Sushi is a classic dish and a mainstay of the Japanese diet. After all, traditional sushi has this halo of being a healthy and nutritious choice. Moreover, sushi is available in different forms. As far as entrees go, they can be a weight-loss-friendly option with a sweet and savoury profile.
There is a ton of nutrition packed into those rolls. On the one hand, there is a combination of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) from fish, rice, seaweed, and veggies. On the other hand, you can eat sushi without blowing your diet. Because most types of seafood are relatively low in calories, most sushi is also. So on a night out with friends, sushi rolls can be one of the healthiest and most diet-friendly options than you think. When you are looking to lose weight, the key is knowing how to order sushi. Interestingly, once you know what to savour and skip in your sushi order, sushi can be a very, very smart choice regarding weight loss.
How is Sushi Made?
Sushi consists of a ball or roll of vinegar-flavoured rice and a mix of seasonings, vegetables, fish (raw or cooked) and seaweed. Sushi is one of your safest bets regarding low-calorie takeout and restaurant ordering. It is excellent for a weight loss diet, as long as the sushi does not contain mayo, glazes, sauces, or breading. If your sushi rolls come slathered in thick batter, eel sauce and spicy mayo, they are the reason you can go off your healthy diet. Opting for sushi with too much oil is not in your best interest.
Generally, sushi comes in different forms, including:
- Nigri: Rice with Raw fish
- Maki: Rolls consisting of rice, seaweed and different fillings (usually a vegetable or seafood)
- Temaki: Hand roll where seaweed (called nori) wraps rice, fish and vegetables
- Sashimi: Thinly sliced raw fish served with soy sauce
- Vegetarian and Vegan Sushi: Sushi without fish; blend healthy vegetables and rice.
While fish makes sushi a low-calorie meal packed with lean protein, vegetarian sushi is not any less nutritious. For example, a common ingredient in vegetarian sushi rolls is avocado. In such a roll, calories come from the avocado’s healthy monounsaturated fats. Due to its fibre content, the avocado makes this sushi a great addition to the diet of people who want to lose weight. Additionally, many restaurants are replacing white rice in sushi with brown rice to make it healthier. Whether or not you are a sushi lover, you’ll find it interesting to learn why it’s good for weight loss.
Does Sushi Help You Lose Weight?
Sushi is a broad term since it encompasses lots of different ingredient options. However, some types of sushi, particularly the more basic options, can be part of a healthy weight-loss diet. So whether you’re looking to jazz up your diet or looking for a way to enjoy fresh fish without cooking it, here is how eating sushi can help with weight loss.
Source of Lean Protein
The staple ingredient of most sushi is fish. There’s no doubt that fish is good for you. Also, the fish in sushi provides protein, while the rice contains resistant starch. A study shows that combining protein with resistant starch, as with sushi, increases the fat you burn and contributes to feelings of fullness. Plus, you may better eat fresh fish rather than cooked ones for weight loss. For example, when eaten raw, tuna is a great lean protein source with no fat. On the other hand, cooking fish can make it more calorie-dense, typically in the form of fatty oil or breading. Another reason is that cooked fish is often more processed than fresh fish.
Low in Calories, if You Make Smart Choice
With the right ingredients, sushi can be a low-calorie option. The maki rolls with vegetables or fish that don’t include additional sauces or mayo, like tuna or cucumber rolls, have the fewest calories (less than 200 calories for six pieces). Vegetarian sushi rolls made with rice and light ingredients like cucumber, carrot, and asparagus are healthy and equally low-calorie options. The ultimate low-calorie secret is to order a naruto roll (any manga or anime fans here?) which is fish and veggies rolled in thinly sliced cucumber with no rice.
What Sushi is Good for Weight Loss?
To reach where you want to be, you need to find out which sushi rolls you should avoid and which sushi rolls you should order for weight loss. But, before that, let’s not forget that weight loss is about attaining a balance between diet and physical activity in your daily routine. Losing weight should not be an uphill task.
