Are Shrimp Tails Edible? Know Detail

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Shrimp are small shellfish loved by many and consumed as a food. What the majority, however, do not understand is whether the whole shrimp is eatable. Should one eat the whole of it, or should one toss out some parts? So we will clear the air on this question, “are shrimp tails edible?”.

If this question simply troubles you, the straight answer is YES! Shrimp tails are highly nutritious and contain vital minerals and proteins, essential for body growth and good health. Some of the minerals include calcium, chlorine, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12.

These minerals play different roles in our bodies. Shrimp tails are also low in calories, and they can be found in shallow and deep ocean waters and some freshwater lakes. They come from different species, with the brown, pink, and white type being the most famous. Upon cooking, they turn to pink or reddish color.

Can You Eat Shrimp Tails?

Yes, you can eat shrimp tails without much cause for concern. They can be compared to the cartilage on chicken bones, where one picks meat off it without necessarily touching the cartilage.

Shrimp tails from smaller shrimps are soft to chew but tend to be hard and chewy in larger-sized shrimps like jumbo and colossal.

Such tails aren’t recommended to consume as they are a potential choking hazard. Why? All shrimp tails are made up of chitin (a very brittle and rigid material and acts as a tough shield). As a result, the shrimp tails are not that easy to eat.

Shrimp tail, however, in many cases, is not meant to be eaten. It is intended for flavor and presentation purposes.

Are Shrimp Tails Edible?

Yes, you can eat shrimp tails, in a couple of ways. Shrimp tails are chitin, a tough and brittle material common to insects and many fish species. It can also be compared to chicken cartilage.

The shrimp tail is highly digestible in human beings. It contains a lot of FLAVORS. This means that keeping it while cooking the shrimp helps to lock the flavor from the entire shrimp, meaning that none of the tasty goodness can escape out of the end before people have the opportunity to enjoy it.

Shrimp tails are rich in dietary calcium, but they have a handful of calories per serving. If you want to enjoy the crispy and delicious, one of the ways to achieve this is by deep-frying them. You could also hold the shrimp by the tail when eating it. Despite the tough texture and experience of chewing through the shrimp tail, it is worth it as some health benefits come with an edible shrimp tail.

Is it Safe to Eat Shrimp Tails?

Shrimp tails are safe for consumption as food. They are kept for texture, flavor profile, and for health benefits. Shrimp tails are quite good for you. They do not pose significant health negatives except a few benefits.

They have pretty simple biomaterials, and there isn’t much bad stuff in the tails. Shrimp tails have trace minerals. These contribute meager health value to the food.

They also contain proteins that are similar to keratin. Eating these tails is not necessarily harmful to you. However, if you are allergic to them, you might as well forfeit their nutritional value.

Shrimp tails are low in mercury compared to other seafood’s which makes them safe for pregnant people. This is according to Food and Drug Administration(FDA).

The primary safety issue with shrimp tails is the style of its cooking. Poorly cooked shrimp tails can result in a not so healthy meal. This is particularly so if the meal is consumed in large amounts.

Another safety measure concerns people who are allergic or have gouts. If you are aware or have suffered, then probably know how devastating shrimp tail allergies can be. It then follows that if you have such an allergy, it’s best to steer clear of this food. This is not less to shrimp shells, broths, or any stock made with them. Do not put yourself in such a life-threatening condition, if you already knew the potential outcome.

If you have been diagnosed with gouts, it’s not all good news for you with this food. Shrimp tails increase acid build-up. This aggravates gout causing severe discomfort.

Are Shrimp Tails Good For You?

Generally, these shrimp parts are not a direct threat. They are therefore fit for inclusion in your meals. Shrimp tails are low in calories, quick and easy to cook, and are a good source of proteins. They are also nutritious. For instance, shrimp tails are rich in numerous vitamins and minerals. These nutrients have their specific key roles in the body.

These vital minerals include selenium, chlorine, and zinc. It also contains the omega 3 fatty acids that help maintain a healthy heart, a flawless skin, and good brain function. Also, a diet rich in these proteins will keep you feeling full for longer. I turn, this prevents you from binging on food and thus helps you maintain healthy body weight.

This makes it very healthy and suitable food to include in your diet. This is an indicator that shrimp is good for me.

How to Remove Shrimp Tails?

Many people don’t like to remove the tail from the shrimp because they like to serve it with the tail. Some also grab the shrimp by the tail when devouring it. But if you wish to remove the tail, then do it with a gentle tug.

The following procedure can be used to get the tails off the shrimp.

  • Push the tail from the bottom of the body of the shrimp at the point where the tail enjoins with the shrimp’s body.
  • The tail slides typically off from the shrimp. Once done, save the tail to make other delicacies.

Once you have removed the tail, the next step is to clean the shrimp and its tails to make it presentable for eating.

Video: Are Shrimp Tails Edible?

Frequently Asked Questions – Shrimp Tails

Is it bad to eat shrimp tails?

Many people love to eat seafood with shrimp at the top of the list. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t apply to preparing the food. In fact, shrimp lovers often wonder what they should do with the tail–whether to throw them away or eat them.

Generally, shrimp tails are edible, but some precautions ought to be considered before consuming them. Research studies have shown that eating shrimp tails risks injuring the throat while still swallowing them. Even when the shrimp’s tail is small, it’s sharp and can get stuck in the throat in many instances. It can also injure your gullet making it extremely difficult and painful to swallow foods and drinks.

Often, people are operated on to take out the stuck piece(s) of the shrimp tail from the digestive system.

Shrimp tails are also allergic to some people; therefore, it is not advisable to consume them due to their allergic response. Therefore, people who have a history of allergic reactions, mainly marine foods, should avoid shrimp tails.

How to eat shrimp with tail on?

There are numerous ways to eat shrimp with its tail on. Good etiquette and table manners should be observed. Also, one should clean their hands thoroughly. The following methods should be followed while eating shrimps.

  1. Put the shrimp on the plate. Cut the head of the shrimp with a spoon. Using your hands, hold the tail and pop up the whole shrimp in your mouth.
  2. Pull the shrimp out of the tail using your teeth if you are using your hands. Once you deshell the shrimp, put the whole body in your mouth. Use your fingers to pull the tail and the shrimp will come out. Put the empty seat on a plate.

Are Shrimp Tails Poisonous?

Shrimp tails are not poisonous to an individual. Once cooked well, they don’t pose any health concerns. However, one must be cautious while consuming shrimp tails to not injure the throat while chewing and swallowing.

Do shrimp tails have nutritional values?

Shrimp tails are of low calories, rich in nutrients and minerals salts. Some common minerals in shrimp tails include; zinc, selenium, chlorine, and vitamin B12.

These minerals boost the immune system. Shrimp tails also contain iodine that helps to maintain thyroid function and also prevents thyroid diseases.

Vitamin B12 and omega 3 acids help maintain a healthy heart, flawless skin and promote your brain’s functionality.

On a negative note, shrimp tails have a higher concentration of cholesterol. This cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease.


From the above discussion, shrimp tails are edible and contain many minerals and nutrients essential for one’s growth and good health. However, shrimp tails are allergic to some people who should keep away from consuming them.

However, shrimp tails may be allergic to some people. Such people may experience itchy skin, digestive issues, swelling of lips and tongue, and shortness of breath. It is recommended for such people to seek medical attention.

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