In theory, sushi is an excellent choice for a healthy meal out. Remember the following tips next time you fill up on sushi.
In theory, sushi is an excellent choice for a healthy meal out. (Think fatty fish, seaweed, and crunchy, raw veggies.) However, if we don’t consider what we are ordering, our best intentions of a healthy meal can explode in our faces—prawn tempura and all.
Keep in mind the following tips the next time you dine out, and have yourself a healthier sushi feast.
- Whenever possible, ask your server to sub out the standard white sushi rice for brown rice, which boasts four times the amount of dietary fibre. Though many restaurants do not yet have this option, it’s becoming more common as the population becomes more health-conscious.
- Choose fatty fish packed with heart-healthy omega-3s such as albacore tuna and salmon. Refer to SeaChoice’s printable Canada’s Sustainable Sushi Guide when dining out for the most sustainable sushi options.
- Avoid tempura, which although can be loosely classified as vegetables (sliced zucchini, hello!) is battered and then deep-fried, negating any health benefits. Also, avoid rolls that include tempura, such as yam tempura rolls (tragic, we know) and dynamite rolls. Some rolls are even topped with tempura flakes for extra crunch (and calories), so those are a no-no also.
- Choose rolls packed with fresh veggies, such as the veggie house roll or avocado roll. Avocados are packed with healthy fats that have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing symptoms of, and even preventing, arthritis. In addition, they contain upwards of 20 essential nutrients and are, surprisingly, an excellent source of protein.
- Ask your server to hold the mayo. Many westernized rolls contain mayonnaise; however, traditional Japanese sushi rolls rarely contain mayo (or other fatty condiments such as cream cheese). Go for a more traditional meal and ditch the mayo.
- Go easy on the soy sauce. The average Canadian consumes 3,400 mg sodium per day—more than twice the recommended amount. Cut your sodium intake by going easy on or completely nixing the soy sauce, which contains 1,006 mg sodium per tablespoon. Also, beware sneaky soy sauce, which may be hiding in your favourite dishes, including spinach gomae.