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We couldn’t really have a website about oysters without talking about nutrition and calories!
First off, you’ll be pleased to hear that oysters are particularly nutritious. Not only are they an excellent source of high-quality protein, but they also contain many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And that’s great news for your health.
Here’s a quick breakdown of said nutrients:
And the other good news, for those looking after their weight, is that more often than not, depending on how you eat them or cook them, they are very low in calories!
In fact, when discussing the nutritional breakdown of oysters they are often listed in groups of about 6 or 12 oysters rather than just one because the calorie level is so low.
The number of calories does change a little however, depending on whether you’re eating them raw, or whether you cook them. It’s also affected by how you cook them, as this can lead to increased calories.
Which brings us nicely on to the rest of our FAQs, where we get a little more specific.
How Many Calories In Raw Oysters?
According to the USDN, one dozen raw standard size Eastern oysters contain just 171 calories.
Some of these calories come from the fat content. 12 raw oysters contain 5.7 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of this fat is saturated fat.
And some of these calories are derived from carbohydrates, with 12 raw oysters containing 9 grams of carbohydrates, with 2 grams of which being sugars.
This same amount of raw oysters also contains 286 mg of sodium, zero grams of fiber, and a whopping 19 grams of protein. And better yet, this protein can help you to feel full for longer.
So you are all free to enjoy raw or fresh oysters without having to worry about it leading to wait gain. And in fact, provided there’s no bacteria in your oyster, you’ll have found a food that’s both delicious and nutritious that you can enjoy guilt free.
You can even have them as a between-meal snack.
How Many Calories In Smoked Oysters?
Smoked oysters are almost as healthy to eat as fresh/raw oysters.
A single serving of 6 smoked oysters typically contains 170 calories. Of these 170 calories, some of it is derived from the 10 grams of fat, while some of it is derived from the 8 grams of carbohydrates. You also get 14 grams of protein.
Now, smoked oysters are typically sold in cans, and in order to preserve their taste in the cans, they will have other ingredients added which will of course in turn have an affect on just how healthy they are to eat…
Canned smoked oysters are more nutrient dense than their fresh/raw counterparts, due to the adding of things like olive oil and various spices. But sadly they are also far higher in sodium.
While raw oysters have just 117 mg of sodium per serving, smoked oysters in a can typically have more than 330 mg per serving. That’s nearly twice as much!
Please note, too much sodium is bad for you, and diets higher in sodium are associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, which is a major cause of stroke and heart disease.
How Many Calories In Chargrilled Oysters?
Now, we certainly get why some oyster lovers would want to enjoy their oysters chargrilled. It’s perhaps a safer way to enjoy them because the chargrilling process will eliminate any bacteria that may be of concern to you if you don’t trust the freshness of raw oysters.
However, chargrilling your oysters makes them significantly higher in calories. A single serving of 6 chargrilled oysters has a whopping 521 calories.
Much of these calories come from the fat content which comes in at 18 grams per serving, and much of it comes from carbohydrates which make up 43 grams per serving.
Of the 42 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of which is sugars, and of the 28 grams of fat, there’s 7 grams of saturated fat.
As for the rest of the nutritional make up, there’s also 20 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber. And 504 mg of potassium, 318 mg of sodium, and 113 mg of cholesterol.
How Many Calories Are In Fried Oysters?
Perhaps surprisingly, the number of calories in fried oysters is not much different from the number in raw oysters.
Here’s a quick breakdown. In a single serving of 6 fried oysters, there are 175 calories. Most of this comes from the fat content, which is 11 grams, and 2.8 grams of which is saturated fat. And some of the calories come from the 10 grams of carbohydrates.
So frying your oysters is not as unhealthy as you might think, and much of the nutrients remain despite the frying, such as vitamins A and C, and calcium and iron. There is more sodium however, which is bad for you in high doses, and this comes in at 367mg in a single 6 oyster serving.
How Many Calories Are In Fresh Oysters?
You may already be aware of this, but it’s certainly worth mentioning at this point that fresh oysters are in fact raw oysters.
This means that they have not been cooked by any cooking method, and since they have been farmed, the only process they have undergone to prepare them for your plate is a quick clean.
Fresh oysters are actually still alive when you eat them. But this, strangely enough is a good thing…
Unless you plan on cooking your fresh oysters, then you need to eat them before the oyster dies away. This is because a dead oyster can harbour quite a lot of bacteria, namely Vibrio bacteria, including Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
These bacteria can induce reactions such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. But, worse case scenario, it can even cause septicaemia, which is a very serious condition that can lead to death.
Because of this health risk with raw/fresh oysters, we always recommend that you buy your oysters from a good reputable source or establishment. Anyways, thus fresh oysters are raw oysters, and as such have the nutritional content that we laid out on raw oysters earlier on…
One dozen fresh oysters contain 171 calories. And this comes from its 5.7 grams of fat, (1.6 grams of which is saturated fat) and 9 grams of carbohydrates (2 grams of which is sugars).
How Many Calories In Oysters On The Half Shell?
A single serving of oysters on the half shell is half a dozen such oysters, or 6. This serving contains a measly 50 calories in total which is about the same as a little Babybel, a kiwi fruit, or a plum.
These 50 calories are derived in part from the fat content, which comes in at 1.5 grams for 6 oysters on the half shell, and from the carbohydrate content, which comes in at 3 grams.
It’s also interesting to note at this point that in this selection of 6 oysters on the half shell, there are zero grams of saturated fat and zero grams of sugars. Not bad hey? And when you consider that against the nutritional benefits, it’s a no brainer - don’t say no to oysters!