Sushi is a versatile food enjoyed by billions around the world, and it comes in a variety of forms. The contents of sushi can vary widely, and because of this, so can its health. Some forms of sushi are extremely healthy, possessing all vital macronutrients. Others are made with fried food and contain too much fat to be considered healthy. 

Some people consider sashimi, or raw fish, a type of sushi. Sashimi is incredibly healthy, containing a ton of protein and healthy fats. Depending on the type of sashimi you order, one slice can have anywhere from 30 to around 100 calories. Almost all of these calories come from protein, however, with the remainder coming from healthy fats. Almost every type of sashimi is void of carbs.

Sushi rolls have more carbs because they usually have rice in them, but they can still be healthy. The health of a sushi roll really depends on what is inside it. If you get sushi with something fried inside and covered in a creamy sauce, it will obviously be unhealthy. These types of sushi generally have at least 400 calories per roll. A typical shrimp tempura roll has over 500 calories, for example. Nearly 100 of these calories come from fat, 80 from protein and the rest from carbs. 

Vegetarian rolls that don’t have any friend ingredients are much healthier. An avocado roll, for example, has just around 140 calories. The problem is almost all the calories in veggie rolls come from fat and carbs. Since there is no meat in them, there is also little protein.

For the healthiest type of sushi roll out there, go with one with raw fish and no sauce. A tuna roll, for example, has right around 180 calories. That’s 40 more than the typical avocado roll, but all those extra calories come from protein. Actually, the average tuna roll has 24 grams of protein. The protein from fish in your sushi will keep you full and help burn fat.

If you want to increase the health of your sushi rolls even more, consider getting them with brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice is slow-digesting, meaning it doesn’t get absorbed quickly into the body. Because of this, your body continues to burn fat when you consume brown rice. White rice, on the other hand, digests rapidly. This means your body uses the rice for energy instead of its own fat. In terms of weight loss, brown rice is the far healthier option. Plus, it has more vitamins and minerals than white rice.

{June 22, 2012}