Nutrition and Labeling - Is sushi healthy?




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angelmom313
03-21-2009, 09:32 PM
Ok, my earlier post said I cannot afford to eat out (which is true) but now and again I do like to eat sushi...I just recently discovered that I love it. Anyway, if I get to eat out where I want now and again, I would probably pick a sushi place or maybe seafood.

MY QUESTION: How healthy is sushi?


Hippolyta
03-21-2009, 09:49 PM
I think "sushi" isn't specific enough--some kinds of sushi are VERY healthy and some probably less so, depending on how their ingredients mesh with your diet plan.

For example, you can have a roll with shrimp tempura, fatty eel, sweet sauce, white rice, and lots of high-sodium soy sauce, which doesn't seem too good for you.

Or, you can pick something healthier, like a brown rice roll with tuna and yellowtail and cucumber, etc. etc. I like to get a big plate of sashimi and a salad.

I think sushi has the potential to be a super healthy, nutrition-packed meal--or a rather bad one. Depends on what you order, I guess.

dkneec19
03-21-2009, 09:51 PM
Ahhhh! the Sushi question. The answer : It depends. Anything with "Dynamite" or "Blazing" in the name means mayo which means calories. I always go for California Rolls or Veggie rolls - they're pretty safe. The plain ol raw fish fillets are good too although I never get up the courage to try it :) Oh, and of course, soy sauce has uber sodium.

Yum, I want sushi now!!


nelie
03-21-2009, 10:34 PM
You can easily make your own sushi. I don't eat meat so I make veggie sushi rolls. Nori wrappers are pretty inexpensive in the store. You can buy some sticky rice like calrose. Add in various veggies. Also buy some wasabi, I don't use soy sauce but I love wasabi on my rolls.

SweetScrumptious
03-31-2009, 07:47 PM
Load up on edamame beans before eating sushi! Edamame beans pack an extra punch of protein and plus it's very healthy (it's steamed, although salt is added so just ask for no salt and put your own salt on so it's not too much). This way, if you have an appetizer first, you won't end up eating 2 or 3 rolls.

I agree with everyone else, make your own sushi if you can but if not, stick to the sashimi rolls and just plain rolls (like tuna or cucumber). Ask for brown rice if you can.

kaplods
03-31-2009, 07:57 PM
I love sushi, but I usually order wakame (a seaweed salad) and octopus, squid, or mixed seafood salad before or with my sushi, because they've got a better carb to calorie ratio (no rice).

For me though, I can easily overdo sushi, if I'm not careful. Especially since my all-time favorite is smoked eel. The eel is a slightly oilier fish, but that's not the problem it's the soy/sugar barbecue sauce that it's basted with that can be a problem.

Thighs Be Gone
03-31-2009, 08:25 PM
I usually do california rolls..a place near me is now making with brown rice..mmmm..sushi!

Apple Cheeks
04-01-2009, 06:33 PM
I LOVE sushi! :hun:

Like the others have said, it depends on what you order.

Many rolls are filled with fatty stuff, like tempura and sauces, that add loads of calories and gunk. (But they're so tasty!) If you're looking to stick to the healthiest options, then plain sushi with brown rice is a good way to go.

And loading up on edamame is a sensible suggestion, but I don't personally like to do that since it makes me really gassy! :o (I know, TMI! LOL!)

tdiprincess
04-03-2009, 12:42 PM
I've recently just started munching on edamame as a snack. LOVE IT!
I'm not huge into sushi. My problem is the texture.. I don't like mushy, rubbery, moist combinations in my mouth. I love the taste of smoked salmon, but I can only eat a little bit at a time or else I start to gag!
I have been thinking about trying some sushi though. I think next time we go to eat at a wegman's I will try some..
So how exactly do you make a sushi roll??
I think I'll have to try some already made sushi to see if I like it before I get into making it! :)

ohmanda
04-26-2009, 06:34 PM
http://www.makemysushi.com/how_to_make_sushi.html

SereNADExSkies
09-16-2009, 04:51 AM
it can be if you can control your rice intake
If it wasn't for the rice and tempura, Sushi would be extremely healthy
Just avoid eating anything oily

blueberry3
10-06-2009, 11:03 PM
I think fairly healthy - rice and fish, come on...

