Jul 30 2012

Is Lobster Fattening?

Photo Credit: Don Lorenzet

I recently discovered notes from research I conducted in 1988 to answer the question: is lobster fattening? My study was both fun and delicious but not considered rigorous enough to get published. The American lobster pictured here is found in the cold waters of Maine and Canada and at  peak in summer.  Many vacationers look forward to a lobster dinner but worry  lobster  might not be good for their heart or weight. With the help of friends I set out to answer the question- Does lobster fit on a diet ?

Over the course of three dinner parties I carefully weighed and measured the amount of lobster meat contained in twelve lobsters, and calculated how much butter was used by each participant.

I cooked lobsters with an average  weight of  22.7 ounces (one pound, 6.7  ounces), the average yield was   8.39 ounces of edible meat. The average weight  of butter used for dipping a whole lobster, weighed 17.4 grams or just over one tablespoon.

I found  a pound and one-quarter  lobster  will probably yield approximately 8 ounces of cooked meat and contain 205 calories and  1-2 grams of total fat.  Very little of that fat is  saturated fat, the kind of fat thought to be harmful to our heart. When butter is used  for dipping, according to my research, about 123 calories will be added to the meal.  If you are worried about  fat and calories, simply  eliminate the butter or dilute it with lemon juice or  broth the shellfish cooked in.

What about Cholesterol?

The American Heart Association suggests healthy people consume less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol daily and people with heart disease are advised to limit their cholesterol to 200 milligrams per day.

Since lobster will contain anywhere from 160- 240 mg per lobster, you might worry lobster will raise your blood cholesterol levels. In my thirty years of working with individuals I have never identified lobster as the dietary cause for a high cholesterol reading. For most of us lobster is  a special occasion food, not eaten in amounts high enough to explain a high cholesterol reading.

So go ahead and enjoy your lobster, eat it with  a side salad, and cooked corn. If you are worried about fat and calories cut back on the butter, not the lobster.

One response so far

One Response to “Is Lobster Fattening?”

  1. Faye lazearon 11 Sep 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I was vacationing in Maine for one week. I had approx. Six pounds of lobster no butter for the week.

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