How Many Calories in Calamari?

When the girls and I get together for some wine and appetizers, we usually order a batch of calamari to share. We know it's probably not goo for us, but it's tasty and it's the perfect food for sharing, right? Not to mention it goes great with wine and it's prefect for taking the edge off that pre-dinner hunger.

But Calamari doesn't strike me as the healthiest choice out there. Yeah, it's seafood, which is good for you, but that healthy seafood is battered, deep-fried and often accompanied by some sort of creamy sauce. Still, it's okay to share, right? What do you think?

How many calories in an order of Calamari from East Side Mario's?

1. 550 cal
2. 780 cal
3. 1040 cal
4. 1450 cal

The answer is 1450 calories. That's pretty high for an appetizer, but all in all, I think it depends on how many people are sharing the dish. There is just two of you, you're looking at 725 calories each, so make sure you have four people sharing -- or more! And it can't hurt to get a salad for dinner too.

Calamari and Vitamin B-12

Grilled calamari provides vitamin B-12 and lean protein without unhealthy fats.

If you happen to indulge in a calamari starter at your favorite Italian or tapas spot, rest assured that it can be healthy for you. Squid, or calamari, is a good source of vitamin B-12 and lean protein. Vitamin B-12 is involved in gene and certain cell formation. Just watch the cooking methods to minimize exposure to unfriendly fats for your heart.

Good Source of B-12
For adults, the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements recommends a daily intake of 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12. A 3-ounce serving of squid provides about 1.1 micrograms of vitamin B-12, which is about 45 percent of the recommended dietary allowance. The same serving of squid also contains 13 grams of lean protein and only 1 gram of fat. A cup of milk or yogurt provides about the same amount of vitamin B-12, but falls short on protein content, with only 8 grams -- 5 grams less than squid. Other sources of vitamin B-12 include beef, fish and cheese.

Vitamin B-12 is necessary for DNA synthesis as well as red blood and nerve cell formation. Red blood cells transport oxygen and remove waste from the body. Vitamin B-12 also is needed for hemoglobin formation and maintains iron status, preventing anemia. Nerve cells communicate sensory information like taste and smell to the brain, and also carry out involuntary body functions like breathing and digestion. Not getting enough vitamin B-12 may cause anemia, weight loss, constipation, balance problems, depression and poor memory.

Squid -- which does not contain high levels of mercury -- is a good alternative to seafood that is unsustainable due to overfishing or environment changes. Cooking some foods can alter the amounts of vitamins they offer, but cooking squid does not markedly damage vitamin B-12 levels. Because vitamin B-12 is naturally bound to protein in food, heating has a minor effect on it.

Healthful Preparation
Squid is frequently served breaded and fried, and consuming the resulting unhealthy fats negates some of the positives. Many restaurants offer calamari both grilled and fried. Choose grilled calamari to decrease your intake of unhealthy oils that can contribute to inflammation and elevated cholesterol levels in the body. At home, marinate and grill calamari to make an exciting and healthful salad topper.

Post a Comment