A soft shell crab is an Atlantic blue crab that has recently molted. During this time, the crab's shell is soft and pliable enough to eat. Typically floured or breaded and fried, soft shell crabs are considered a delicacy. The crabs also contain high levels of cholesterol and calories.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a single, medium, soft shell crab provides 214 calories. Around 117 calories come from fats, while proteins offer 52 calories and carbohydrates deliver 45 calories per serving.
The same serving of soft shell crab weighs about 65 g. Of that measure, 13 g are proteins, another 13 g are fats and 11 g are carbohydrates. The remainder is indigestible material, other nutrients and water.
A single soft shell crab also provides several essential vitamins, including vitamins B6, B12, E and K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate. Dietary minerals, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc and potassium, are also available in the serving.
A single soft shell crab is also high in cholesterol at 79 mg per serving or around 26 percent of the daily recommended intake of cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, dietary cholesterol intake should be limited to 300 mg per day for the average adult. Individuals with high cholesterol levels or coronary heart disease should limit their intake to 200 mg per day.