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Shrimp Carbs: Is Shrimp Keto Friendly? (INCLUDING RECIPES)

Did you know there’s a variety of shrimp called a pistol shrimp that clamps its claw and stuns its prey? 

But don’t let that stop you from including it in your keto diet. 

You may be wondering:

Is shrimp keto-friendly?

Shrimp is, in fact, good to eat on the keto diet, and it has many health benefits it brings to the table.

Let’s jump in!

How are foods deemed keto-friendly?

There is a goal to be achieved with the keto diet, and that is to reach ketosis. This means fat becomes the primary source of energy that gets burned as fuel. 

To achieve this, the keto diet requires you to reduce macronutrient intake to anywhere between 55% to 60% from fats and 30% to 35% from protein. 

What does this mean?

Percentages like these translate to a range of 20-50 grams of carbs a day, mainly in the form of meats and fats. 

These are just rough estimates, and they can be different depending on each person and their level or activity. 

Is shrimp keto-friendly?

To get a clearer picture of shrimp, we suggest you look at its nutritional values. 

For 5 grams of shrimp: (*)

  • Total Carbohydrates 0.1 grams
  • Dietary Fiber 0 grams
  • Sugars 0 grams
  • Protein 1.1g
  • Total Fat 0.1 grams
  • Cholesterol 11 milligrams

As evident from these macros, we see that shrimp is very low on carbs and sugars, so we suggest it fits into the keto diet very easily. 

Why is shrimp good for the keto diet? 

Shrimp does not only was a low carb content but a low fat as well. Usually, keto prefers a low carb, high fat ratio, but shrimp is an exemption. 

For keto meals, shrimp is highly favored for a few choice reasons: 

  • As seafood, shrimp contains very few calories and is still very filling
  • Shrimp is rich in protein which is the reason why it has such a satiating effect
  • Pact with many beneficial minerals and vitamins, shrimp offers its full range of advantages
  • A great number of antioxidants are contained within shrimp, and they bring their disease-fighting capabilities
  • Even though shrimp have very few fats, they do still bring some omega-3 fatty acids that are useful in maintaining heart health.

Taste and convenience drive shrimp to be such a valued ingredient, even for the keto. 

What nutrients does shrimp bring to the keto diet?

Besides the necessary macros, nutrients and vitamins are also important for the keto diet, and shrimp contains some essential nutrients of the daily required value. 

  • Vitamin B12: 25% 
  • Phosphorus: 14% 
  • Selenium: 57% 
  • Niacin: 13% 
  • Iron: 17% 

Some small amounts of other vitamins and minerals are also found in shrimp. (*)

Do shrimp have any health benefits?

All seafood is jam-packed with nutrients, and shrimp is no exception. This means shrimp bring an entire checklist of health benefits. 

Some of these health benefits include:

  • Assists brain health. Shrimp offers a source of iodine, which for people lacking it, will boost cognitive function and improve thyroid health. (*)
  • Reducing risks of developing certain diseases. Antioxidants from shrimp, like astaxanthin, relieve chronic inflammation and prevent cancer. (*
  • Improves heart health. The omega-3 fatty acids in shrimp are a good source to help in promoting heart health. (*

For these advantages and its low carb properties, you can definitely include shrimp in your keto diet. 

How is shrimp prepared?

Depending on how shrimp is prepared and cooked, it can be more or less on the keto scale. We advise you bare in mind any cooking techniques of varieties of shrimp. 

What will that do for you?

Keeping a close eye on macros, even with low-carb food, is a sure-fire way of maintaining ketosis. 

What is the carb content in shrimp cocktail?

A shrimp cocktail simply denotes a mix of multiple types of shrimp in one meal accompanied by certain sauces. This mix and sauce can affect shrimp’s carb content.

Let me explain!

For a shrimp cocktail, the standard quantity of carbs in the sauce will most likely be around 23 grams for every 100 grams of shrimp cocktail. (*)

This is not set in stone but merely an average rate, and it will depend on how much sauce or dip is actually consumed. 

In truth:

A shrimp cocktail may not be all that keto-friendly because of the high carb count it brings. 

Homemade shrimp cocktail and sauce are ideal for keto. We suggest you keep this in mind if you ever want a shrimp cocktail at a restaurant night out. 

How many carbs are there in fried shrimp?

Fried shrimp may contain higher amounts of carbs depending on how it has been prepared. 

Coating shrimp in flour is one method that we assure will guarantee higher levels of carbs.

How does that look?

Well, for example, in 100 grams of breaded shrimp, there will be 11.5 grams of carbs in total, 0.4 grams of which are fiber. That brings a net carb count of 11.1 grams. (*

That is quite a steep cab count, so it’s essential to consider the method of cooking shrimp. 

Keto Recipes With Shrimp

Bang Bang Shrimp

Get recipe:

Shrimp Scampi With Palmini Noodles

Get recipe:

Is there a risk of overeating shrimp?

Boiled shrimp is the most keto-friendly with the lowest carb count. For that reason, there can be a risk of overeating shrimp and amping up those carbs.

How to avoid overeating shrimp?

We suggest you still keep count of macros and exert some effort into controlling portions. This is especially true when you want to eat a shrimp cocktail.

Here are a few tips:

  • We recommend you plan meals and calculate how much shrimp you can eat based on how many macros you can fit
  • Avoid eating while watching TV or doing other activities
  • Make only as much as you can eat and store the rest for next time

Even if shrimp is keto friendly, it still has some amounts of carbs, and too much will kick you out of ketosis. 

What to replace shrimp with?

There are a few options that can replace shrimp and still be keto. 

A few examples:

  • Tuna – 0 grams of net carbs (*)
  • Salmon – 0 net grams of carbs (*)
  • Tilapia – 0 grams of net carbs (*)

In conclusion

Many meals, ingredients, and food go under the lens of keto, and so does shrimp. 

Is shrimp keto-friendly? 

The short answer is yes, shrimp is keto-friendly, and it has many nutrients that offer many health benefits. 

The long answer is yes, but we still advise keeping in mind macros and cooking procedures in mind. Shrimp still has carbs, and too much shrimp can break your ketosis. 

Up Next: Is Ham Keto Friendly? Everything You NEED TO KNOW!

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