What's not to love about sushi? It comes in so many different varieties that there is a sushi favorite for just about everyone. However, just because these bite sized Japanese meals may look small and healthy, doesn't mean they always are. I'm going to take you through 7 healthy sushi options to enjoy to help you make the right decision next time you order.
1. California Roll
255 calories, 7g fat per roll
The California Roll, or what I like to call the sushi beginner's roll, is a great low calorie choice. The down side though is that if your California Roll is only made with imitation crab and cucumber there are no real healthy fats since the fake crab has only 1⁄15 of the amount of omega-3s as the real stuff. If you want to order a California Roll, make sure it is at least made with avocado in order to get some healthy fats into your meal! Also, a good substitute is to get a Shrimp California Roll instead as shrimp have more health benefits then imitation crab and the same amount of calories.
2. Rainbow Roll
330 calories, 8g fat per roll
This colorful sushi meal is raw fish wrapped around a vegetable or California roll. This favorite is worthy of the higher calorie count due to its nutritional benefits. Being that this roll is loaded with raw fish, most of its calories are the good kind! It is filled with great muscle building protein that comes from the fish. Rainbow rolls are typically large, so a single order and a bowl of miso soup make a filling meal.
3. Avocado Roll
140 calories, 5.5g fat per roll
A safe low calorie sushi choice is almost any vegetable roll as long as its not tempura style. The best vegetable roll choice though would have to be the Avocado Roll. Most of the calories in this vegetarian roll come from the healthy monounsaturated fats from the avocado which has been known to lower cholesterol. Avocado makes a great addition to any roll, since a sushi-size portion also contains about 3 grams of fiber.
4. Spicy Tuna Roll
290 calories, 11g fat per roll
In the world of sushi, «spicy» means a spoonful of mayo mixed with an Asian chili sauce. The calorie count can end up being higher than the average amount for this roll depending on how heavy a hand the sushi chef has with the spicy stuff. Either way, you’re better off satisfying your need for heat with a touch of wasabi. If you can't do without your spicy mayo fix though, a Spicy Tuna Roll isn't a bad low calorie choice at only 290 calories. Keep in mind though, if you can skip the spice and have just a plan Tuna Roll, it will drop 100 calories!
5. Cucumber Roll
136 calories, 0g fat per roll
Looking for the absolute lowest calorie and lowest fat sushi choice? Then the Cucumber Roll is the way to go. The cucumber provides you with a healthy dose of silica for healthy skin, hair and nails and potassium to reduce blood pressure. Make sure to get a healthy dose of fat somewhere else though during your day as the Cucumber Roll has 0g of fat per roll!
6. Salmon and Avocado Roll
304 calories, 9g fat per roll
Get ready for an explosion of heart healthy fats with the Salmon and Avocado Roll! Although this roll is a higher calorie option, just like the Rainbow Roll, they are good calories coming from the omega-3s in the salmon and monounsaturated fats in avocado. If you can handle the extra calories that come with this sushi choice, then this is the healthiest option in terms of the vitamins you will get as avocados are a great source of amounts of potassium, folate, niacin, biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin E and vitamin C!
7. Mackerel Roll
232 calories, 2g fat per roll
Not as popular a roll as the others, but try to consider this white fish instead of your usual tuna, which might contain dangerously high levels of mercury. Like salmon, mackerel is also rich in omega-3s as well as selenium, a mineral that may help protect against cancer! If your sushi restaurant doesn't have mackerel, opt for any other type of white fish.
When all else fails, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from anything labeled with the words spicy, tempura, crunchy, mayo, or cream cheese. Also, try to have your sushi made with brown rice instead of the normal white to avoid the unhealthy effects of the processed rice. A great place to try (if you have one local) is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. This way you can have only one or two pieces of your favorite unhealthy sushi mixed in with a majority of healthy sushi. It really helps to keep you from feeling deprived. What's your favorite kind of sushi?