CocoKat
10-07-2009, 03:39 PM
The protein part is definitely healthy and offers Omega-3 fatty acids which is essential to combating toxic fat and inflamation in the body.
I usually order a small salad and a cup of soup before the sushi feast begins. :-)

kaplods
10-07-2009, 04:22 PM
Asking whether sushi is healthy, is a bit like asking whether sandwiches are healthy. They can be, but it really depends on the filling - and that's just as true with sushi.

I can't remember the title of the book (it's still packed up from the move), but I bought a little pocket guide to sushi (in fact, I think pocket guide is part of the title). There are also good online guides to sushi (I printed one, but that's also in the packing boxes) I just googled "sushi guide."

That helped alot because knowing the sushi lingo helped me select better choices. There are even calorie estimations for the different types of sushi (I just googled "sushi calories"), and I printed those too.

I usually take the folder of printouts and the pocket guide with me to the restaurant. It probably looks like I'm studying for an exam, not reading a menu - but the wait staff are usually relieved that they're not going to have to spend twenty minutes translating the menu for me. I love restaurants that have photo menus, but they're not that common, so a pocket reference or at least a cheat-sheet really comes in handy.

Wannabeskinny
10-11-2009, 01:29 PM
Most aspects of sushi are very healthy:

- raw fish sushi
- sashimi
- seaweed

But some are unhealthy:

tempura
eel
sauces
spicy mayo

I don't worry about it too much. I have a spicy salmon roll, 3-4 pieces of raw fish sushi, and a couple of pieces of shumai and I'm good. Thank goodness I'm not attracted to those fancy rolls with the goopy sauces and all the fried stuff.

kaplods
10-11-2009, 02:40 PM
I do love the freshwater eel (Unagi) though (it's usually grilled, with a teriyaki type glaze), I just try to get it in nigiri (usually served in pairs, just little "fingers" of rice with the fish topping) because the serving is small.

I did order it once in a temaki, a handrolled sushi, in which the nori (seaweed wrapper) is rolled into an ice cream cone shape and the fillings added. Oh, my that was like the best fish sandwhich I had ever had. The portion of grilled eel and rice was pretty large, though.

AmberE
10-12-2009, 06:36 PM
There is nothing unhealthy about sushi it is just rice with vinegar on it.

Sushi rolls (even with tempura) are healthy, some can be higher in calories than others of course but none of them are unhealthy.

Just watch how much you eat :)

kaplods
10-12-2009, 09:27 PM
I would disagree that sushi is always healthy, in the sense that "healthy" can only be considered in the context of a person's entire diet and lifestyle. There are some foods that have so little nutritional value that they can be more truthfully than not be labeled "unhealthy," but those are relatively rare. Even a McDonald's Big Mac wouldn't necessarily be "unhealthy" if a person were underweight/starving. If a person is starving - calories are the "first order of business," healthwise. In the US, that's rarely a problem.

Even the "healthiest" food is unhealthy if it is eaten to the exclusion of other foods. To a person who is very overweight, high calorie foods are unhealthy, even if those foods contain a lot of nutrients (so in that sense, sushi can be "unhealthy," deep-frying and adding large amounts of mayo - do make sushi unhealthy (for me, and for others needing to watch their weight or fat intake).

I spent several years as a super morbidly obese person eating only "healthy foods." I can truthfully say that a "whole foods diet," is not a healthy diet for a 400 lb woman, if that diet allows her to maintain her weight.

Rice is a healthy food, the "all-rice" diet isn't healthy, and to a person trying to follow it, rice would become unhealthy.

I think most of us interpreted the question to be "is sushi a healthy choice for weight loss?" (which is a better question than "is sushi healthy?")

For weight loss and maintenance, the calorie count in sushi DOES have to be considered (unless a person is of average or underweight - well, I guess even then the calories matter, perhaps in a different direction).

Also, since sushi only has to contain the vinegared rice in order to be legitimately called sushi - all other fillings are optional and limitless (and can be healthy or not). Sushi can contain ingredients that (for the average American) would be quite unhealthy. I've seen or eaten fried chicken, egg salad or barbecued pork shushi - even "dessert sushi" containing candy bars (I haven't eaten dessert sushi, but have seen it on the food or travel channel).

