Most seafood is quite nutritious, as long as it's not deep-fried or cooked with a lot of oil. Restaurants often deep-fry squid and sell it as calamari, but you can prepare it in other, healthier ways as well. Three ounces of raw squid, which equals about 85 grams, contains 80 calories and 13 grams of protein. It also provides you with 20 percent of the recommended daily value for phosphorus, riboflavin and vitamin B-12 and smaller amounts of zinc, niacin, magnesium, vitamin C, calcium, iron and vitamin B-6, as set by the Institute of Medicine. Squid is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids found mainly in fish and other seafood, nuts and some plants. Your body cannot make them, so you must consume them in your diet. Consuming omega-3 fats might help to lower your risk for cancer, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. They also might help keep your memory sharp and improve your mood, according to Tufts University Medical School.
Omega-3 in Squid
A 100-gram serving of squid contains 630 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids out of the recommended 7 to 11 grams you should consume each week, according to the Institutes of Medicine. This is one of the better sources of omega-3 fats, although mackerel, tuna, and salmon -- with over 4,000 milligrams in half a filet -- contain more of this important nutrient.
When preparing squid, it is best to cook it over high heat for a very short time or cook it for a long time over lower heat. Although deep-fried calamari might be delicious, it contains a lot of added fat. This minimizes the health benefits, so it is better to eat squid cooked in this manner only for an occasional treat.
Squid is a relatively environmentally friendly source of omega-3 fats. It is not over fished and the fishing methods have only a limited impact on other species. However, many Americans are not familiar with how to cook squid in ways other than deep-frying, so it provides very little of the omega-3 fats in the American diet.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Mollusks, Squid, Raw
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Tufts University School of Medicine: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Shellfish Association of Great Britain: Squid
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association: Market Squid -- Pacific Loligo
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Atlantic Salmon, Cooked, Dry Heat