Worst Sushi for Your Health

Worst Sushi for Your Health

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equiall

Know Your Sushi

This Japanese standard, in its broadest definition, is vinegared rice that comes in different forms with many variations.

This Japanese standard, in its broadest definition, is vinegared rice that comes in different forms with many variations. Often it contains raw fish. The potential is there for some real healthy eating — if you play it right.

Rice Is Just the Start

The rice is the main player here.

The rice is the main player here. Nutritionally speaking, brown is better than white (higher in fiber). But sushi, really, is about the other ingredients. Sashimi usually refers to sliced, raw fish — eel, octopus, tuna, salmon, swordfish — you name it. If the fish is by itself, it’s technically sashimi. But place it with vinegared rice and you have sushi.

Good: Salmon

One of the foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a great choice on top of a bit of hand-pressed rice.

One of the foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a great choice on top of a bit of hand-pressed rice (nigiri sushi), in a roll (maki sushi), or many other ways. You have to watch the sauces and stuff, though. They can hike the fat and calories.

Good: Tuna

Another good source of omega-3s, tuna is a popular choice for sushi, inside a roll or served on top.

Another good source of omega-3s, tuna is a popular choice for sushi, inside a roll or served on top. You have to be careful with tuna — bigeye, for example, can be high in mercury — but a serving a week is fine even for pregnant women and young children. Spicy tuna rolls? Be careful. Remember, add-ons like sauces can add fat and calories.

Good: Avocado

Many popular sushi rolls incorporate avocado, often with fish and vegetables but sometimes alone with the rice.

Many popular sushi rolls incorporate avocado, often with fish and vegetables but sometimes alone with the rice (and nori, sushi’s seaweed wrapper). Avocado is high in heart-healthy fats and fiber, and it’s packed with other nutrients. That can help your kidneys, your heart, and your nerves work better.

Good: Vegetarian/Veggie Roll

Sushi does not have to include fish.

Sushi doesn’t have to include fish. For the seafood-shy or vegetarians, veggie rolls (with things like avocado, cucumber, carrot, mushroom, onion, asparagus, and tofu) are healthy and readily available in supermarkets and sushi restaurants. Pickled ginger, by the way, is a common condiment served with sushi. It’s meant to cleanse the palate between bites.

Good: California Roll

A classic in sushi, the California roll includes rice, nori, avocado, cucumber, and krab.

A classic in sushi, the California roll includes rice, nori, avocado, cucumber, and “crab” (usually surimi, or imitation crab, made of pollock, egg whites, sugar, and other stuff). It’s sometimes served as uramaki (with the rice on the outside and the nori and ingredients on the inside). A California roll is generally OK if you keep away from high-calorie, fatty, mayonnaise-like dips and sauces.

Good: Rainbow Roll

This is the Mount Everest of sushi, a combination that can include crab

This is the Mount Everest of sushi, a combination that can include crab (usually imitation), salmon, shrimp, at least one kind of tuna and sometimes other fish. It’s often a California roll topped with all the fish. It’s protein heavy, and with all that fish and the avocado, it’s fatty, but with healthy fats. Still, eat them in moderation.

Not Good: Philadelphia Roll

The Philly roll is one of those sushi inventions that may fool you into thinking it is healthy.

The Philly roll is one of those sushi inventions that may fool you into thinking it’s healthy. It’s not. A main ingredient is cream cheese, which is high in saturated fats and cholesterol and low in nutrients. Even with the healthy bits in many Philly rolls, like salmon or avocado, unless it’s made with low-fat cream cheese, it’s probably best to skip it.

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