I love sushi as much as the next girl. In fact, I would probably eat it everyday if I could! At first glance, sushi seems like a healthy and nutritious meal. I mean it’s basically a bunch of of protein wrapped in between vegetables and seaweed, what could possibly be bad about that?
The problem is that not all sushi is created equal. Some types of sushi are extremely healthy and low in calories and fat, but others such as a shrimp tempura roll can contain as much as 600 calories! A cream cheese packed Philadelphia roll will cost you about 450 calories and 20 grams of fat, and beware of the sodium filled soy-sauce and the anything but healthy spicy mayo. So what’s a person to do if they want to enjoy sushi, but still eat healthy?
Here are a few tips that can help make ordering sushi a little easier on the waistline:
Avoid Tempura Options: Anything with the word “tempura” next to it, means that it has been fried. Most of the tempura options are obvious such as “Shrimp Tempura Roll”, but other rolls may be fried, but not have the word tempura in the desciprtion, such as a “Spider Roll” which usually contains greasy fried crab. Always make sure to ask, if you are not sure whether a roll is fried or not. Once those vegetables or seafood is dipped into fattening batter and then deep fried, they are just about as healthy as a french fry!
Opt For Brown Rice: Always opt for brown rice, whenever it is available. Brown rice contains many of the essential nutrients that are lost while processing white rice. Brown rice contains iron, vitamins B1 and B3, magnuesium and fiber. Brown rice also has a lower glycemic index, which means it stabilizes blood sugar levels, without causing rapid spikes. If brown rice is not available, ask your server to have the chef use only half the amount of white rice that they would normally use. In the end sushi is supposed to be about the interior of the roll, not the exterior rice that holds it together.
Beware of the Spice: When referring to sushi, the word “spicy”, typically means that the roll contains high fat, and high calorie spicy mayo. Depending on what you order, sushi can be a healthy and delicious meal or it can be a high-calorie, high fat meal that will surely sabotage your diet.
Limit Your Soy Sauce: Make sure to keep an eye on the amount of soy sauce you are using. Today most restaurants offer low sodium soy sauce, but you still need to be careful of how much you use. Even the low sodium versions can have upwards of 1500mg of sodium in just one small serving. Yikes! A little bit goes a long way when it comes to soy sauce, and just a small dash is all you really need to get the flavor.
Do you like sushi? What tips do you have for healthier sushi consumption?