So sushi usually isn't "unhealthy," but it cetainly CAN be.

Wannabeskinny
10-13-2009, 11:03 AM
There is nothing unhealthy about sushi it is just rice with vinegar on it.

:)


Just want to point out that in most sushi rice recipes I've seen the recipes call for sugar as well.

saintxio
10-13-2009, 04:39 PM
I always thought of sushi as a treat I'd get when I get to go out with my friends (A once a month or less endeavor) and usually at one sit in I could probably only eat 6-10 pieces and some miso soup. Of course the specialty rolls that are fried and cream cheesed are a bit on the high caloric side and probably defeats the sushi experience. But I don't think you can do much damage with them unless you eat them very frequently...

VernDern
10-13-2009, 04:43 PM
Mmmm sushi is my favorite! Thanks for the tips!

SueSays
10-13-2009, 07:12 PM
I like to make my own version of a dynamite roll at home with brown rice. I steam the rice, then drizzle it with rice vinegar and a little salt. Spread the rice on nori, add a thin layer of chili mayo (I make it myself with half-fat mayo and chili sauce) then top with grilled shrimp (no tempura or frying), julienned cucumber, and green onions. Roll up, chill, then slice and serve with soy sauce and wasabi. Sooooo good!

Making it at home means I can make it a lot healthier - brown rice instead of white (I actually can't stand white rice anymore, the brown has a much nicer taste!), no sugar in the vinegar, grilled not fried shrimp, and low-fat mayo. The rolls taste just really nice, and I prefer them now to traditional dynamite rolls - they're lighter-tasting, but still with loads of flavor and a good kick from the chili.

You can make so many other varieties this way - crab and cucumber is also really good, with a small amount of avocado right in the centre.

AmberE
10-15-2009, 09:46 PM
I would disagree that sushi is always healthy, in the sense that "healthy" can only be considered in the context of a person's entire diet and lifestyle. There are some foods that have so little nutritional value that they can be more truthfully than not be labeled "unhealthy," but those are relatively rare. Even a McDonald's Big Mac wouldn't necessarily be "unhealthy" if a person were underweight/starving. If a person is starving - calories are the "first order of business," healthwise. In the US, that's rarely a problem.

Even the "healthiest" food is unhealthy if it is eaten to the exclusion of other foods. To a person who is very overweight, high calorie foods are unhealthy, even if those foods contain a lot of nutrients (so in that sense, sushi can be "unhealthy," deep-frying and adding large amounts of mayo - do make sushi unhealthy (for me, and for others needing to watch their weight or fat intake).

I spent several years as a super morbidly obese person eating only "healthy foods." I can truthfully say that a "whole foods diet," is not a healthy diet for a 400 lb woman, if that diet allows her to maintain her weight.

Rice is a healthy food, the "all-rice" diet isn't healthy, and to a person trying to follow it, rice would become unhealthy.

I think most of us interpreted the question to be "is sushi a healthy choice for weight loss?" (which is a better question than "is sushi healthy?")

For weight loss and maintenance, the calorie count in sushi DOES have to be considered (unless a person is of average or underweight - well, I guess even then the calories matter, perhaps in a different direction).

Also, since sushi only has to contain the vinegared rice in order to be legitimately called sushi - all other fillings are optional and limitless (and can be healthy or not). Sushi can contain ingredients that (for the average American) would be quite unhealthy. I've seen or eaten fried chicken, egg salad or barbecued pork shushi - even "dessert sushi" containing candy bars (I haven't eaten dessert sushi, but have seen it on the food or travel channel).

So sushi usually isn't "unhealthy," but it cetainly CAN be.


Well I agree with that and completely get where you are coming from but I didn't say to eat only sushi, I said watch how much you have.

You should never have a diet exclusively of anything. I think it is all about balance. Good points though.

AmberE
10-15-2009, 09:48 PM
Just want to point out that in most sushi rice recipes I've seen the recipes call for sugar as well.

Sorry yeah your right, forgot to add that. ;)

kaplods
10-15-2009, 10:53 PM
Well I agree with that and completely get where you are coming from but I didn't say to eat only sushi, I said watch how much you have.

You should never have a diet exclusively of anything. I think it is all about balance. Good points though.

