Crawfish might look unsightly at initially glance, however — once boiled and soaked in cajun spices and seasonings — they come to be a culinary staple of outdoor gatherings during the spring.

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If you"re no stranger to boiled crawfish, you currently understand what to mean. They"re messy. They"re delicious. They have the right to be tricky to open up. But are they healthy?

Angela Snyder, health dietitian at Houston Methodist, breaks dvery own the nutritional value of crawfish, as well as exactly how to have the healthiest crawfish boil ever.

Crawfish are a good source of lean protein

When it concerns whether or not a crawfish boil is healthy, the crawfish themselves absolutely aren"t the issue.

"A serving of crawfish, which is around 3 ounces of peeled crawfish tails, is a really low-calorie, low-fat source of protein," says Snyder.

Snyder claims the wellness benefits of crawfish encompass that they"re:

Low calorie. A serving of crawfish is only 70 calories. Protein thick. Tright here are 14 grams of protein in a serving of crawfish.

Crawfish additionally contain a great amount of B vitamins, and iron and also selenium — vital minerals that deserve to be difficult to acquire via your diet.

"The only drawback to crawfish is that they do contain some dietary cholesterol," states Snyder. "But eventually, crawfish are an overall healthy and balanced resource of protein."

Crawfish boils: the great, the negative and the bloating

While crawfish are certainly the star of the boil, they"re not the just thing you"ll discover as soon as you sit dvery own to eat.

"Traditionally, crawfish are boiled with potatoes, corn, onions and garlic. As long as you"re staying within the serving dimension limits of each, these vegetables help make a crawfish boil a well-rounded meal," Snyder says. "You deserve to even add even more vegetables, favor mushrooms, green beans and bell peppers, to make your boil even healthier."

Keep in mind, the recommended serving dimension of a potato is one medium boiled potato. Which brings us to the bad part of a crawfish boil: It can be extremely basic to overeat.

"We"re provided to relying on our plate to assist us portion-size," Snyder says. "At a crawfish boil, every one of the food is laid out on a table. This have the right to make it really hard to judge portions, and also stick to a healthy and balanced percent size."

Plus, if the crawfish boil is part of a social occasion, you"re most likely preinhabited by conversation and also maybe also an alcoholic beverage (or two) — which deserve to both make overeating less complicated.

(Side note: If you"re not vaccinated against COVID-19, gathering via friends or family members for a crawfish boil may not be as safe as you think. If you execute decide to have a social boil, use these tips to make your gathering as safe as feasible.)

And even if you control to continue to be within a healthy serving size of both crawfish and also boiled veggies, it"s pretty much impossible to prevent the unhealthiest element of a crawfish boil: The excess (and we intend excess) salt.

The recommfinished daily intake of sodium is 2,400 mg or much less. For world with high blood pressure or cardiovascular condition, it"s also lower — around 1,500 mg or much less. The seasoning bags and seasoning liquid offered in a crawfish boil are exceptionally high in sodium. So a lot so that a perkid through high blood press almost hits his or her day-to-day sodium intake in just a solitary serving of boiled crawfish and vegetables.

"Excess sodium provides you retain water," describes Snyder. "Not only does this cause that uncomfortable bloated feeling the following day, yet it could place included stress and anxiety on your blood vessels and your heart."

Snyder adds that it deserve to take numerous days for your kidneys to flush out the extra sodium of a high-sodium meal. So be all set to feel bloated for a day or two.

See more: How Many Cups Is 26 Ounces To Cups, 26 Ounces To Cups

Tips for continuing to be healthy and balanced at a crawfish boil

When it pertains to making healthy selections at crawfish boil, while still enjoying yourself, Snyder recommends the following:

Be mindful of your percent sizes Limit your alcohol inrequire to one to two drinks

And, if you"re the one preparing the boil, Snyder likewise recommends utilizing low-sodium seasoning bags and adding additional healthy and balanced vegetables.