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The Calories In Crab Legs: Everything You Need to Know!

The Calories In Crab Legs: Everything You Need to Know!

If you’ve never had crab legs, you haven’t lived. They’re delicious and, in my opinion, a great meal to share with a group of friends or family. Whenever I think of eating crabs, I think of great times with those closest to me.

But, if you’re watching your calories, you may have some questions about the crab legs you’re considering eating. Specifically, you’re wondering: How many calories are in crab legs? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together an extensive guide on all things calories in crab legs, inclusive of various examples across the most popular types of crab legs in the world.

We cover the following items in this post:

How Many Calories Are In Crab Legs?

A serving of snow crab legs. Calories in crab legs

Crab legs are pretty low-calorie, just like most other popular seafood dishes.

To illustrate how many calories are in crab legs, we are going to compare some popular crab legs, but we’re going to use a consistent weight measurement to depict a clear difference in calories per crab meat.

  • Alaskan king crab meat: 165 calories per 6 ounces
  • Snow crab leg meat: 200 calories per 6 ounces
  • Dungeness crab meat: 120 calories per 6 ounces
  • Blue crab meat: 170 calories per 6 ounces

Note that each crab leg is unique in size, so a consistent weight measurement is necessary to show the true difference in calories in crab legs.

How Many Calories Does One Crab Leg Have?

It can be tough to compare crab leg calories as various crabs are different sizes and it’s not a 1-1 comparison. For instance, let’s look at the difference between the sizes and calories of two of the most popular crab legs:

  • Alaskan king crab leg: 130 calories (134 grams)
  • Snow crab leg: 14 calories (10 grams)

We recommend using the weight of the crab meat as a true measurement of caloric intake, rather than how many calories are in each crab leg.

What Is a Normal Serving Size of Crab Legs?

Alaskan king crab legs. Calories in crab legs

Most restaurants will serve you anywhere between 4 and 6 ounces of crab leg meat.

The weight of the crab leg is generally twice the weight of the meat inside. So a 6-ounce crab leg will yield roughly 3 ounces of meat.

Are Crab Legs Healthy to Eat?

We believe so!

Crab meat is an extremely lean source of protein that is low in saturated and trans fats, carbohydrates, and total calories.

Health experts now rely on saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugars to inform whether a dish is bad for cholesterol. Crab legs aren’t low in the measurement of cholesterol per serving, but are generally very low in saturated fats, trans fats, and sugars. As such, crab legs aren’t bad for your cholesterol. But they can be if too much butter is served with them!

Additionally, WebMD states that crab meat has the following benefits:

  • Improving your heart health
  • Preventing anemia
  • Improving brain strength

How About The Calories In Crab Legs Cluster?

Cooked crab legs. Calories in crab legs

The answer here can also depend on what type of crab meat we’re talking about.

A crab legs cluster is a whole crab side. That generally includes three legs, an arm, and a claw. They remain connected at the crab’s shoulder.

However, the number of legs included in the cluster depends on the crab variety with the most common being snow crab clusters. 

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • A cluster of king crab legs can weigh roughly 8 ounces or 227 grams. This comes out to about 220 calories.
  • A cluster of snow crab legs can weigh roughly 6 ounces or 170 grams. This comes out to about 200 calories.

The tough part is that there are no guarantees on the exact weights of the crab legs you’re eating. These numbers are a good ballpark, but they’re not perfect.

An Example: Snow Crab Legs

Snow Crab Cluster Calories Overview

A man on a scale. Calories in crab legs

Like other crustaceans, snow crab meat is a very lean source of protein that is quite low in total calories. As we noted above, a cluster of snow crab legs is roughly 200 calories.

But, the issue usually isn’t with the crab meat itself. We generally find that the caloric concerns come from the sides and sauces served with snow crab legs. The particular concern is melted butter, as a 1/2 stick of butter equates to roughly 400 calories added to the meal!

Crab meat is calorie-friendly on its own and shouldn’t cause you to gain weight.

Snow Crab Nutrition Facts Per Cluster

A six-ounce cluster has:

  • .2 grams of saturated fat
  • 21.6 grams of fat calories
  • 2.4 grams of total fat

Snow crabs have plenty of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. A cluster has:

  • 37 grams of protein
  • .8 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids

That’s more protein than six ounces of salmon, which has 34 grams, and more Omega-3 fatty acids than six ounces of light tuna packed in water, which has .5 grams.

A cluster has 110 milligrams of cholesterol and 1,078 milligrams of sodium.

The American Heart Association states the average American consumes roughly 3,400 mg of sodium daily, noting that 90% of Americans consume too much sodium. They recommend no more than should 2,300 mg of sodium daily and states that the true, ideal limit is less than 1,500 mg a day. That means that a crab cluster can eat up most of your recommended sodium intake for a day.

For comparison, the sodium in a snow crab cluster equates to around 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

What Else Should I Know About The Nutritional Value of Crab Legs?

In addition to the calories in crab legs, it’s worth noting that crab legs provide many minerals that help your body.

A 6-ounce serving has a little more than 89 milligrams of magnesium, 47 milligrams of calcium, and 181 milligrams of phosphorus. It also has 10.2 milligrams of Vitamin C, 14.7 micrograms of Vitamin B-12, and 4.1 milligrams of niacin. 

Final Thoughts On How Many Calories In Crab Legs

Frankly, it’s hard to find a leaner replacement for crab meat, whether it’s coming from the leg or any other part of a crab’s body. Even imitation crab, which is primarily made up of white fish like pollock, is about 170 calories per 6 ounces, which is very much in line with real crab meat.

Just do your best to moderate your sides and seasonings with crab legs if you’re worried about calories. Those are what generally sneak up on people — especially butter!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)      

How Many Calories Are In Three Clusters of Crab Legs?    

Three clusters of crab legs will have between 420 and 600 calories depending on the type of crab you eat.    

How Many Calories Are In 4 Clusters of Snow Crab Legs?    

Four clusters of snow crab legs will have around 800 calories.    

How Many Calories Are In 2 Snow Crab Legs?    

Two snow crab legs will have around 100 calories.

How Many Calories Are In Two Clusters of Snow Crab?

Two snow crab clusters will have around 400 calories.

How Many Calories Are In Crab Legs With Butter?

This really depends on the amount of butter you’re using.

As we noted above, a 6-ounce serving of snow crab legs comes out to about 200 calories. A half a stick of butter comes out to roughly 405 calories.

So, if you combine the two, you’re looking at just about 605 calories.

What Does 3 oz Of Crab Meat Look Like?

The palm of a hand. Calories in crab legs

A cool trick you can use is looking at the palm of your hand. 3 ounces of meat comes out to about that size.