How Healthy is Sushi?


I mean, we all love sushi, right? But how healthy is sushi? It’s one of the most popular foods out there! And many people think it is a very nutritious meal. Probably, it’s your first choice when you want to have dinner with your friends, or maybe a possible date. It’s exotic, and it’s fun!

What about the ingredients?

How healthy is sushi? We all ask this one thing, right?

Sushi is mostly a meal made with seaweed, rice, raw fish, and vegetables and lightly vinegared. It’s often served with soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger. It has a Japanese origin. Sushi is also often served with toppings like tofu, avocado, chicken, shellfish, wasabi, crab and cooked or raw fish.

We all know that sushi’s ingredients seem healthy, right?: vegetables, rice, fish, soy. So apparently, it’s a low-fat meal, isn’t it? We must guess that maybe there are some hidden unhealthy things on it. For example, what about fried tempura? But, even if sushi has raw fish, the truth is people eat it with soy sauce, which has a high level of salt.

Does sushi have healthy properties?

But we have some news for you: Sushi, it’s considered a healthy meal! Mainly because it contains a lot of Omega 3 (which has fatty acids that are good four our hearts!) thanks to fish. Oh, and Sushi is overall a low-calories food!

Sushi also boasts many nutrient ingredients! For example:

  • Fish is a good source of iodine, proteins, and minerals. It’s also one of the few foods that naturally contain D2 vitamin. Fish also has Omega 3, as we previously mentioned, which helps our brains and hearts to function healthily! Doctors usually say that eating fish regularly also lowers the risk of getting autoimmune diseases, depression, memory loss, and bad vision.

Note: fish can also contain large amounts of mercury which may be a concern. If you’re pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding a child, that you should avoid eating fish with too high mercury levels, such as tuna, shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish. Too much mercury can cause damage in a baby’s developing system and brain.

The World Health Organisation states that we should eat fish once or twice per week, to keep mercury levels normally. Sushi could be a delicious choice for you to achieve this frequency!

  • The most common type of seaweed used in sushi is called Nori, which is dried and very popular among sushi places. It has many proteins, such as iron, sodium, magnesium, iodine, thiamine, calcium, phosphorus, and fiber among many vitamins, such as A, C, and E15.
  • Wasabi is a paste served aside from sushi. It has a strong flavor, and people usually eat it in small amounts. Wasabi is a nutrient ingredient because it has beta carotene, isothiocyanates, and glucosinolates.
  • The most common vegetables used in sushi are aubergine, cucumber, and avocado. Aubergines have fiber, potassium, and vitamins B1 and B6. Avocado has monosaturated fat (which is good for your heart) and vitamin E.

How many calories does Sushi have?

It all depends on what type of sushi are you eating. Some types of sushi are higher in calories than others. According to Forbes, the healthiness of sushi depends on how many calories have per portion.

In the case of nigiri, which is the most common type of sushi (you know what it is, a rice stick with a fish filet on top) has around 70 calories per unit. If you make a typical order of these, that typically includes six units, then you’ll get around 310 up to 420. Of course, this depends on the type of fish.

If we talk about sashimi (those fish slices served on their own, without rice) they have roughly 132 calories for six pieces. You can also find other versions of sashimi with cooked ingredients, including squid, crabmeat, and shrimp.

For example, a typical roll can have around 250 up to 370, depending not only on the type of fish but also if the roll has avocado. It also depends on the cooking style. Tempura rolls have more fat because they’re deep-fried.

There are two types of rolls: 

Maki rolls (those made with rice and a filling, such as avocado and tuna or salmon, and wrapped in seaweed on the outside) and Urumaki rolls, like maki rolls but rice is on the outside and seaweed is on the inside.

Tips for eating sushi in a healthier way

  • If possible, ask for brown rice instead of white. It has less glycemic content and it’s more nutritious. You can also lower the amount of rice in your sushi by asking for more sashimi instead of rolls or nigiri, for example.
  • Go easy on the soy sauce! It has a considerable amount of salt and sodium, which can increase blood pressure levels. Sushi is cooked with vinegar, salt, and sugar to make it sticky, so try to lower the levels of these ingredients as much as possible.
  • Avoid sushi rolls with mayonnaise, cream cheese, or deep-fried tempura, because these have higher fat levels. Your best choice would be the ones with avocado, which has a healthier type of fat!
  • Try to eat other sushi with other varieties or accompanying dishes like miso soup, young green soybeans (known as edamame), seamed salad (wakame), and green tea.

We hope that you’ll find this information useful and next time you go to a sushi dinner, you’ll think about how to make it healthier!

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