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Q. I love shrimp, but given their high cholesterol, I've disciplined myself to stay away from these crustaceans for years. Will I ever be able to release myself from my abstinence?

A. Most high-cholesterol foods also have high saturated-fat content, but shrimp is an exception. Shrimp is very low in saturated and total fat, so despite its high cholesterol content it is no longer frowned upon by most nutrition advisors. Current thinking is that foods high in cholesterol don't raise cholesterol levels in the body nearly as much as foods high in saturated fats do. If you have high cholesterol and want to keep your dietary-cholesterol intake low, shrimp can still be on the menu. A serving of six to eight medium shrimp provides about 166 mg of cholesterol, which leaves you under the daily limit of 200 mg, as recommended by the American Heart Association. Everyone else (with a higher limit of 300 milligrams) can enjoy the same meal relatively guilt-free.

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