Mussel Facts

Mussel facts  asks why shellfish get a lot of bad press and what is the truth?




Shellfish get a lot of bad press but what is the truth? Of course, if you're allergic, that's another matter; what about a trip to the Netherlands to experience them for yourself?

If you want to have the inexpensive holiday of your lifetime, then fly to Schiphol, near Amsterdam, and take the train to Zeeland in the South West. It costs about 30 dollars and takes a little over two hours.

Ahead of time, join an organisation called Vrienden op de Fiets on line. It costs about ten dollars per year. Look for a Bed and Breakfast in Middelburg and book in for two nights; it costs 19 euros per night, including a huge breakfast.

Ask your hosts if they could either lend you, or buy two old oma fietsen; a granny bike. You don't need gears in Holland. You can expect to pay about 20 to 50 euros each. Most folk have a couple stored away in an old shed, unused for ten years. Tell them you'll pay for a service, and they can have them back when you're done.

Once you are there, they will help you plan a rondje of Zeeland; a week to ten days would be nice. Make sure you get to see the mussel banks. Find a little restaurant around the corner where you can enjoy a huge pot of mussel facts. For cockles and mussels, you'll have to cross the Irish Sea!

The light in Holland is often given the credit for their great masters. See the saltwater mussels being farmed?

Protein in saltwater mussels

Seafood in general, including mussels are an excellent source of protein, containing about 10g per 100g. Depending on who you believe, that's about a third of your RDA, required daily allowance.

Each mussel has about 2g of protein; you could easily eat 10 to 20 at a sitting.


Carbohydrate in sea mussels

Fish generally has little or no carbohydrate, but your mussels do have a moderate amount. viz about 7 percent complex carbohydrate. Good food.

With all the protein and healthy omega 3 fat in sea mussels it turns that into a very low glycemic index carbohydrate; even if you're banting, this would be considered a healthy carbohdrate.

There's about 1g of carb per mussel, so if you eat twenty, that makes 20g.

Steamed mussels recipes are cooked with leeks, carrots and perhaps a shot of white wine. It makes for a very healthy meal, if you avoid the temptation to have a side plate of french fries. 


Fat in saltwater mussels

Surprise, surprise, your mussels contain less than half the fat of beef trimmed of all visible lard; 5 versus 11 percent. What's more, the saturated fat, your cholesterol, is less than one.




So why all the bad press that, if you have high cholesterol, you should avoid shellfish? Bunkum; just eat less beef, especially the corn fed animals.

That fat is fairly equally divided between saturated, polyunsaturated and MUFAs.

One average mussel has about 5mg of cholesterol.

One of the beauties of a meal of mussel facts is that, because of its high fat and protein content, it's very satisfying; you won't feel hungry and certainly won't need that bread roll or plate of fries to fill the gaps.

For most of us, it's the carbohydrate, not the fat, that makes us obese.

In any case, by the time you've made that rondje of Zeeland, you'll have burnt it off. Twenty to thirty kilometres per day is very easy.


A good oyster cannot please the palate as acutely as a bad one can revolt it, and a good oyster cannot make him who eats it live for ever though a bad one can make him dead for ever.

Rebecca West


Omega 3


Mussel facts indicate that they are reasonably high in Omega 3, though not as good as salmon and mackerel. But still an excellent source of these essential fatty acids that are now known to be intimately involved in Alzheimers, premature aging of the hyaline cartilage in your joints (= arthritis), nerve conduction and the serious nerve degeneration illnesses like Lou Gehrig's disease (Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis).


Mussel Facts

Mussel facts are interesting but what the heck, they are delicious and hey can be cooked in a jiffy.

Antioxidants = Anti-Cancer

Where your mussel facts really come into their own is how rich they are in zinc, magnesium, selenium, folate and vitamin C. These are the anti cancer substances. When did you last enjoy recipes for mussels? RECIPES FOR MUSSELS ...


Vitamin B12

B12 deficiency causes a very nasty disease called Pernicious Anemia. For more about these very nasty nerve diseases... (a fairly high-brow page, I'm afraid. When it gets to neurology the going gets more difficult...)

Just look at the table below to see how rich your mussels are in vitamin B12.

Calories in mussels

According to the USDA, one mussel has about 15 cals of energy; actually that's kcal. It's not difficult to eat a dozen at a sitting. So, that adds up to about 200 kcal.

Unlike other shellfish, quite a lot of it comes from the carbohydrate.

Our recommendations...

If you want to avoid the nasty, serious illnesses like Motor Neuron disease, and probably it's first cousin Multiple Sclerosis, though that remains unproved as of now, then start enjoying fatty seafood at least 2 to 3 times a week; more salmon, mackerel, herring and, of course, our mussel facts. What could be more delicious?




Add to that the protection against heart disease, Alzheimers, premature aging of your hyaline cartilage, ie arthritis, and many others, and you can see how the omega 3 rich foods are winners.

There is now solid research, published in Neurology, February 2011, that sunshine and vitamin D are also necessary to prevent MS. The best source, again, is your fatty fish such a herring, mackerel and salmon; your steamed mussels recipe have some, but it's not adequate. For the sunshine, all you need is a good pair of shoes and a decent hat. Mind you, I get plenty playing with my veggies.

Now just add the mussels, and turn the heat up; in five minutes you can enjoy this exquisite steamed mussels recipe, just bursting with good health.


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