Sushi on a Diet: what is allowed and what to avoid

Sushi on a Diet: what is allowed and what to avoid


Fresh, greedy and by now part of western tastes although it comes from the Japanese tradition: sushi is increasingly widespread in Italy, among (few) restaurants where you can taste the authentic version, and those that offer the all you can eat option , i.e. a fixed price menu in which it is possible to order dishes with no quantity limit, with the only condition that you finish everything you order. In this case, it is evident that sushi cannot be a suitable choice if you follow a low-calorie diet . However, consuming sushi, especially some varieties of dishes, is not forbidden in a balanced diet .

Sushi on a Diet: summary

  • prefer sashimi : fish , such as salmon , tuna and swordfish
  • opt for rolls and makis with seaweed and vegetables , avocado and tofu
  • avoid rolls with excess sauces such as mayonnaise , philadelphia , or tempura
  • avoid excess soy sauce
  • if present on the menu, order rolls with brown rice or without rice such as gunkan, for example

How is sushi prepared?

When we talk about sushi, we are referring to a particular cuisine of Japanese origin, which essentially includes single portions of different shapes – sphere, roll, cone – of rice flavored with vinegar , sugar and salt , vegetables, fish (raw or cooked), seaweed, and condiments such as sauces or breading; soy sauce , mayonnaise, teriyaki, tempura.

Sushi suitable for a low-calorie diet aimed at weight loss is allowed, provided it does not contain mayonnaise, glazes, sauces or breading. In the all you can eat menus there are different varieties and compositions: rolls, soups, sashimi. The pros of consuming sushi, in small portions, are to be found in the omega 3 , vitamin B12 and iodine content , paying attention however to the quantity of sugar (of rice) and salt (of condiments and sauces). 

Sushi – the most common varieties

  • Nigri: Rice with raw fish in thin slices (tuna, salmon, croaker , prawns , etc.) -140 calories 2 pieces
  • Maki: Rolls composed of rice, seaweed and different fillings (usually vegetables or seafood )
  • Temaki: generously sized cone-shaped nori seaweed roll filled with rice, fish and vegetables -130 calories
  • Sashimi: Thinly sliced ​​raw fish served with soy sauce, pickled ginger , and wasabi – about 22 calories per slice
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Sushi : Sushi without fish; combine healthy vegetables and rice.
  • Tekka Maki: raw fish roll – 149 calories per serving
  • Hosomaki: small rolls of raw fish with a nori seaweed wrap – about 70 calories for 4 pieces.


nb the calories vary according to the ingredients used




Nutritional properties of sushi

Sushi has different nutritional values ​​depending on the ingredients used. In general, it represents a valid protein choice: it is an excellent source of lean proteins , contained in fish and seafood . These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids , which play an important role in heart and brain health .

Rice, on the other hand, provides complex carbohydrates , while vegetables contain vitamins , minerals and fiber . The amount of rice should be limited, as it contains sugars , as well as soy sauce (it contains salt and sugar) which should not be sprinkled abundantly with rolls and sashimi.

Sushi on a Diet: what to eat?

Sushi is a broad term as it encompasses many different ingredient options. However, some types of sushi, especially the more basic options, can be part of a healthy weight loss diet .

Sashimi, i.e. slices of raw fish such as tuna, salmon, sea bream , sea bass and shrimp, served with ginger and wasabi, is a dish rich in lean proteins . Vegetarian sushi is also very nutritious . For example, a common ingredient in vegetarian sushi rolls is avocado which contains healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber. Many restaurants are replacing white rice in sushi with brown rice , a solution which, if present on the menu, should be preferred.

Source of lean protein

The basic ingredient of most sushi is fish, which provides protein, while rice contains resistant starch . One study shows that combining protein with resistant starch , such as with sushi, increases fat-burning action, and contributes to feelings of satiety. Also, it is better to eat fresh rather than cooked fish to lose weight . For example, when eaten raw, tuna is an excellent source of lean protein with no fat. On the other hand, cooking fish involves the use of oils or breading for preparation, so it’s better to opt for raw.

Low in calories

By choosing rolls or makis prepared with the right ingredients, sushi can be a low-calorie option. Maki rolls with vegetables or fish that don’t include additional sauces or mayonnaise, such as tuna or cucumber rolls , are lower in calories (less than 200 calories for six pieces). Rice-based vegetarian sushi rolls are another option, as are uramaki without rice, but with rolled fish and vegetables.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *