Friday, July 8, 2011

Sushi Dissected.

 I love Sushi. I’ve loved Sushi ever since I was introduced to it freshly made by our live-in Japanese exchange student. It was only a few years ago when I first lost 50 lbs that based on my meal plan that I started looking at the caloric value of Sushi. This was also motivated by a need to find restaurants where I could dine out. Being able to find new savory options that provide a wealth in health benefits but low on the caloric scale was difficult at the time until I discovered the nutritional benefits of sushi.  

So jump to present day, after discussing with friends regarding sushi calories on MyFitnessPal, I decided that I needed to do a post on the subject and share the sushi caloric charts that I have been using for quite sometime now.

Below are the calories in sushi rolls, sashimi, nigiri sushi either by the roll or by the portion of fish. These numbers are only a guide and the calorie content will vary based on what the sushi chef does at your local sushi bar. Here is the list:

 Note: When it says per roll, it means the Sushi Roll before being cut into pieces. When Sushi is made, it has to have the rice, the veggies and the seafood placed within - on the whole Nori sheet (seaweed) which is about 5 by 5 inches. Then when the Nori sheet is finally filled and rolled into its cylinder shape, that is when the Sushi “roll” is cut into “pieces”. Typically the roll calories would justify for a serving of 4 'pieces'.

Calories for Ginger, Wasabi and Soy Sauce:
Pickled Ginger: 14 calories for 1 tsp
Wasabi: 5 calories for 1 tsp
Soy Sauce: 10 calories for 1 tbsp

Sushi and seafood in general are one of the best sources of nutrition available to us. It is packed with protein and nutrients, and is low in fat (depending on the preparation). Sushi is an excellent source of lean protein and contains very little heart clogging saturated fat unlike most forms of red meat.

The majority of the fat found in Sushi is in the form of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are not only a nutritional requirement for humans, but also a fatty acid that shows promise in re-mediating many ailments from which we suffer for lack of this essential fatty acid in our modern diet, including cardiovascular disease.

Another great thing about Sushi and especially Sushi Rolls is that the seaweed wrap used in rolls, also called Nori, is rich with essential vitamins and minerals. To add to the benefits, Wasabi and Ginger both have antibacterial qualities, and Ginger is widely regarded as aiding digestion and improving circulation.

So the next time you are planning on going out for dinner with friends, suggest Japanese as an alternative and you could even point out the many many health benefits of Sushi. Enjoy!

chart information source: Fat Loss School

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