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

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If you"re no stranger come boiled crawfish, you currently know what to expect. They"re messy. They"re delicious. They have the right to be tricky come open. However are castle healthy?

Angela Snyder, wellness dietitian at Houston Methodist, breaks under the nutritional value of crawfish, and how to have actually the healthiest crawfish boil ever.

Crawfish space a good source of lean protein

When it pertains to whether or no a crawfish boil is healthy, the crawfish themselves definitely aren"t the issue.

"A serving of crawfish, i m sorry is about three ounces of peeled crawfish tails, is a really low-calorie, low-fat source of protein," claims Snyder.

Snyder states the health benefits the crawfish include that they"re:

Low calorie. A serving of crawfish is only 70 calories. Protein dense. There are 14 grams of protein in a serving of crawfish.

Crawfish likewise contain a an excellent amount of B vitamins, as well as iron and also selenium — essential minerals that can be tough to acquire through your diet.

"The only drawback come crawfish is the they execute contain some dietary cholesterol," states Snyder. "But ultimately, crawfish space an as whole healthy resource of protein."

Crawfish boils: the good, the bad and the bloating

While crawfish are definitely the star that the boil, they"re not the just thing you"ll uncover when friend sit down to eat.

"Traditionally, crawfish are boiled through potatoes, corn, onions and also garlic. As lengthy as you"re continuing to be within the serving size borders of each, this vegetables aid make a crawfish boil a well-rounded meal," Snyder says. "You can also add more vegetables, prefer mushrooms, environment-friendly beans and also bell peppers, come make her boil also healthier."

Keep in mind, the recommended serving dimension of a potato is one tool boiled potato. Which brings us to the bad component of a crawfish boil: It can be really easy come 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 the end on a table. This can make the really tough to referee portions, as well as stick come a healthy section size."

Plus, if the crawfish cook is component of a society event, you"re likely preoccupied by conversation and maybe even an alcoholic beverage (or two) — which deserve to both make overeating easier.

(Side note: If you"re no vaccinated against COVID-19, gathering through friends or family for a crawfish boil might not be together safe together you think. If you execute decide to have actually a social boil, usage these advice to make her gathering together safe as possible.)

And also if you regulate to remain within a healthy serving dimension of both crawfish and also boiled veggies, it"s quite much difficult to stop the unhealthiest element of a crawfish boil: The overfill (and we average excess) salt.

The recommended everyday intake of salt is 2,400 mg or less. For world with high blood push or cardiovascular disease, it"s also lower — about 1,500 mg or less. The seasoning bags and also seasoning liquid offered in a crawfish cook are extremely high in sodium. So lot so the a person with high blood pressure almost hits his or her daily sodium input in just a single serving the boiled crawfish and vegetables.

"Excess sodium renders you retain water," explains Snyder. "Not just does this cause that uncomfortable bloated feeling the following day, however it can place added stress on her blood vessels and also your heart."

Snyder adds the it can take several days for her kidneys come flush the end the extra sodium of a high-sodium meal. Therefore be prepared to feel bloated because that a job or two.

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Tips for staying healthy at a crawfish boil

When it pertains to making healthy options at crawfish boil, when still enjoy it yourself, Snyder proposal the following:

Be responsibility of your part sizes Limit your alcohol intake to one to two drinks

And, if you"re the one preparing the boil, Snyder also recommends making use of low-sodium seasoning bags and adding extra healthy and balanced vegetables.