5 Things You Need to Know About Sushi

Sushi is a relative newcomer to the American restaurant scene, but once it got started, it caught on fast.

50 years ago few had heard of it, but by the 1980s it became a craze. Today you can find sushi at your local supermarket, and sushi restaurants are everywhere.

One of the reasons that sushi is so popular is that people believe that it is healthy and nutritious, but is it?

There is no question that sushi can be low in fat. But as it turns out, sushi is one of those foods that you need to know a lot about to get all of its health benefits and avoid its pitfalls.

5 Things You Should Know About Sushi

1. Sushi is slices of raw fish mixed with, laid over or wrapped in special sushi rice. Every sushi roll is mostly rice. And the rice in a typical dish equals the same carbs as eating two slices of bread.

2. In addition to being made with short grain rice that raises blood sugar levels, sushi rice contains 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar.

3. Though sushi may seem protein rich, a typical sushi meal contains far less protein than the amount we should be eating. You’re taking in tons of “bad” carbs that leave you hungry faster, with little of the protein that would keep you feeling satisfied.

4. A sushi meal is likely to raise blood pressure and leave you dehydrated as a result of the high level of sodium in the sushi rice and the soy sauce.

5. Sushi meals usually contain refined soy products such as tofu, soy oil and soy sauce. These contain natural plant estrogens that can cause hormonal imbalances.

So what’s a sushi lover to do?

Fear not, there are ways to eat sushi in a low-fat, nutritious way. You just need to know what to order and what to stay away from.

Skip the soup if it's Miso soup. Miso is soy so it wreaks havoc on hormonal balance.

  • Opt for salmon and tuna. Both have are high in protein and low in fat. They are also high in omega 3-s and vitamin D.
  • Load up on the wasabi. Wasabi is made from a radish, and it is high in antioxidants. Not only does it give you a burst of flavor, but it also fights free radicals and inflammation.
  • Avoid anything that is crunchy unless it’s a fresh veggie like cucumber or asparagus. The rolls that have crunch are usually fried in oils you want to avoid.
  • If your sushi restaurant offers sea vegetables, grab them. They are full of nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin K and folate.
  • Skip the rice and order the sashimi. Sashimi has all the goodness of the protein without the carbs and sugar of the sushi rice.
  • Ask for brown rice instead of white rice. It has lots more fiber and is loaded with magnesium, manganese and selenium. Or try something different. Ask if you can have soba noodles instead. They're made from whole grain buckwheat. They’re high in fiber and protein.
  • Don’t forget the ginger. It’s more than just a pretty garnish – it boosts the immune system and is a great source of potassium.

Yours in Health,


P.S. Please share this with your sushi loving friends and I love to hear from you in the comments below.