Are you ordering the right way? If not, then sushi can turn into a calorie bomb fast. However, you can as well save calories and still enjoy the healthy benefits of sushi with the following options.
Tuna roll, the simplest sushi, can be an ideal snack or light meal. It is a classic roll with 3.5 g fibre, 24 g protein, and only about 184 calories for 6-8 pieces. More than half of the calories in this simple sushi come from protein, helping to quell hunger pangs.
Sure, it sounds a bit plain. But it’s hard to go wrong with nutrient-dense foods such as seaweed and avocados. So it is a vegetarian sushi roll (sushi without fish) offering 3.5 g fibre, 6 g protein, and just 136 calories.
California roll is the most popular menu item for sushi newbies. One 6-8 piece roll contains nearly 6 g fibre, 9 g protein, and 255 calories. To make this roll more worth your while, you should ask for a California roll made with real crab.
Why take a perfect piece of sushi and ruin it with gloppy, sugary brown sauce or cream cheese blankets? Instead, you can order a ginger dressing on the side to save tons of calories. Likewise, edamame, seaweed salad, and miso soup are surprisingly low in calories and go well with a traditional sushi roll.
Recipes to Try
Sushi Rice Balls with Tomato
Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Sushi rice: 1 cup (185 grams)
- Boiling water: 2 cups (473 ml)
- Black sesame seeds: 1 Tbsp
- Toasted white sesame seeds: 1 Tbsp
- Tomato: 1
- Olive oil to drizzle
- Salt and pepper to taste
Method of Preparation
- Rinse the rice with cold water and drain it. Next, place rice in a pot with boiling water.
- Cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the rice.
- To assemble the sushi, place some rice on the plastic wrap, top with some tomatoes, and add more rice.
- Twist the plastic wrap, taking care to release the air.
- Unroll the plastic wrap and roll the rice ball in the sesame seeds.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Homemade Sushi Bowl
Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Short grain rice: 1 cup (200 g)
- Olive oil: 1 tbsp
- Mushrooms (cut into thin slices): 6
- Shrimp (cooked): 6
- Garlic clove (finely chopped): 1
- Fish (boneless bonito, salmon, or tuna): 198 g
- Cucumber: ½ Tofu: 85 g
- Seaweed sheet (cut into thin slices): 1
- Salt: as per taste
- Ground ginger: ½ tbsp
- Sesame seeds: 1 tbsp
Method of Preparation
- Place the rinsed, drained rice in a saucepan with water.
- Cover and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let the rice sit in the covered pan for 10 minutes.
- Mix rice with salt and olive oil.
- Heat olive oil in a pan, add the mushrooms, garlic, tofu, and shrimp, and cook until they turn golden brown.
- Cut the fish and cucumber into thin slices.
- Place rice in a bowl, add seaweed, the tofu mixture, fish, cucumber, and ginger, and serve.
California Sushi Rolls for Seafood Lovers
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- Nori Sheets (Seaweed): 2
- Seafood (salmon/ crab meat preferably): 85 g
- Brown Rice: 100 g
- Avocado (Sliced): ½
- Cucumber (Peeled, Sliced): ¼
- Water: 300 ml
Method of Preparation
- Place nori sheets on a piece of plastic wrap.
- Spread brown rice on the nori sheets.
- Top the rice with cucumber, avocado, and fish/ crab meat in one horizontal line.
- Gently roll the sushi and seal the edges with warm water.
- Cut each sushi roll with a wet knife.
It is crucial to remember that the type of sushi you eat determines how much it impacts your weight loss diet. Sushi prepared with healthy light ingredients is your best bet if you’re looking to lose weight. Raw fish is especially rich in protein and low in calories. However, crunchy, spicy mayo and tempura sushi are calorie bombs. These rolls may contribute too many calories for your weight loss plan. The key to leading a healthy lifestyle is moderation. Even if sushi is good, overeating will only reverse the desired results.
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