If you enjoy seafood and take a vacation to Maine, you might find yourself sitting at a dockside restaurant with a plate of crab in front of you. Snow crab, which also goes by the name "queen crab," is found not only in the North Atlantic, but also in the North Pacific. This crustacean can weigh up to 3 pounds and is known for its sweet taste.
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Snow Crab Basic Nutrition
The nutritional value of the snow crab you eat depends not only on what you eat with it, but the size of your meal. Four to 6 ounces of snow crab is a standard serving size for adults. Five ounces of snow crab has 163 calories, 33.6 grams of protein, 2.1 grams of total fat and no carbohydrates or dietary fiber.
Be Wary of Your Sodium Intake
A 5-ounce serving of snow crab provides a variety of minerals, including 47 milligrams of calcium, 89 milligrams of magnesium, 181 milligrams of phosphorus and 283 milligrams of potassium. The serving also has 979 milligrams of sodium, which is cause for concern. The American Heart Association recommends that your daily sodium intake not exceed 1,500 milligrams, which means one serving of snow crab puts you at risk of surpassing this guideline for the day. Frequently consuming too much sodium can lead to short-term effects such as water weight gain and long-term effects such as high blood pressure.
A Source of Vitamins
A 5-ounce serving of snow crab has 10.2 milligrams of vitamin C, 4.1 milligrams of niacin and 14.7 micrograms of vitamin B-12. Women and men should consume 75 and 90 milligrams, respectively, of vitamin C and 14 and 16 milligrams, respectively, of niacin per day. Adults of either gender should consume 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 per day.
Consider the Extras
When evaluating the nutritional value of your serving of snow crab, consider the other items that make up the meal. Even if you don't eat a side dish, it's customary to dip each piece in butter. A 2-tablespoon serving of salted butter has 204 calories, 23 grams of fat and 183 milligrams of sodium. That serving also contains almost 15 grams of saturated fat, the type that raises unhealthy cholesterol levels. Skip the butter with your snow crab and pair it with a baked sweet potato and a side salad instead for a healthy meal.
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Snow Crab
- Alaska Seafood: Alaska, Naturally
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Crustaceans, Crab, Queen, Cooked, Moist Heat
- American Heart Association: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Sodium
- American Heart Association: The Effects of Excess Sodium on Your Health and Appearance
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- National Institutes of Health: Vitamin B12
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Lemon Juice, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Butter, Salted