How healthy is sushi for you if you’re on a diet?

How healthy is sushi for you if you’re on a diet?

How healthy is Sushi for you if you’re on a diet? Sushi is a dish that belongs of Japanese origin. Its ingredients include raw or cooked fish, vegetables, and the main component is vinegared rice with a bit of salt and sugar. These components are all tightly wrapped in seaweed. 

Sushi can be a very healthy addition to your diet, especially when it’s packed with vegetables, omega-3 enriched fish like salmon and tuna, and small amounts of heart-healthy avocado. But the healthiness of Sushi can fall off quickly, depending on how it’s prepared.

Healthy ingredients in Sushi

Sushi has come to be known as a healthy dish because it includes a few nutrient-rich ingredients.

How healthy is sushi for you if you’re on a diet?


The first and foremost nutrient-enriched component of Sushi is fish. It is so because fish is mainly a great source of iodine, protein, many vitamins, and minerals. Moreover, it’s one of the rarest foods that contain vitamin D naturally in them. (2Trusted Source 1*, 2*).

In addition to that, fish includes omega-3 fats, which have numerous beneficial factors, such as it is needed by your body and brain to function correctly. These fats play a role in fighting medical ailments like heart disease and stroke.

Fish is also connected to the fact that there is a lesser chance of getting certain autoimmune diseases, depression, loss of memory, and impaired vision in adulthood by consuming it.


Wasabi is the paste that is normally served alongside Sushi. Due to its strong flavor, it’s usually eaten in pretty few amounts. It is formed by grating the stem of Extrema japonicum, which is from the same family as horseradish, cabbage, and mustard.

Wasabi paste is enriched in beta carotene, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates. According to the research, Wasabi’s compounds may include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.

On the contrary, because wasabi plants are scarce, nowadays, numerous restaurants use a paste that is an imitation composed of a combination of mustard powder, horseradish, and green dye. This paste can’t contain the same nutritional values.

However, due to the wasabi plant’s scarcity, many restaurants use an imitation paste made from a combination of horseradish, mustard powder, and green dye. This product is unlikely to have the same nutritional properties. (3*)


The type of seaweed that is used to roll Sushi is known as Nori. It consists of various nutrients that include magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, iodine, thiamine, vitamin A, D, and E.

Furthermore, 44% of the dry weight of Wasabi is protein, which we can compare to plant foods containing high percentages of proteins such as soybeans.

On the other hand, one roll of Sushi contains very little seaweed, making it quite impossible to provide much to your daily nutrient needs.

The seaweed, Nori, may also contain compounds that fight viruses, inflammation, and even cancer. On the contrary, these compounds’ levels may be too less to produce any health effects. (4*)

Pickled ginger

Gari is the sweet pickled ginger that is used to cleanse your palette between different pieces of Sushi. There are many benefits of ginger; a few of them is that it is an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.

Moreover, it can also have some specific characteristics that help to give protection against viruses and bacteria. 

Furthermore, according to research, it is deduced that by consuming ginger, you can improve your memory can, and it is also beneficial in reducing nausea, muscle pain, arthritic pain, menstrual pain, and even LDL (bad) cholesterol eve. (5*)

Make your Sushi «diet-friendly»

Sushi is an infamous diet both in the East and West. Its taste leaves an unforgettable print in consumer’s memory. As much as it is liked, not all of us know that ordinary sushi may not be ideal compared to other balanced diets. Sushi may need to be tailored into the diet of your choice. To make sure that the sushi you consume is ideal and meets your dietary requirements, you can take the following steps:

Start with the Right Protein

Lean protein helps with weight loss, which is a good start. Get after those omega-3 fatty acids — they’re good for your heart, protecting against heart disease and lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Salmon, trout, and tuna are all excellent options, says Ilyse Schapiro, a registered

Dietitian and co-author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel? «Just be careful not to eat tuna too frequently because it is high in mercury.» Mackerel, blue marlin, swordfish, and yellowtail are also high in mercury, limiting those. And avoid imitation crab entirely — it’s made with starches and packed with sodium.

