5 Tips for Making Smarter Sushi Selections

5 Tips for Making Smarter Sushi Selections

When you need a break from the rich food, sushi can be a great choice.  It’s light, flavorful, and bursting with Omega-3’s.   However, sushi lovers beware: not all rolls are created equal.  In fact, one six-piece shrimp tempura roll will cost you a whopping 545 calories and 13 grams of fat!  Fortunately, we’ve discovered simple tips to shave hundreds of calories off your next meal.

1. Fill Up First:

Starting with a broth-based soup, green salad, or seaweed salad helps prevent overeating later.  A cup of miso soup is only 84 calories, and the tofu in the soup provides a shot of protein for fullness. If you’re looking for something crunchy, a green salad is a good option, but ask for no dressing—3 tablespoons is 200 calories.  Instead, top your greens with a few dashes of low-sodium soy sauce.  Or, stick with a seaweed salad, for just 70 calories.

2. Nibble on Naruto:

For anyone who is carb conscious or simply looking to cut calories, naruto rolls are an excellent choice.  Ordering a sushi roll “naruto style” means the roll is wrapped in thin slices of cucumber, instead of rice.  A typical sushi roll is prepared with one cup of rice, which means three servings of carbs and 240 calories.  And that’s before the fish, vegetables, and sauce have been added!  While naruto rolls are not always listed on the menu, most restaurants will accommodate the request.

3. Swap White Rice for Brown:

White and brown rice have the same calories per serving, but brown rice contains more fiber, helping us to feel full.  Brown rice also maintains many of the nutrients lost while processing white rice; like iron, B vitamins, and magnesium.  Order rolls with “light rice,” which cuts half the calories, and top each piece with a slice of pickled ginger.  A natural anti-inflammatory, ginger has a myriad of wonderful health benefits.

4. Temper Those Tempura Rolls:

As sushi has gained popularity, it has also become “Americanized,” meaning more calories and fat.  Keep things simple, and avoid extravagant rolls with tempura flakes, mayo, cream cheese, and deep fried fish.   Each tablespoon of spicy mayo packs 100 calories and 11 grams of fat into a roll, while 1 tablespoon of cream cheese adds another 50 calories.  Common words that signal caloric include: spicy (contains mayo), crunchy (contains tempura), and fried. Play it safe and order rolls with fish and vegetables.

5. Order in Moderation:

An appetizer with two basic rolls, or an appetizer with 1 basic roll and 6 pieces of sushi or sashimi, is a proper portion.  Try and order your own rolls, rather than share multiple rolls with a group.  Ordering amongst many people means lots of specialty rolls and extra food–a dieter’s disaster. It is also a good idea to avoid “combo” lunches or dinners that include soup, salad, and three rolls, as this tacks on additional calories.

We hope these tips help to transform you from sushi novice to sushi connoisseur!


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