Love sushi? Before you pick up those chopsticks, check out these tips for a healthier experience.
| By Lisa McComsey |
At first glance, sushi seems like the perfect seagan meal. With veggie-packed rolls, seafood maki (rolls), and plenty of dairy-free options to choose from, what’s not to love?
Well, a few things. While it’s easy to make nutritious choices, it’s just as easy to choose poorly. Here are some tips for ordering well.
Request brown rice – White rice is high in carbs and is sometimes mixed with sugar when making sushi rolls. If it’s available, ask for brown, which as a heart-healthier option.
Ask for low-sodium soy sauce – If you’re like me, you bathe your sushi in soy sauce, which is a salty nightmare: one tablespoon contains 1,000 milligrams of sodium, nearly half the RDA. Use the low-sodium version and go lightly.
Watch out for rolls and dishes that contain:
- Tempura ingredients – battered and deep-fried vegetables and fish add unwanted fat and calories
- Fake foods – imitation crab (sometimes spelled “krab”) comes from a type of fish called surimi to which manufacturers add fillers, flavoring, and color. While low in calories and fat, imitation crab is high in sodium and, well, is simply too processed for our taste.
- Teriyaki sauces – these are sodium bombs, also high in sugar. Request teriyaki sauce on the side and use sparingly.
- Mayonnaise and cream cheese – first of all, yuck! Mayonnaise belongs on sandwiches and cream cheese on bagels. Second, they have no place in the seagan universe. Both are high in fat, cholesterol, and calories, so avoid dishes like the mayo-filled spicy tuna roll.
Make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach – Over-ordering is a common problem—especially for me. There are so many things to try! But a “love boat” filled with even the healthiest sushi can be a dietary disaster if you consume thousands more calories than you normally eat. Our advice?
- Stick with two rolls max and make one a veggie roll (spinach, avocado, shitake mushroom, etc.).
- Not satiated? Supplement your meal with healthy appetizers or sides, such as miso or clear soup; a green salad with ginger dressing; edamame; or steamed vegetable gyozas.
- Give your rolls some extra punch with practically calorie-free scallions and/or cucumbers.
Now grab your chopsticks and enjoy! Let us know your favorite choices at the sushi bar.
Photos by TK. © 2020