Fried clams, made by breading whole clams or clam strips and deep-frying them, is a commonly available food. Softshell clams are sometimes used to make this dish, as well as other types of clams.
While some types of seafood often contain unsafe levels of mercury, this contaminant is generally not found in high amounts in clams. This food does contain quite a bit of fat, however.
A three ounce portion of fried clams contains 270 calories. This serving may fit into your meal plan as part of a light lunch or dinner when paired with a salad or other foods.
The calories you consume in a day should be split evenly among your meals, along with several low-calorie snacks. The most advantageous range of calories for a single meal is 300 to 600, depending on your gender and the number of calories allotted for your meal plan.
Approximately half the calories in a three ounce serving of fried clams come from fat, which is far above the recommended guidelines of 10 percent. You may still include fried clams in your meal plan, however, if you carefully monitor the foods you eat for the day, making sure to opt for low-fat foods.
This portion of clams contains 13 grams of fat, two grams of which are saturated. Saturated fats contribute toward your cholesterol more than anything else in your diet, and consuming too much may increase your risk of heart disease.
Your body depends on the carbohydrates and protein in your diet as healthy sources of energy. A three ounce serving of fried clams provides you with 29 grams of carbohydrates. Include enough carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet to ingest at least 130 grams each day.
This portion of fried clams also contributes nine grams of protein to a meal plan. The Institute of Medicine suggests consuming 46 to 56 grams of protein daily for optimal health. Protein helps you build muscle and repair cells, as well as helping your body manufacture enzymes and hormones.
Monitor your meal plan for sodium when fried clams appear on the menu. A 3-oz. serving contains 309 miligrams. While this does not use up the Institute of Medicine-recommended limit of 1,500 mg per day, there is enough added salt in the foods many people eat daily to warrant paying attention to the sodium content in a portion of clams. Consuming too much salt can result in high blood pressure and other health problems.
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Nicki Wolf has been writing health and human interest articles since 1986. Her work has been published at various cooking and nutrition websites. Wolf has an extensive background in medical/nutrition writing and online content development in the nonprofit arena. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Temple University.