News last update:6 Aug 2012

Shellfish removed from cholesterol "bad list"

Health experts finally agreed to remove shellfish from the cholesterol "bad list". New advice on the NHS Direct website emphasises the importance of low fat foods in the diet and states that this is more important than the cholesterol they naturally contain.

Over the past year, the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) has questioned the old advice that shellfish, particularly prawns, should be avoided by people trying to control and reduce their blood cholesterol.

"When leading nutritionists in this country were approached, it was clear that the low-fat, low-calorie qualities of shellfish, including prawns were more important and generally beneficial to healthy eating," SAGB Assistant Director Clive Askew told FISHupdate.com.

"Although some shellfish contain cholesterol, they are low in saturated fat. It was agreed there was no reason to exclude prawns as it is mainly the saturated fat content of the diet that is known to increase blood cholesterol levels. Shellfish like oysters, cockles and mussels also contain plant sterols which are viewed as good and these species are anyway low in cholesterol, containing less than chicken.

Shellfish is healthy
The news has been welcomed by the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group, which supplies over half of Scotland's harvested mussels.
Commenting, Donny Gillies, Managing Director said: "We welcome the decision by NHS Direct to review the health benefits of shellfish. It proves what we have always known, that fresh Scottish shellfish is some of the best and healthiest food in the world.

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