I don't eat any kind of shellfish. shrimps, oysters, clams, crabs, scallops, lobsters... I used to, but stopped all together about two years ago. I cut it out initially as a part of my elimination diet and I just never added it back. I'm wondering if there is anyone in PaleoHacks who also avoids shellfish for various reasons..
Am I missing out on something nutritious?? If then, what kind of nutrition and what are the possible whole foods replacement ?
In a recent radio interview Chris Masterjohn pointed out that Weston A Price found that healthy groups generally consumed one or more of the following:
The implication is that there are important minerals and fat-soluble vitamins that we need from these foods. So if you're regularly eating one of the other categories, you can probably continue to take a pass on shellfish.
Me, I'm with Matt. I think that (for now) mussels and oysters are a good source of some critical micronutrients at a relatively low risk.
Shellfish are usually pretty rich in minerals (more so than fish I've seen). Copper, Selenium, Iron come to mind, B12 as well (as you're more likely to be eating their innards). It's not that you can't get these nutrients in other sources, but that shellfish are mighty tasty!
Also worth considering is that there's less bioconcentration of pollutants (i.e. mercury, PCBs) in shellfish.
One other nutrient that is very bioavailable in shellfish that might be 'missing' in your paleo diet is iodine. For many of us, we've significantly reduced the salt in our diets, and converted to versions of salt that are not iodized. Shellfish provide a ready source of iodine.
I don't think there's anything in shellfish particularly that you'd be missing out on, other fish are far more useful and only then because of the mess we've made of land animals. I've yet to get round to seeing if I'm still allergic to shellfish, but being able to eat salmon seems a sufficient step. Variety is always nice though.
i eat shellfish every chance i get. best benefit of living in a coastal state, even if it is the most obese. there are always some sorta critters available. oysters, crawfish, shrimp, mussels, clams. i love them all. crabbing has been a fail for me every time i go to the coast, i cant catch any! i dont have a pier license so i go ghetto style with a stick, string and chicken with the slow pull, net grab....faileo
I don't eat shellfish either. I never have. That said, I think you'll be ok. I'm sure there are people following a primal lifestyle who are allergic to shellfish and still get along just fine. I know I do...
Mark Sisson talks about "the uniquely dense nutrition inherent to most shellfish" in detail in this post. I'm sure you'd be fine without 'em, but if you're interested at all, it might be a good thing to introduce.
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