Lump crabmeat always seems to make its appearance around the holidays in "that dip"—you know, the hot one with the cream cheese and heavy cream. But crab deserves more time at your table. Not only is it festive, affordable and widely available, it’s also a good source of lean protein.
Don’t be concerned that crab, like all shellfish, is high in cholesterol—it’s very low in saturated fat, the main culprit in raising blood cholesterol. In addition to being high in protein, crab is also a good source of zinc and is exceptionally high in B12 (a vitamin found only in animal sources), which preliminary studies indicate may play a role in heart health.
Pasteurized crab is available in a range of "grades." Splurge on larger, more expensive grades like colossal lump, jumbo lump and backfin for recipes where the crab is the focus, and use the smaller, less expensive grades, such as special, claw meat or claw fingers, for other recipes. Look for crab in the supermarket’s seafood department or canned-fish section. It is packaged in large cans, plastic tubs or sealed foil pouches. Be sure to pick out any stray shells or cartilage before using.