Despite the fact that shrimp contain more cholesterol than some other types of seafood, the total fat and saturated fat (the real culprit in heart disease) content is very low. So we think it’s fine to include shrimp in a heart-healthy diet.

How much shrimp to buy: To save prep time, instead of peeling and deveining your own shrimp, you can buy peeled and deveined raw shrimp at the seafood counter of most supermarkets. The chart below shows how much peeled and deveined shrimp to buy when the recipe calls for unpeeled shrimp.

Raw Shrimp Unpeeled vs. Raw Shrimp Peeled and Deveined

2/3 pound = 1/2 pound

1 pound = 3/4 pound

1 1/3 pounds = 1 pound

2 pounds = 1 1/2 pounds

2 2/3 pounds = 2 pounds

4 pounds = 3 pounds

How to store shrimp: Fresh uncooked shrimp is very perishable, so use it within two days of purchase. After bringing it home, rinse thoroughly under cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Cover shrimp loosely with wax paper so that air can circulate around it; store in the coolest part of the refrigerator, preferably on a bed of ice. Shrimp can be frozen, but they lose some of their texture after thawing. When you want to use frozen shrimp, just thaw them in a bowl or sink filled with tap water.

How to peel and devein shrimp: Except for the largest shrimp, there’s neither danger nor distaste in leaving the thin black line (vein) right where it is.

  1. Peel the shell off the shrimp.
  2. Cut a shallow slit along the back using a sharp paring knife.
  3. Remove the dark vein using a sharp knife or deveining tool.
  4. Rinse under cold water, and drain.