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How To Eat Healthy At A Sushi Restaurant?

How To Eat Healthy At A Sushi Restaurant?

Fish, rice, and vegetables are the basics of a Japanese food. Most of the menu items offer boiled, steamed, or raw as their main preparation technique, and that’s why the Japanese have one of the longest life expectations.
Choosing from a Japanese food menu might have a big variety of healthy food to choose from, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stay away of few items on the menu.

Healthy Japanese Food Eating Strategies:

Beware of sodium content
Most Japanese sauces are filled with salt. So, if you are watching your salt intake or having high blood pressure, go for a menu item without the sauce or ask for it on the side. Many restaurants offer reduced sodium sauce as an option for dipping.

Don’t go too deep
Sushi rolls with “crunch” or “crunchy” in their description are what makes your choice from “healthy” to “unhealthy”. Instead, choose the healthy version.

What to choose as starters?
If you need something to start with in order to calm your hunger levels, try edamame, crab salad, or miso soup. Edamame is a high fiber and protein legume that will help calm your hunger; Crab salad is full of minerals; and miso soup is a great low calorie soup. Salad and Soup can be high in sodium which is something to keep in mind, but, all will help reduce your need to consume more.

Switch saucy for spicy
As mentioned before, sauces are packed not only with sodium, but also calories and fat as well. As an alternative, try chili sauce, ginger, or wasabi for low-calorie flavors.

Sushi and Sashimi
Sashimi is thin slices of raw fish; Sushi is thin slices over small bites of white rice; and rolls are combination of two wrapped in nori. All are fine options. However, the sushi rolls may get you into trouble if you are not careful.
• Watch out for the rolls with crunchy, crispy, salad (mayo), cream cheese, or similar words in the description.
• Go with the classic rolls. They have simple ingredients.
• Order healthily. You can always order again, so don’t order a lot with your first selection.

Liquid rice
Sake is traditional Japanese liquor made from fermented rice. Alcohol content may vary slightly from 16%, 10-12%, and 4.5% respectively. Your best choice is water or Perrier rather than sake which has an alcoholic content higher than most wines.

Use Chopsticks
Using chopsticks will allow extra sauce to stay at the bottom of the dish while eating or serving onto a plate. Chopsticks will allow you to eat slowly. This will make your body respond to feeling full and hopefully reduce the amount of food intake.

Do it lightly
If your dish is sautéed, ask for it ‘with less oil’ or ‘done lightly’. This is an easy change and can save a couple of extra calories!

Healthy sushi Comparisons:
Take a look at some of the switches you can make with a sushi menu items.

Instead of…

Choose…

Crunchy Shrimp Roll

1 roll (8 pieces) = 580 calories

Shrimp & Avocado Roll

1 roll (8 pieces) = 290 calories

Philadelphia Roll

1 roll (8 pieces) = 370 calories

Spicy Salmon Roll

1 roll (8 pieces) = 250 calories

Spider roll

1 roll (6 pieces)= 400 calories

California Roll

1 roll (6 pieces)= 180 calories

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

 

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Christelle Bedrossian