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Nutritional Value of Fried Oysters

By Kevin Rail

Oysters are types of shellfish that are commonly served cold on the half-shell. With this preparation, they are dipped in cocktail sauce or simply eaten without condiments. Fried oysters are altogether different. They are either batter dipped and deep fried or placed in a pan and fried in oil. This variation causes the oysters to have a different nutritional profile.

Calorie Content

When oysters are served on their own, the caloric content is less than when they have breading. One fried oyster contains 55 calories. Be aware that you can easily accumulate calories by eating multiple oysters. This is important if you are trying to watch your weight.

Fat and Cholesterol

Fat comes in the form of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated. Saturated fat along with cholesterol and trans fat raise cholesterol levels in the body according to the American Heart Association. Trans fats are caused from hydrogenated oils which are not found in fried oysters. They do contain fat and cholesterol though. One oyster has just over 3 g of total fat and 26 mg of cholesterol. Of this total fat, only about 3/4 g is saturated. The rest is mono and polyunsaturated which are beneficial types.

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Carbs and Protein

Low-carb dieters often add shellfish to their diets because they are low in carbs. This all changes when the shellfish gets breaded, floured and fried. One oyster contains almost 4 g of carbs. This same serving has almost 2 1/2 g of protein. Adding sauces to your oysters will increase the carb content even more.

Sodium Content

One fried oyster contains 141 mg of sodium. This is important information to know when it comes to the well-being of your body. Although sodium is needed for blood volume and nerve impulses, a high amount can be detrimental. According to the University of California San Fransisco, excess sodium in the diet can raise blood pressure and cause fluid retention, resulting in swollen legs. The recommended daily intake is 1,500 mg for people with existing high blood pressure and 2,300 mg for healthy individuals.

Miscellaneous

Fried oysters contain a number of miscellaneous nutrients like vitamin C, calcium and iron. Of the three, iron is the most prominent. A single oyster contains 10 percent of the recommended daily intake. Iron is a major contributor to hemoglobin which transports oxygen to muscles and cells. Low iron levels over time can cause a condition known as anemia according to the National Institutes of Health. This in turn can lead to symptoms like lethargy, dizziness and irritability.

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