Imitation crab is made with a type of fish called surimi. Manufacturers add fillers, flavoring and color to surimi to mimic the taste, texture and color of real crab legs. Imitation crab meat is a versatile ingredient that costs far less than the real thing. The meat can be used in many dishes and contains certain nutrients that are essential in a healthy diet. However, imitation crab does have nutritional drawbacks that decrease its overall nutritional value.
Calories, Fat and Cholesterol
Imitation crab is low in calories and fat, which makes it an appropriate addition to your diet if you are watching your weight or trying to shed excess pounds. Choosing low-calorie and low-fat foods is also a healthy way to protect yourself from chronic illnesses such as heart disease. A 3-ounce serving of imitation crab meat contains 81 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. The same serving of imitation crab provides 17 milligrams of cholesterol, making it a useful option if you are on a low-cholesterol diet.
The primary nutritional drawback to imitation alaskan snow crab meat is the amount of salt it contains. The recommended upper limit for sodium intake is between 1,500 and 2,300 milligrams each day, though many people get far more than this, MayoClinic.com reports. Your risk of kidney disease, stroke and high blood pressure increases when you eat a high-salt diet. A 3-ounce serving of imitation crab meat contains 715 milligrams of sodium.
Imitation crab meat contains a healthy dose of phosphorus. One percent of your body weight is made up of phosphorus, which is found in every part of your body — most of it in your teeth and bones. Phosphorus plays a role in the health of your bones and teeth as well as the proper function of your kidneys and muscles. It also keeps your heart beating regularly and supports healthy nerve function. You need 700 milligrams of phosphorus each day and 3 ounces of imitation crab meat supplies 240 milligrams toward that goal.
Take advantage of the nutrients in imitation crab by including it in a tossed green salad or by stirring chunks into a seafood stew or pot of vegetable soup. Combine imitation crab meat with low-fat mayonnaise and fresh herbs to make a flavorful sandwich filling. Stir diced imitation crab meat into a carton of low-fat sour cream, then sprinkle with pepper and fresh herbs to make a dip to accompany fresh vegetables or whole-wheat crackers. Watch your portion size to keep your sodium intake low.
In general, the commercial fishing industry is not for the weak at heart. Each year, it places
thousands of workers on the world's shorelines at the mercy of the ocean, and job lists
consistently rank commercial fishing among the dirtiest and deadliest. In Alaska, the stakes
are higher since the getting is so good — almost 95 percent of the U.S. salmon supply comes
The argument has been made that compensation for the rough life is plentiful because one
trip could last just a few days and yield thousands of dollars, but a closer look suggests
otherwise. This isn’t the lucrative paycheck you might expect from a job that you may not
return home from. The next time you’re feasting on King Crabs, don’t forget to raise your
glass and toast to the crew who risked their lives to bring it to you!