Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Skinny on Sushi

Some people may wonder, "Is eating sushi really good for my diet"?  The answer is kind of tricky.  While sushi is a great source of lean protein and can be a good option, keep in mind that not all sushi is created equal.
Even the most basic sushi (just fish and rice) can set you back 250-300 calories for 8 pieces.  Not bad if you stop there, but chances are you may have eaten something else like edamame or maybe you are having a sushi-fest and splurged on an additional 4-8 pieces.  Now we're talkin' nearly 400-600 calories for one meal.  Not completely terrible, but this was only for the basic fish and rice sushi.
Now, let's talk about all those specialty rolls that have cream cheese, mayo, sauces and might even be tempura.  This is where the the question, "Is this good for my diet," becomes pretty clear cut.  If you're watching what you are eating, this is definitely not the best option for you.  Tempura might be tasty, but we're talkin' about 500 calories for 1 roll (approx 6-7 pieces).  If you add sauces to that tempura, then who knows how many calories you're up to now, not to mention the grams of fat.  If you eat 1 and a half rolls of shrimp tempura and 1/2 cup of edamame, you are now up to 850 calories on a meal that was supposed to be "healthy."
Lastly, just like everything else, you need to pay attention to portion control.  For example, there is a big difference between eating 8 pieces and 20 pieces.  Even for the basic sushi, everything in moderation...no extremes.
Sushi is a great and healthy option, just pick and choose wisely and don't over indulge...it can make a difference to your waistline.
Other Sushi Tips:
*Always choose low sodium soy sauce.  No one wants to be bloated.
*If there is an option for brown rice, choose it.  More fiber doesn't hurt. :)
For more of a calorie breakdown, look below.  Maybe your favorite roll will be on the list.

Sushi Rolls
NOTE:  As with any hand-crafted food, a similar sushi item made by two different sushi chefs may have different proportions of ingredients, and therefore different values for calories, fat, and carbohydrates.
Maki Rolls (Typical cylindrical rolls of sushi).  Estimates are per an entire roll, not each individual piece.  (1 roll, approx 6-7 pieces)
Avocado Roll                                      140
California Roll                                     255
Cucumber Roll                                    136
Philadelphia Roll                                 319
Salmon and Avocado                          304
Shrimp Tempura Roll                          508
Spicy Tuna Roll                                   290
Spider Roll (fried soft-shell crab)       317

Nigiri Sushi (Raw fish/seafood on top of small bed of rice) Estimates are per piece
Abalone Tuna                                       45
Bluefin Tuna                                         50           
Flounder                                               43
Octopus                                                53
Salmon                                                  56
Salmon Roe                                           39
Sea Bass                                                41
Sea Urchin                                             64
Squid                                                    43
Tamago (Japanese Omelet)                   75
Yellowtail Tuna                                     51

                                                 Serving Size          Calories
Edamame (Green beans)            1/2 cup                  100
Pickled Ginger                            .5 ounce                   9
Toasted Nori Seaweed                 1 sheet                   10
Miso Soup (no tofu added)           1 cup                   170
Seasoned Sushi Rice                     1 cup                    170


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