much a non-concern for someone with a healthy diet low in cholesterol.  The butter sauce adds a LOT more of that cholesterol though, so please, just avoid it, or use it very sparingly.  

Bottom Line:  Lobster is an extremely lean source of very bioavailable protein, and should never be avoided at a restaurant or party.  It may taste like a cheat meal, but in fact it's the farthest thing from it.  Crack into one of these big guys today and start getting your share of healthy protein.  

Keep cracking, enjoy that delicious flavor, but don't break the bank.  Good Luck!

1 comment:

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