Rice and vegetables, the main ingredients in fried rice, are nutritious foods to include in your daily diet. Adding shrimp to a serving of fried rice is a low-fat way to boost your intake of protein and other essential nutrients. Because shrimp-fried rice is fried in oil, it also contains fat, which is a consideration when determining whether or not to eat fried rice.
Fried Rice Basics
A 1-cup serving of fried rice contains 238 calories and 4 grams of fat, of which less than 1 gram of fat is saturated fat. Fried rice also has 1.5 grams of fiber and 5.5 grams of protein. Including three ounces of shrimp in a serving of fried rice adds 101 calories and 1.4 grams of fat, of which less than 0.5 gram is saturated fat. That's a total of 339 calories and 5.4 grams of fat, of which about 1 gram is saturated fat. Eating foods that are low in saturated fat is one way to keep your heart healthy. Shrimp doesn't add any fiber to the fried rice, and it also has 46 milligrams of cholesterol.
The Protein Is a Plus
Fried rice without meat doesn't supply a significant amount of protein, but adding meat to the rice is a good way to boost the protein content. Three ounces of shrimp adds 19 grams of protein to the rice, so that the total protein content is 24.5 grams for the dish. That translates to 53 percent of the 46 grams of protein that women should include as part of their daily diet and 44 percent of the 56 grams men should get each day.
Vitamins and Minerals
Plain fried rice without meat supplies small amounts of iron, zinc and vitamins A and K. Three ounces of shrimp-fried rice contains 1.41 micrograms of vitamin B-12. That's 59 percent of the 2.4 micrograms that healthy adults need each day. You'll also get 2.05 milligrams of vitamin E in shrimp-fried rice, which is 14 percent of the 15 milligrams you should have every day. Shrimp adds zinc, niacin and vitamin A, as well.
Should I Eat Shrimp-Fried Rice?
In terms of saturated fat, shrimp-fried rice isn't too bad. It's important to note that fried rice can be quite high in sodium. A cup of fried rice without meat contains 530 milligrams of sodium, which is slightly more than one-third of the 1,500 milligrams the American Heart Association recommends as your daily upper limit. Three ounces of shrimp adds an additional 805 milligrams of sodium for a total of 1,335 milligrams for the entire dish. Too much sodium can contribute to high blood pressure.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Restaurant, Chinese, Fried Rice, Without Meat
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Crustaceans, Shrimp, Mixed Species, Cooked, Moist Heat
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol: Out With the Bad, In With the Good
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B-12
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin E
- American Heart Association: Sodium (Salt or Sodium Chloride)