Sushi is deemed a ‘healthy cuisine,’ as it offers fish that are rich sources of protein, and omega-3 fatty acids for brain and heart health. But did you know that sushi too could pose a problem for the dieter if the wrong choices are made? Ordering sashimi is traditionally the healthy choice at a sushi restaurant, but there are also low calorie sushi rolls to order if you know what to look for. Below are healthy options you can make while dining at a sushi restaurant, and what to avoid.
Sushi vs. Sashimi
The seafood in sushi rolls can be raw, cooked, or fried, wrapped in white or brown rice, nori (seaweed), or soy paper. An outer coating may be added, such as roe (fish eggs) or toasted sesame seeds. It can be made with different fillings, such as, avocado, mayonnaise, cucumber or carrots. Or, raw fish prepared without rice and the other ingredients is called sashimi. Ordering sashimi is traditionally the healthy choice when dining at a sushi restaurant, but there are also healthy sushi rolls to order if you know what to look for.
Roll with the Traditional
- Edamame is a high-protein appetizer to start with, but watch the salt. Ask to leave the salt off.
- Order a green salad with the ginger dressing on the side, a seaweed salad, or cup of miso soup with broth and tofu and vegetables.
- Drink green tea, which is rich in antioxidants, or water.
- For the lowest calorie options, choose tuna, yellow tail, shrimp (not tempura) or salmon rolls.
- Order steamed, grilled or raw.
- Ask for brown rice sushi instead of regular white rice. Brown rice is loaded with fiber for the maintenance of healthy digestion.
- Order veggie rolls on the menu with ingredients like fresh cucumbers, avocados, and sea vegetables.
- Ask for items that have no mayonnaise or cream cheese fillings.
- Eat the ginger, as it is great for the immune system and is a combats inflammation.
- Ask for reduced-sodium soy sauce, as it contains 25 percent less salt than regular soy sauce.
California Roll – A great low calorie choice! Usually it is made with imitation crab and cucumber, but you can request it be made with shrimp and add some avocado for a richer source of protein and healthy fat.
Rainbow Roll – Wraps raw fish around a vegetable or California Roll making it a protein powerhouse roll that will leave you feeling satiated.
Avocado Roll – Prefect for vegetarians! Avocado is high in monounsaturated fat and known to improve blood cholesterol and insulin levels.
Cucumber Roll – By far the lowest-calorie roll. Wrap it with brown rice for the extra fiber and your calories are kept at bay.
Salmon and Avocado Roll – Packed with healthy fats: omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon and the monounsaturated fats from the avocado.
Spicy Tuna Rolls – Very popular but need to be modified to be a healthy option. The calorie count ends up being higher due to the yummy sauce that makes it spicy. You are better off asking for a tuna roll wrapped in brown rice and dabbing a bit of wasabi onto the roll.
There you go! You’ve now got a roadmap the next time you want to make some healthy options at your favorite sushi restaurant. With so many health benefits this cuisine has to offer, there’s no need to make your dining experience a dietary pitfall.