Sushi consists of rice and some other ingredients, often raw fish, but sometimes vegetables, cooked fish or other seafood. Originating in Japan, sushi is typically served with vinegar, soy sauce and wasabi, a spicy green condiment. Raw fish alone is known as sashimi and is another common dish at sushi restaurants. The fish used in sushi must be of high quality since it is often consumed raw.
Sushi tends to be made of low-calorie ingredients, so it is often a good food for weight loss. Vegetable rolls, also known as maki, and fish rolls, also known as nigiri, are your best bets for a low-calorie sushi meal. Some sushi dishes contain high-calorie additions, such as mayonnaise, so avoid these if possible. Also avoid deep-fried sushi rolls, such as spider rolls made of deep-fried soft-shelled crab.
Overall, most sushi is low in fat. If it contains seafood or fish, it may be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 fats exert a protective effect against cardiovascular disease. For this reason, the American Heart Association recommends consuming fish twice a week. Fatty fish such as salmon and albacore tuna have the highest levels of omega-3 fats.
In general, sushi can be a healthy meal up to twice a week, but should be part of an overall healthy and balanced diet. Pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems may want to avoid sushi containing fish due to the possibility of parasites or microorganisms and the dangers of mercury contamination. However, these individuals, along with anyone who doesn’t eat fish or seafood for other reasons, may still choose from the wide variety of healthy sushi options made using vegetables, tofu or other ingredients.