Anyone who likes to eat whole foods will appreciate sushi rolls because they are tasty and satisfying. However some sushi options offer a high-calorie count while others are quite low without sacrificing flavour and overall satisfaction. Most low-calorie options are simple, traditional, or vegetarian. Here are some ideas and tips for eating healthier sushi that will give you wholesome nutrition and great taste within a reasonable calorie budget.
Opt for Veggies
Delicious vegetarian sushi rolls provide healthy fats with a calorie count that is less than 200. A six-piece cucumber roll or an avocado roll does not offer more than 140 calories unlike a tuna roll that provides over 180 calories. In addition, fresh pickled vegetables provide vitamins A, C, and E and you can obtain minerals like calcium, zinc and iodine and good dietary fibre from the seaweed roll. Vegetables also tend to fill you up faster because of their fibre so you will feel satisfied after taking fewer rolls, particularly when you compare the vegan rolls to those with raw fish.
Try the California Roll
The California roll is one of the most popular sushi rolls in the West and you can also find it in many sushi bars in Japan. In this roll, the raw fish is replaced with avocado. It only contains about 255 calories, which is fair enough for most people who are watching their calorie intake. To reduce the calories further, you may ask the chef to do away with the mayonnaise or make it a completely vegetarian roll by replacing the crab meat with carrots. You may also decide to add some variety by replacing the avocado with mango or banana.
Swap the White Rice
White rice is a major contributor of calories in traditional sushi rolls. You can replace it with a healthier alternative like brown rice or another whole grain product like soba. Brown rice contains a lot of fibre which enhances healthy digestion and improves bowel movements. It also serves as a good source of minerals like magnesium, manganese and selenium – a powerful antioxidant that also improves your mood. If you don’t like brown rice, you can replace the rice with soba noodles. Soba is made from whole grain buckwheat and it has a higher percentage of fibre and protein than white rice.
Take Sashimi without Rice
Another effective way to reduce calories when you take sushi is by eliminating the rice completely. Rice is a major contributor of weight in sushi rolls and eating sashimi will allow you to cut out a significant amount of calories. A single piece will only provide about 33 calories. You can dab it with wasabi and dip it in a little soy sauce to add more flavour. If you don’t like the idea of eating raw fish, you may ask the chef to steam or grill your fish for you. However, you must eat fish that contains a low proportion of fat if you want to enjoy the lower calorie benefits of sashimi. In this case salmon will be a better alternative.
Enjoy Shrimp without Tempura
Many Westerners enjoy eating tempura. But tempura is produced by deep frying so it is not a very healthy option. A typical shrimp tempura roll contains about 508 calories and over 20 grams of fat, which is equivalent to what you will get in a hamburger at McDonald’s. Instead of consuming the usual deep-fried roll, opt for a low-calorie alternative with steamed shrimps. Let the chef add some cucumber or pickled radish. Similarly, you should avoid other types of rolls designed to suit the taste of Westerners like the Philadelphia roll that contains smoked salmon and cream cheese. This high-calorie roll offers about 400 to 500 calories.
Eating sushi with a knowledge of the calorie estimates will enable you to enjoy the richness of this dish, get wholesome nutrition and still maintain a healthy weight. Replacing the fish and seafood with vegetarian options is a good way to reduce calories, increase your dietary fibre and obtain several minerals and vitamins. The white rice in traditional sushi rolls may also be replaced with healthier options like brown rice or soba. Avoiding fatty and high-calorie ingredients like mayonnaise and deep fried shrimps will drastically reduce the amount of calories you consume in your sushi.