I didn't mean that you did - I was only disagreeing with the statement that "there's nothing unhealthy about sushi," and my point was that that isn't necessarily so, and gave some examples of how sushi (or any food at all) COULD be unhealthy. And that for a person needing to lose weight, calorie content is one of the factors that determines whether a food is unhealthy.

In general, I think the question "is _________ healthy" really is far too generic to be able to provide a very meaningful answer. It's a bit like asking "is ______ good?" The answer very much depends on an implicit second question, which is "Good for what?"

Because there are a lot of potential sushi ingredients that are incompatible with a variety of dietary needs (that is, incompatible with a "healthy" diet), you have to ask "healthy in what way," before saying yes or no. Sushi can be "unhealthy" in a variety of ways - by eating it in excess, by eating sushi that includes ingredients that are very high in sodium, fat, calories...

The point I really was trying to make, is that it is important not to think of foods as generically "healthy" or "unhealthy," without understanding the bigger context. The "good for what?" part of the question.

redballoon
10-17-2009, 09:52 PM
Living in Japan, I thought I'd be qualified to answer the sushi question, but now I see how wrong I am. Sushi in the States is no longer sushi, is it? Tempura? Blazing? Dynamite? Mayonnaise? Cream cheese?!? Fried?!?!! What the heck?!?! :rofl: They really should change the name. I guess it's how Americans must feel when they see mayo, corn, squid and such on the pizza here. Gotta love it. :yes:

mort20
12-09-2009, 11:37 PM
My favorite sushi is California maki. I think its healthy and easy to make I just need nori wappers, crabstick, mango, rice. Viola! A healthy snack.

sacha
12-10-2009, 12:17 PM
Is sushi healthy? It is about as healthy as Greek or Indian food - you have some really great options (as opposed to say, a BBQ house), but don't be fooled, there is a lot of crap food served in North American sushi restaurants.

First, good quality sashimi (raw fish, no rice) is great, no doubt about that!

Remember that a regular sushi roll has about one cup of white rice in it (I know, seems crazy!), so if you have 3 rolls, that's a lot of white rice!

redballoon is correct with her menu of mayo, cream cheese, fried everything not being REAL sushi.

It's like Chinese food - a Chinese person doesn't touch Honey Garlic Pork or stuff like that. If you go to a real Chinese restaurant, you will see they all share steamed fish, white rice, steamed or sauteed veggies, with the treat usually being a 1/4 or 1/2 duck. I worked in a Chinese restaurant in high school and we never ate what we served, we only ate what the cooks made.

So chow down, but make good choices! You really can't go wrong with sashimi and a small bowl of rice, plus seaweed or even a sunomono.

Ally Cat
12-12-2009, 01:00 AM
Sushi is my favorite lunch! I don't eat it very often but when I do i make it as healthy as possible.

First, I order a side of edamame for some awesome protein and fiber. Then, I usually just order a Rainbow roll which is california roll with raw fish on top. The avocado is a healthy fat compared to the 'spicy' sushi rolls that are just seasoned mayo and for me i feel like it's a healthy alternative to the fried rice at hibachi places as well.

LiN
12-15-2009, 03:28 PM
All this talk about sushi is making me CRAVE it!

IMO, sushi is healthy in moderation. Like some of you above had mention, brown rice sushi rolls are better. Avoid tempura, eel, mayo, etc...

I only go for tuna or salmon sashimi about 3-6oz depending on what other protein intake I've had throughout the day. And I'll usually enjoy a salad, no dressing. YUM!! :hun:

stellarosa27
12-21-2009, 01:03 PM
I can't eat fish, but I usually stick to an avocado roll, cucumber roll and an asparagus roll with brown rice. Sooo good :)

Passionista
12-21-2009, 01:20 PM
I don't view raw fish or other sea creatures as "healthy" due, in part, to the contamination, parasites and such.

Mercury, PCBs, toxic metals such as cadmium, lead, chromium and arsenic and radioactive substances like strontium are commonly found in fish used for sushi.

Sushi rolls and accompaniments are often high in fat, simple carbs and sodium too.

