The idea of lobster for dinner sounds romantic and self-indulgent for most of us, but does that mean lobster’s bad for you? Not necessarily. In fact, lobster is healthy for most diets, providing a good source of essential nutrients and protein. Lobster is a good source of phosphorous, which supports kidney function. It also provides more than 10 percent of your daily requirement for magnesium in a 3-ounce serving. That sized serving of lobster has about 100 fewer calories than 3 ounces of steak, while providing the same amount of protein (about 27 grams). Lobster also contains very little fat and actually supplies some calcium for healthy bones.

But does lobster contain cholesterol? It does — about 124 mg in a 3-ounce serving. Healthy people with normal cholesterol levels and no history of heart disease should limit dietary cholesterol to 300 mg a day. Anyone with heart disease or diabetes should not eat more than 200 mg of cholesterol daily.

Keep in mind that cholesterol-containing foods do not contribute as much cholesterol to your bloodstream as foods containing saturated fats, which cause your liver to produce more cholesterol. Despite its rich reputation, lobster is low in saturated fats, clocking in at a total of 0.2 grams in a 3-ounce serving compared to the same sized serving of steak, which contains 4.7 grams. Lobster does serve up a high dose of sodium, however — nearly half of the recommended daily amount for healthy diners. That can be dangerous if you have high blood pressure.

To enjoy lobster at its most healthful, boil or roast it. Resist the temptation to add buckets of melted butter, and definitely don’t deep-fry it. Add vegetables to your meal plan for a boost of fiber. Fiber reduces the amount of cholesterol your bloodstream absorbs. According to the Mayo Clinic, 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day can reduce your cholesterol.

Read on for some of our favorite healthy lobster recipes.

1. Lobster, Feta, and Avocado Salad

Avocado adds heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Raise the fiber content by substituting darker greens like raw, macerated collards, kale, or baby spinach.

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2. Grilled Lobster with Lemon and Tarragon Dressing

Grilling is a lower-fat preparation, but you can reduce the saturated fat in this recipe further by brushing the cut side of the lobster with olive oil, and substituting 1/4 cup of chicken broth for the butter. As long as you’ve got the grill fired up, toss on some veggies too.

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3. Lobster and Corn Stew

Lobster chowder bubbles with cream and butter, but yummy one-dish preparations of lobster don’t have to carry extra fat. Leeks provide a licorice-like counterpoint to sweet lobster meat. Enjoy with a light salad.

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4. Roasted Lobster Tails

Roasting is a healthy, dry preparation for lobster that preserves its moist meat without added fat. This recipe plays up Asian flavors. Caribbean spiny lobster is a favorite in Chinese cuisine, but North Atlantic lobster is usually easier to find in most markets.

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5. Poached Lobster and Vegetables

Here, Greek yogurt provides creamy tang to boiled lobster without making the meal too heavy. You can reduce the sodium intake by eliminating the added salt.

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6. Low-Fat Lobster Salad

Enjoy this light recipe as a side or as a stand-alone salad, or serve it on whole-wheat hotdog buns for a healthy take on that lobster fan favorite, the lobster roll.

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7. Shrimp, Lobster, and Jicama Salad

This recipe pairs sweet, creamy lobster with the crunch of jicama and the bright flavor of lime. Jicama is a low-calorie, high-fiber source of vitamin C. Lime juice is also high in vitamin C and has antioxidant effects.

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