Keep an Eye on the Extras

Ginger and Wasabi can add a kick and crunch to a no-frills roll — not to mention, they’ve got anti-inflammatory and immunity perks, says Schapiro. But watch out for ingredients like tempura (or anything fried, really) and tobiko cheese, she warns. Not only can they pack a calorie punch, but they also tend to crowd out the healthy veggies and fish in your roll.

Watch Your Portions

Sushi rice is made with sugar and rice vinegar. This rice isn’t super healthy — and you could be consuming half a cup per sushi roll, says Schapiro. And those bite-size pieces add up sometimes to over 1,000 calories per meal if you’re ordering multiple rolls, she says. If you’re watching your carbs or calories, consider sticking to one sushi roll and relying on order of sashimi (thinly sliced fish, without the rice) or a Naruto roll (made without rice and wrapped in cucumber) to fill you up.

Consider Brown Rice

Not willing to part with rice? (I get it. Carbs are great.) Try going halfsies with regular sushi rice and brown rice if you want to up the health factor. «Brown rice has fiber to keep you full, and nutrients such as vitamin E, zinc, manganese, selenium, and magnesium,» explains Schapiro.

Go Easy on the Sodium

Not only is sodium a sure-fire way to feel bloated, but government dietary guidelines recommend that consuming no more than 2,300milligrams of sodium per day. Just two tablespoons of soy sauce will get you almost all the way there, so make sure you request low-sodium soy sauce when you order. It’s made the same way regular soy sauce is but has about 40 percent of the sodium removed (you won’t miss it).

Special Sauce? Especially Bad for You

Avoid eel sauce (which is a mix of soy sauce and sugar) and spicy rolls (which are made with mayo mixed with chili paste), along with most other «creamy» rolls, says Schapiro. They add calories and fat, but even if those aren’t a significant concern, it’s hard to make a case for protein and omega-3s when your roll is equal parts fish and mayo.

How to maximize the health benefits of sushi

To get the most health benefits out of sushi, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Increase your nutrient intake. Choose sushi rolls made with brown rice over those made with white rice. Favor cone-shaped hand rolls (temaki) contain less rice than more traditional rolls. 
  • Increase the protein and fiber content of your meal. Accompany your sushi with edamame, wakame salad, miso soup, or sashimi.
  • Avoid rolls made with cream cheese, sauces, or tempura. To create crunchiness without these unhealthy ingredients, ask for extra vegetables. Cut down on soy sauce. If you are salt-sensitive, avoid soy sauce or only lightly dip your sushi in it.

Order sushi from reputable restaurants, which are more likely to follow proper food safety practices.

Three Best Sushi When on a diet 

Masago Nigiri

Its nutrition facts and see what goes inside a typical Masago Nigiri dish. 

For every 0 grams of fat, there are 4 grams of carbs and 6 grams of protein. 

It’s one of the tastiest dishes out there and is also packed with protein per serving. 

Surf Clam Nigiri

For every 0.5 grams of fat, there are 2 grams of carbs and 7 grams of protein. 

This is the first dish on this whole list with more protein than it does any other macronutrient. 

It’s an excellent option for anyone that wants to keep lean, as eating a couple of these can make your protein count skyrocket from one single meal. 

Shrimp Nigiri

For every 0 grams of fat, there are 6 grams of carbs and 4 grams of protein. This is amazing as there is no fat for every 4 grams of protein served. 

It’s a high protein meal that only has 6 grams of carbs which means you can fit this option into a healthy diet. 


So, if you eat sushi according to your diet, it can give you a tremendous amount of energy. It can give you the freshness and energy vital to work all day and the essential alertness to create more efficiency in your routine chores and challenges.

Usually, Sushi contains components that may not always be entirely beneficial, especially following a specific diet program. For example, for a person on a diet, low protein and high fat in Sushi may not be ideal.

By following the below-mentioned points, you can extract benefits out of your Sushi to the maximum.

Written by Muddassir Abdur Rub M. D.

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