What Is Sushi?

Sushi is a popular Japanese snack and is one of the most famous Japanese dishes across the globe. Sushi consists of cold cooked rice seasoned with vinegar and is shaped into bite-sized rolls with raw or cooked fish, egg or vegetables and wrapped in seaweed.

Nutrition Analysis -

Total calories in a single piece of rice-fish sushi are about 35 calories with 1 gm protein, 4 gm carbohydrates, 0.3 gm fat and 0.0 5 gm sodium.

A piece of vegetable-rice sushi contains 28 calories with 0.5 gm protein, 6 gm carbohydrate, negligible fat and 0.01 gm sodium.

Depending on preparations and the type of main ingredients, a single sushi may contain 28 to 60 calories. One sushi meal contains about 10 pieces so the total calories in a sushi meal can range from 280 to 600 calories.

It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Low fat fishes are used like tuna, salmon & halibut. Fruits like avocado are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Sushi provides a balance of carbohydrates and lean proteins. Vegetables, which are used as main ingredient also add fiber. Protein and fat content varies with the type of main ingredients used with rice.

Sushi and Weight Loss -

Depending upon the choice of main ingredients, method of preparation and seasonings, sushi can be a part of a healthy diet, but certain choices can hamper your weight loss efforts too. It is a low fat meal but with the wrong choices it can be a high calorie meal too.

Choose sushi preparations with raw or cooked low fat fishes as main ingredients instead of fried rolls. Fried rolls with their high oil content contain more fat than protein. The less fancy the roll, the better and healthy it is.

Soy sauce seasoning is a staple with sushi. Soy sauce contains high sodium content which is not suitable for people with hypertension and can lead to water retention too. Also rice has a tendency to soak a lot when dipped in soy sauce.

Processed white rice in sushi has a high glycemic index of 100, higher than white bread. So, it is not the right food choice for people with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. However, brown rice varieties are also available now which is a much healthier option over white rice.

One should avoid sushi rolls with addition of mayo and cream cheese as these add fat and calories.

Incorporating vegetable sushi rolls is also a great option. Sea vegetables, cauliflower, tofu and avocados are widely used. Avocados are source of good fat but it should be consumed in moderation as 1 cup sliced avocado contains 234 calories and 21 gm fat and increasing the quantity can add up to total calories in a meal.

People generally eat sushi meals as appetizers followed by a main course which can take total calorie intake to as high as 2000 calories. Taking care of portion size is the key rule of a healthy lifestyle. 5 to 6 pieces of sushi is a healthy portion size for a meal at one time. One should avoid adding any other main course dishes to the plate and can start with a clear soup to add bulk and avoid overeating.