Seafood in general is long hailed as some of the healthiest food we can eat. But we all know that almost any food when eaten in excess may not be healthy for our bodies. We hear a lot of questions about lobster meat, particularly lobster tail, and its nutritional value. Is Maine lobster healthy? If so, what health benefits does this shellfish provide? We’ve unpacked all the information about the nutritional value of lobster meat.
Lobster Tail Nutrition at a Glance
Before we dive into the details of lobster and lobster tail, let’s start off with simple nutrition facts. These nutrition facts are pulled straight from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central database, and they’re based on a 3-ounce portion of lobster meat:
- Calories: 65.4
- Protein: 14 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Total fat: Less than 1 g
- Dietary fiber: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 108 mg
- Water: 68.8 g
- Sodium: 360 mg
- Potassium: 170 mg
- Calcium: 71.4 mg
- Magnesium: 32.3 mg
- Zinc: 3 mg
- Vitamin B-12: 1.06 µg
- Vitamin D: 1 IU
- Selenium: 63.6 µg
Benefits of Lobster Tail
Now, let’s go a little deeper into the potential health benefits of lobster tail.
If you haven’t yet, check out the nutrition facts of lobster we listed above. As you can see, a small portion of lobster contains an excellent amount of protein while being a low-fat, low-carb, and low-calorie food. For those watching fat, carbs, and protein, lobster gives balanced nutrition. It’s also low in saturated fat, which is one of the bad fats that’s considered risky for heart health.
According to the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center’s Lauren Blake, selenium, iodine, Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12 are all important for thyroid function. The thyroid regulates several bodily processes, including metabolism and hormone support. Lobster is a good source of all four, and it has one of the highest concentrations of iodine compared to other crustaceans.
Immune System Support
Zinc supports immunity, and the average adult should get between 8 and 11 mg in their diet each day. A 3-ounce portion of lobster gives 3 mg alone, making it an excellent source of dietary zinc.
Mental Health Support
Like most seafood, lobster contains omega 3 fatty acids. Not only is this good fat healthy for your heart, but it could also improve your mental health and cognitive function. Research has shown omega-3s to support cognitive function in aging adults and have potential benefits for those with mood disorders.
Lobster and Allergies
Lobster tail is packed with health benefits. But that doesn’t mean it’s something everyone should eat. Seafood allergies affect roughly 6.6 million Americans, and many of those allergies are from shellfish, like lobster meat. Unfortunately, you may not know you have an allergy until you try lobster for the first time.
Allergy symptoms can vary depending on the severity of your allergy. Less severe symptoms include vomiting, hives, and diarrhea, while more severe allergies can cause lip and tongue swelling and difficulty breathing.
Preparing, Cooking, and Storing Lobster Safely
Lobster is one of those things that’s extremely important to cook correctly. If not, the health benefits of lobster won’t do much good. The most important part of safe lobster preparation is ensuring that it’s fully cooked. Undercooked lobster meat can make you susceptible to ingesting bacteria that hasn’t been cooked out, which can make you ill.
Cooked lobster meat should come to an internal temperature of 140 degrees. This ensures that the lobster meat is cooked through to a temperature that kills off the bacteria and makes it less risky for you to consume.
Storing lobster properly is also super important. You should only purchase frozen lobster or live lobster. If frozen, make sure it remains frozen until you’re ready to cook it. If live, you’ll need to either cook it right away or keep them alive in your fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking. You can keep them in their shipping container or a loose bag that allows some airflow, and place some damp newspaper in the container to keep them nice and cold.
Healthy Lobster Tail Preparation
You have your lobster and are ready to enjoy its numerous health benefits. What’s the best way to cook it to keep those nutrients intact?
There are lots of ways to cook lobster. There’s boiled lobster, grilled lobster, broiled lobster tail, baked lobster tail, etc. Take your pick; they’re all healthy ways to cook lobster. What could decrease some of the health benefits is how you prepare your lobster tail after cooking it.
Many people like to douse their lobster meat in melted butter. Of course, we know that doing so adds sodium, cholesterol, fat, and calories to the dish. If you must have some garlic butter with your lobster, opt for a small side of it and use it for dipping, instead.
You can always swap butter for lemon juice from a fresh lemon wedge. It adds a burst of flavor without adding anything unhealthy to your lobster. You can also prepare a lobster salad using meat from the tail or spice things up with a sprinkle of your favorite herbs over the tail.
Check out these recipes for inspiration:
Lobster Tail Nutrition FAQs
The following are some frequently asked questions about lobster and lobster tail nutrition.
Does lobster have good or bad cholesterol?
A 3-ounce portion of lobster has 108 mg of cholesterol. Most healthy people can safely consume 300 mg of cholesterol daily, while those at risk of heart disease should limit themselves to no more than 200 mg per day, according to UCSF Health. If you’re mindful about how much cholesterol you eat in your diet each day, an occasional lobster tail is probably okay to add to your diet.
Is there a lot of salt in lobster?
Lobster contains 360 mg of sodium per 3-ounce serving. The daily value of sodium in a regular diet is less than 2,300 mg. Again, being mindful of your overall diet is important for everyone, so be sure to read nutrition labels and keep track of how much sodium you’re consuming daily.
Is lobster tail Keto friendly?
As a no-carbohydrate food, lobster can be an excellent addition to a Keto diet, which relies on very low-carb foods. In fact, lobster can be a part of many types of healthy diets, including Whole 30, Paleo, and Mediterrenean style diets.
Is fresh lobster tail or frozen lobster tails healthier?
Whether you choose to buy live lobster or frozen lobster shouldn’t affect its nutritional value. Either one packs in the health benefits of lobster. What’s more important for your health is how you choose to prepare it. Avoid serving lobster with sauces that can add sugar, calories, and fat to your plate if you’re goal is to stick to a healthy diet.
What are the healthiest and least healthy ways to enjoy lobster meat?
The healthiest way to enjoy lobster is by eating it on its own. If you need extra flavor, try adding a little salt and pepper or a splash of lemon juice to your lobster meat. Unhealthy ways to eat lobster include dousing it in butter or creamy sauces that add unnecessary fillers and calories to your meal.
Conclusion: Lobster Tail Nutrition
Lobster is a lean protein that includes lots of nutrients and is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. For many people, lobster tails can become a healthy part of a balanced diet. Check out Seafood University for lobster tail cooking tips you can use in your own kitchen. And don’t forget to order lobster tail online from Maine Lobster House to get your recipes rolling.