Pros and Cons of Eating Oysters

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Oysters are bivalve mollusks with two-halved shells. These marine creatures are cultivated for their meat and shells. They are also a popular delicacy in most coastal regions. Just like most seafood, oysters are packed with essential nutrients. But it’s not for everyone! In today’s post, we are listing the advantages and disadvantages of eating oysters.

Advantages of Eating Oysters

Low in Calories

If you’re watching what you eat, then oysters are a great choice. You can eat the right serving and not get fat. That’s because a 3 oz. serving of cooked oysters yield a measly 67 calories! This is so much less than any other types of seafood in the market. Meanwhile a 3 oz. baked filet salmon packs around 253 calories! Between oysters and salmon, the latter tend to be a popular food item among dieters. Make a switch to oysters to consume fewer calories.

Low in Fat

Oysters aren’t just low in calories, they are low in fat too. A 3 oz. serving of cooked oysters has less than 2 grams of fat. And of this fat, .5 grams comes from saturated fat. Eating foods high in saturated fat increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular diseases. To minimize the risk, switch to healthy, wholesome foods like oysters. The American Heart Association recommend consuming 16 grams of oysters or less to maximize its benefits.

Rich in Zinc

Just a 3 oz. serving of oysters yields more than three times the daily recommended allowance of zinc. The recommended daily allowance of zinc in men is 11 grams. Zinc is an essential nutrient that strengthens the immune system. It also facilitates normal function of the body’s enzymes.

Disadvantages of Eating Oysters

Could Cause Bacterial Infection

It’s important to get the freshest batch of seafood to minimize the risk of bacterial infection. Oysters are no exception. Most shellfish contains Vibrio vulnificus bacterium. This bacteria thrives in warm coastal waters and is present at all times of the year. A bad batch of oysters could cause chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin infection. If the bacterial infection is severe, a patient could go into shock and die. Although almost all people are vulnerable to bacterial infection from eating oysters, those with certain medical conditions are at a greater risk of developing infection.

Allergic Reaction

Almost 4% of the worldwide population suffer from food allergies. A large portion of this figure is comprised of people allergic to shellfish, including oysters. According to a study published in the Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, oysters contain an allergen called tropomyosin. Tropomyosin is a protein that triggers a reaction to those sensitive to it.  Symptoms of an allergic reaction from oysters include itchy rashes or hives and wheezing. In severe cases of an allergic reaction, a patient goes into anaphylactic shock that could lead to death.

Stomach Problems

Because oysters contain too much zinc, eating a lot of oysters could lead to gastrointestinal problems. This is caused by the influx of high levels of zinc in the body. Once your zinc level returns to normal too quickly, it causes stomach problems. A reaction from too much zinc leads to vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.


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