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Sushi Savvy

Oftentimes we associate sushi with healthy. It’s fish, veggies and rice—how bad could that be? It’s all about what you order and how much you eat. Make sushi night satisfying and healthy by following some basic rules.

Start the meal off right with some “great” greens. Split an order of protein-packed edamame. There’s 90 calories per half cup (in their pods). Seaweed salad is another outstanding choice with a mere 70 calories per half cup.

Go easy on the number of rolls you eat, even the healthier options can have over 350 calories. Since they are made from as much as 1 cup of rice for 6 pieces, that’s over 200 calories by itself! When available brown rice is a higher fiber better option, but still watch your portion. Try to order more sashimi or nigiri. Sashimi is simply fish, no rice and nigiri is “hand-formed” sushi on top of a small cube of rice.

Best Choices
California and veggie rolls are among the lower calorie options with about 350 calories each. Other top pick rolls are salmon-cucumber (skip the mayo), mackerel rolls and shrimp rolls. Try some nigiri options like shrimp, yellowtail, tuna and salmon, ranging from about 45-70 calories per piece. Sashimi is the low-carb option with the fewest calories at about 40 per piece of fish.

Worst Choices
Terms to watch out for:

  • Tempura= deep fried
  • Spicy= spicy sauces that are mostly made of high fat mayonnaise
  • Cream Cheese= high in artery-clogging saturated fat

Among the higher fat and calorie rolls are: shrimp tempura, dragon, spicy tuna and Philly rolls. These rolls range from 450 to over 500 calories for just 6 pieces- that’s over 80 calories per piece. Opt to steer clear of any “new-wave” mega rolls—what you’re really getting is mega amounts of cream cheese, tempura, spicy mayo and sugary brown sauce.

Beware of sodium in soy sauce. Just 1 tablespoon tops out at 1,000 mg and the “lite” version isn’t much better with 500 mg per tablespoon. Less is best!

Bottom line: sushi can be a healthy choice if you’re savvy about what you order.

What are some of your favorite healthy sushi choices?

  1. doye bayird jr
    August 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Have never ate the edmine my take tip is the share or split a meal now i know why my blood suger surged after a trip to the shui dive bar

    • Elana Zimelman
      August 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I think you will really enjoy edamame- it’s always fun to try new foods! Thanks for sharing your tip of splitting the meal- that is always a very good idea when eating out.

  2. Debra Hudson
    August 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I’ve said for years that drive thru restaurants should offer a choice of fries or steamed edamame! I’d always make that my quick, go to snack! Also, if you haven’t tried seewead salad, you really should- it’s amazingly refreshing! My tip when eating nigiri is to scrape off some of the rice. This also works with many rolls, too.

  3. Elana Zimelman
    August 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Thanks for your comment Debra! Like you, one of my favorite appetizers is seaweed salad, in fact I had some last night! Thanks for the sushi savvy tips!

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