Summer Eats on PEI
This is my first time on Prince Edward Island. I had some idea what goodness was in store for me, but I didn't really get how good it was until I arrived. PEI is a beautiful island full of picturesque views of water and green vistas. My partner and I brought our bikes to explore, which I'm very happy we went through the trouble as these views are best seen on a bike.
But what I was really excited about was the seafood. Having been living in Calgary for the last year, I've been on a dry spell of seafood as it's not as accessible as in my home in Vancouver. So I was excited for lobster!! Our trip has also been well timed to coincide perfectly with lobster season. I had my first lobster roll the day we arrived. The little, understated, bun of goodness was absolutely devine!! We also ordered a massive bowl of mussels. And what I then realized that I had not even thought of all the other delicious seafood that was available to me. The mussels were the best mussels I've ever had!! That first day I steadied myself for the next 2 weeks of getting my absolute fill of as much seafood as possible. I am currently on day 13 of 14 and I have to say that I have eaten as much lobster, oysters, mussels, clams and scallops that I think I have eaten in the past 5 years total. Oysters for sure. I've ranked oysters as my top fave here.
But then, as the dietitian, I began thinking about the possible issues that my body may have to undertake with eating mass quantities of oysters (among the other seafood of course) every day, and also hoping that there are some benefits. So here's the nutrient breakdown for a 42 g oyster:
5 grams of protein
1 gram of fat
50 mg of calcium
4 mg of iron
15 mg of magnesium
33 mg of zinc
0.4 mg of omega-3
33 mg of cholesterol
Of course, I am not just eating one oyster, and hope that neither are you when you get a chance to have them fresh off the boat. When eating about 6 as you may, the numbers show some good nutritional benefits. The protein amount is very good for how little the fat content. You also get more than double the amount of iron in oysters than you would in the same amount of red meat. With 6 oysters you can also get the same amount of calcium as you would with a cup of milk.
The cholesterol content of oysters and other seafood like shrimp and lobster is a bit high. However it has been found that the cholesterol that we eat does not effect our own cholesterol as much as previously thought. Dietary cholesterol increases our cholesterol only very modestly, where saturated fats have a much greater effect. Oysters are very low fat so the health benefits would outweigh any minor risk. I use this same argument for eggs.
I should however note, that there are some other health risks to oysters. I ate all of mine raw. So I did put myself at risk for a food-borne illness, namely Campylobacter, and Vibrio vulnificus. The only way to kill these bacteria is to fully cook the oyster. So next time, I may try Oysters Rockefeller!