Healthy Low Calorie Recipes:
Spicy Grilled Shrimp

healthy low calorie recipes

These small crustaceans feature in many healthy low calorie recipes due to their low calorie and saturated fat content in relation to the nutrition they provide. A four-ounce serving of shrimp provides nearly half of your daily protein requirement, along with less than a gram of fat.

You may have heard that shrimp is high in cholesterol, however, the rise in these levels is slight, and it is mainly in the level of "good" LDL cholesterol. Also, eating shrimp can reduce levels of dangerous blood triglycerides by 13%. In addition, shrimp are an excellent source of vitamin B12, providing almost 30% of your daily requirement. Shrimp are also a good way of getting 15% of your required omega-3 fatty acids.

When shopping for shrimp, you can buy them either fresh or frozen. Interestingly most "fresh" shrimp you find in the market was already flash frozen on the boat it was caught on and defrosted by the market seller. Unless you catch it yourself, there is little chance the shrimp has never been frozen and it probably makes more sense for you to buy it frozen and defrost it yourself in the refrigerator or under a little cool water.

If buying fresh or defrosted shrimp, there are a few important things to look for. Be sure the flesh is firm and attached to its shell. Don't buy any shrimp that has black spots on the shell, as it indicates decay. Shrimp with gritty or yellow shells may have been treated with a bleaching chemical, so avoid these. Good shrimp should smell slightly of the sea, but any shrimp that smell strongly fishy or a little "off" are not fresh and should not be used. Fresh shrimp keep for up to two days in the refrigerator, and frozen shrimp for six months or longer.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 minutes


3 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 peeled and deveined large shrimp

8 lemon wedges


  1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, make a paste by crushing the garlic with the salt, then mixing in cayenne pepper and paprika, finally stirring in olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with garlic paste until evenly coated.
  4. Lightly oil grill grate or heat the broiler. Cook shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve.

Photo: Mark H. Anbinder

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