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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Do You Sushi?


I have to admit, I’m not a sushi fan (taste-wise). I’ve eaten it with enthusiastic sushi lovers, and I’ve even made it from scratch (which I actually really enjoy doing), but I’ve never fallen in love with it. But many of my friends, family members, and clients absolutely adore sushi.

Most people rate sushi as healthy, and it can be, but there are a few things to keep in mind. “Traditional” sushi rolls made with steamed rice, fish, and vegetables provide about 100-200 calories per roll, but some sushi rolls can provide 500 or more calories (yup, for one roll!). That’s more than a quarter pound burger, and calorie-wise, about what most of us need per meal. A lot of the “new wave” sushis are being made with high fat, high calorie ingredients, including, creamy sauces, fatty meats, fried items, and believe it or not, even cheeses. Eel is also high in fat and calories. One tempura roll packs 531 calories and a dragon roll (made with BBQ eel and shrimp tempura) provides 507.

So at the market or out to dinner, I’d recommend sticking with more traditional “old wave” sushi, along with broth-based soups (like miso), edamame (soybeans in the pod – fun to eat!), and plum wine and/or green tea. For more sushi calorie and nutrition information, check out this link.

And here are today’s fun facts:
-Maki rolls refer to sushi served inside nori, the dried seaweed used as a wrapper
-Nigiri is made with toppings laid onto hand-formed clumps of rice
-Roe is a mass of fish eggs
-You can buy sushi-making tools including a makisu (the bamboo mat used to roll sushi) at any Asian market and even some mainstream grocery stores
-Sushi can be made with brown or wild rice (both are whole grains)
-Wasabi paste (from the ground root of the wasabi plant) is thought to have anti-bacterial properties that reduce the risk of food poisoning (confession: the first time I had wasabi I had to politely spit it out)
-Imitation wasabi is often made from horseradish, mustard powder and green dye
-Pregnant women, small children, and people who aren’t in good health should avoid sushi made with raw fish

Are you a sushi lover? Please share your thoughts! Sayonara, and have a wonderful day!

Photo courtesy of National Cancer Institute
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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