My absolute favorite food of all time, that I never get tired of eating is sushi. I have an addiction. I wish I could eat it for every meal. (well, maybe not breakfast). However, in the world of sushi, there is a very distinct line between the healthy sushi, and the less than favorable sushi. So here is a list of my sushi “do’s” and “don’ts”. As a side note, it is perfectly ok to indulge with an over-the-top roll from time to time, but if you eat sushi as often as I like to, there are some simple tips that help you get the most nutritious meal as possible.
Do: opt for sashimi. Sashimi is simply thin slices of just the fish. No rice. This is a great way to get protein, some Omega-3’s, and keep your meal low carb and low glycemic index, which is especially important if you have diabetes or struggle with blood sugar problems.
Do: Get brown rice on your rolls instead of white rice, if possible. The caloric difference isn’t major, but by getting brown rice, you get more fiber and other nutrients naturally present in rice that processing for white rice removes.
Do: get rolls wrapped in/ filled with veggies. The more veggies, the better. Vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals and fiber, so they fill you up. In addition, they are a low calorie filling for any sushi roll. Some rolls come wrapped in cucumber or filled with mushrooms and asparagus.
Don’t: get tempura appetizers or rolls. Anything deep fried is high in calories and fat, which can be damaging to your waist line and your heart health. These are the french fries of the sushi world, which means moderation is key. A treat, yes. All the time, no.
Don’t: order the rolls smothered in mayo or cream cheese. Again, these creamy fillings and sauces are high in calories and fat, and they don’t provide any much health benefit. If it’s that fatty, smooth texture you are after, get a roll with avocado instead, which is full of good-for-you fats.
Don’t: overdo the soy sauce. Beware of drenching and dipping all of your sushi in loads of soy sauce, simply because it is very high in sodium. The best option is to ask for the low-sodium soy sauce, or have your sushi without the soy sauce at all, which is how I prefer it. The sushi is full of flavor as it is!
I hope that next time you go enjoy some sushi, you think about some of my tips. And remember, sushi is totally part of a healthy diet, if you make some wise (and tasty) selections at the local sushi restaurant. XO, Alexandra
All photos were taken at Arigato in Santa Barbara, CA