Those who have cooked at home would have noticed the tumbling of lobster prices recently. As the price tag becomes more ‘friendly’, so has the appetite of many people towards the popular seafood treat. But, many people remain concerned about the cholesterol levels involved. ‘To eat, or not to eat? That is the question.’
Well, there’s no need to think long and hard about it anymore. All you need to know is how to choose, cook and eat well, to make lobsters both a healthy and delicious dish!
How healthy are lobsters?
Lobsters contain rich vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, zinc and selenium, but more importantly, they provide the source of quality protein that is also low in fat. They have more unsaturated fat, but less saturated fat than meat. And unsaturated fat is a crucial part of a healthy diet, as it can lower the bad cholesterol in the blood, keep arteries and vessels clear and is good for the heart. That is why compared to meat, lobsters are a healthier choice.
But some may ask, aren’t lobsters a high-cholesterol food? The truth actually lies behind a misunderstanding.
Are lobsters really that high in cholesterol?
According to the World Health Organisation’s recommendations, adults should take in not more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. Lobsters have often been equated with high cholesterol, but that is actually a myth. If you compare the cholesterol and fat levels in lobsters with meat, you will find there is not much difference in the former, while lobsters have significantly less fat than meat.
Also, the cholesterol content in a lobster is stored mostly in its head, tomalley and roe. If you only consume lobster meat, then you will reduce the amount of cholesterol you take.
On the other hand, we have to clarify a concept. The cholesterol absorbed from food only accounts for about 20-30% of the overall cholesterol amount we have in our blood. The main reason for high cholesterol is excessive intake of saturated fat and trans fat, because saturated fat will cause our liver to produce cholesterol, thus increasing the bad cholesterol in the blood. Trans fat will not only increase bad cholesterol, but will even lower good cholesterol in our bodies. These two are the real culprits of high cholesterol.
Therefore, replacing some meat with seafood such as lobsters (more unsaturated fat but less saturated fat than meat) in our diet actually helps reduce the bad cholesterol in our blood. Another point to note is that water-soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol content in blood as well, therefore it’s worth considering having asparagus, cauliflower and broccoli as a side dish to lobsters, to have the best of both worlds with tastiness and health.
Want to make it even healthier? The best is of course to do the cooking yourself. Here’s two simple, tasty and healthy lobster recipes, to fulfill your three wishes at once!
How to eat lobsters in a healthy way?
Baked noodles with lobster and cheese, a common dish in many Chinese restaurants, is of course a very tempting option. But it is very oily, fatty and salty, and should not be eaten regularly.
In fact, to steam and boil lobsters can be a healthy way to bring out the freshness of the seafood. Too ordinary? Why not try the two special dishes below - a light lobster roll using whole wheat bread and low-fat mayonnaise; and a freshly-made, Chinese-style lobster rice soup rather than western-style risotto with a lot of butter, cream and cheese.
1. Light lobster roll (4 portions)
● Low-fat mayonnaise 2 tablespoon
● Zero-fat Greek yoghurt 2 tablespoon
● Shallots (diced) 1 piece
● Fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon
● Fresh dill (diced) 2 tablespoon
● Lobster 12 ounce
● Seasalt, black pepper as appropriate
● Whole wheat bread 4 loafs
1. Put the lobster in a boiling water for 3 minutes, peel away the shell and cut up the meat in a mouthful size, and leave it for cooling.
2. Stir and mix mayonnaise, Greek yoghurt, shallots, lemonade and dills in a large bowl, then put in lobster meat, and season it with an appropriate amount of seasalt and black pepper
3. Heat the oven at 200oC, and cut the whole wheat bread open (but not slice it up), and bake it in the oven for 4-6 minutes until the surface turns golden yellow.
4. Stuff the opening of the bread with lobsters, and enjoy!
2. Lobster rice soup
● Lobster 1 piece
● Rice 2 measuring cups
● Conpoy (soaked) 2 pieces
● Garlic (fried) 2 teaspoon
● Preserved vegetable (sliced) 2 teaspoon
● Parsley (sliced) 2 teaspoon
● Coriander 2 tablespoon
● Fried sesame 1 tablespoon
● Chicken soup 2 measuring cups
1. Remove the lobster head and claws, and cut open the lobster shell to extract the meat.
2. Boil the chicken soup with an appropriate amount of water, and add rice, conpoy, preserved vegetable until they are soaked.
3. Add lobster meat and cook it with a slow fire. Lastly, add garlic, parsley, Coriander and sesame.