Sushi is truly one of the most delicious, delightful parts of Japanese cuisine. It has become wildly popular the world over, including in the United States. High quality, flavorful sushi is available in virtually every city in the U.S., either at Japanese restaurants, sushi bars or the whimsical "kaiten" restaurants, where plates of sushi are delivered via a conveyor belt.
Along with being very tasty, most sushi is also very healthy. The combination of super-fresh ingredients, including (but not limited to) raw fish, such as salmon, yellowtail, tuna, avocado and cucumbers make sushi a treat that is loaded with heart healthiness with relatively few calories.
However, there are some sushi rolls that are very fatty and highly caloric. They are not good choices to make at your local sushi restaurant if you are watching your weight. Many of these rolls are quite elaborate, featuring many ingredients. A good rule of thumb is how the sushi is described: the longer the name, the fattier the sushi is.
White rice alternatives
If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, it bears mentioning that sushi is loaded with white rice. A way that you can reduce this white rice is by custom ordering your sushi. You can have it "naruto," which means that the fillings are wrapped in cucumber, not rice. This will save a great number of calories and keep you in line with a low-carb diet. If you still want the rice in your sushi, but are still concerned about the calories and carbohydrates, you have two options. First, you can custom order your sushi to have white rice, just in a lesser amount. Second, you can order your sushi to be made with brown rice. The brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, and you get a healthy boost of fiber.
Sushi rolls to avoid
Some sushi is loaded with fat because of mayonnaise-based seafood fillings, cream cheese, sauces and fried elements. These should be avoided by those who are looking to watch their weight or even use eating sushi as a means of losing weight. For instance, Las Vegas rolls feature cream cheese and are fried in the tempura style. Spider rolls feature fried soft-shell crab. Although tempura is frying with a light touch, it still adds fat and calories.
Rainbow rolls feature slices of raw fish on top, but are filled with a mayonnaise-based seafood mix. Spicy salmon and spicy tuna rolls are often made with a similar mix filled with surimi and mayonnaise.
Philadelphia rolls are full of fat and calories because they feature cream cheese as one of the fillings. Paradise rolls are also filled with cream cheese. Both would actually be healthy if the cream cheese was omitted.
Dragon rolls are high in calories and fat because they are made with eel, which is one of the fattiest fish.
If a roll is presented covered in sauce, it is a good idea to avoid it if you are watching your weight. Many sauces are high in sugar content or made creamy by adding mayonnaise.