As others have said, it's possible to make your own and control what goes into ti, or order very carefully and get what you want when out to make sushi a better choice.

rakel
01-01-2010, 12:31 PM
Well, I've gone out for sushi about 3 times ever in my life... not very often because my hubby doesn't like it and it can tend to be a bit pricy. I have to say though, that hands down, my favorite is a tempura eel roll with cream cheese and eel sauce. Kind of a bummer because it's just about the worst one you can get. I am interested in making my own sushi though -- there's a restaurant near where I live that has a sushi making class for $30, and I'm very interested in taking it.

When I do go for sushi though, I usually go with a group of friends, and we all get several rolls to split, and I would say they vary from being healthy to like the eel tempura roll, not so healthy. The last time we went we ordered 2 rolls per person, and could NOT finish all of it! If I went with another person I think we would order 2-3 rolls and it would be just about perfect.

I definitely think that everything in moderation and using a little common sense would be the best way to make sure anything you're eating works for your diet. I don't eat sushi on a regular basis, but I don't think I will ban some of my favorite rolls forever, I will just have to plan for them, just like I might plan for some chocolate or whatever. They key is that eating something like that once in awhile is not what got me to my highest weight at 300+lbs. It was consistently eating more calories every day than my body burned. But who knows, maybe as I get further down my journey the eel tempura roll will no longer appeal to me. I'm open to it!

Mikan
01-02-2010, 01:16 PM
Look, Sushi comes from the country with one of the longest life spans in the world. Most of the people are very slim, too. If you like eating it I wouldn't stop. If you count calories I would just keep the sushi that contains rice to a minimum. You can look at this next time you eat sushi to make sure it fits into your diet plan.

http://www.eiyoukeisan.com/JapaneseFoodCalorie/zryouri/sushi.html

Renwomin
03-18-2010, 12:09 PM
The raw fish sushi has a nice dose of Omega 3 fatty acids and be low in fat which is very healthy. As everyone said we just need to watch out of "Western" sushi with fried anything, cream cheese, or creamy sauces. I really just wish I could find a place around where I live that serves sushi with brown rice. That would be lovely!

With raw fish there is a risk of mercury poisoning or parasite infection. Though I prefer fresh fish sushi some parasites can be killed in freezing so the use of once frozen fish might not be such a bad thing in some ways! (I will say that I ate fresh fish sushi once a week at least for about five years and never got sick from it.)

Thanks to those who posted the links on how to make sushi. I love sushi and I really miss the quality of sushi on the west coast. (I'm stuck in the Midwest right now. The sushi in understandably sub-par.) I'm a bit intimidated but I hope to give it try!

ValRock
04-07-2010, 07:40 AM
I live in Japan... if the people here are any indication sushi is incredibly healthy ;). I have to be careful not to eat 40 plates of Nigiri and I'm good to go. A lot of the time I'll have one or two plates of 2 nigiri and then eat salad and sashimi. MMMM this is making me want to go out for some right now! The fish itself is wonderful you just have to watch out for all the starch and carbs in the rice and the fat that may be lurking in the toppings.

ETA:

I keep seeing people bringing up the risk of parasites... I mentioned this to a Japanese friend of mine and she laughed at me. "Food poisoning" is pretty much unheard of here and they/we eat a LOT of raw fish. None of it has been prefrozen. I'm not sure if it's just that Japan is so much more careful about food handling or if the risk isn't as big as it appears. It was an interesting conversation... but parasites don't seem to be a concern here at all.

MikoMarcia
04-08-2010, 09:12 PM
I have never been sick off sushi here in Colorado, but I can tell when it's not fresh. Holy God I love sushi. If I could eat it every day I would. It's weird because I can't stand cooked fish.

betsysunqueen
04-10-2010, 09:35 PM
"Food poisoning" is pretty much unheard of here and they/we eat a LOT of raw fish.

While food poisoning may be unheard of in Japan, mercury poisoning is certainly not.

portoprincesa
04-10-2010, 09:43 PM
I really liked sushi until I saw watched a documentary on parasites. Freaked me out that it can happen in North America. Ruined my sushi love.

ValRock
04-10-2010, 09:45 PM
While food poisoning may be unheard of in Japan, mercury poisoning is certainly not.

We talked about that too... and she hasn't heard of anyone actually getting mercury poisoning... just anecdotal stuff. Her father is a doctor so I dunno... Like I said, interesting conversation :).