Sushi is often seen as a healthy option: it is full of good fats and omega-3. But what you probably tend to forget is that it can be very high in sugar, calories and sometimes mercury.
In this article we decrypt the components of a typical Sushi Menu and give you a guide for your next order!
1. Factors to consider when ordering Starters & Condiments
Miso Soup is usually low in calories (around 100 per bowl) and very filling. Beware of the salt content, it can be very high.
Seaweed salad: seaweed per se is low in calories but the dressing often contains added sugar. The safest thing is to stay away from it if you are unsure of the recipe.
Edamame is a good starter as it is relatively low in carbohydrates and high in fibres.
Soya sauce is low in calories but high in sodium. Stay away from the sweet version.
Wasabi: the paste usually contains added starchy carbohydrates, you are however having a very small portion. Enjoy it without feeling guilty.
2. Factors to consider when ordering your main dish
Rice contains a lot of added sugar (up to 8-10 tsp per rice cup). If you are eating in a restaurant rather than home, chances are the sugar content is at the higher end.
Fish is considered a healthy alternative to red meat. It can however contain high levels of mercury. A recent study has shown that the levels of mercury in tuna are often above the weekly recommendations. Octopus and salmon were below the limit. Try to limit your tuna intake; and remember that all foods contain some kind of contaminant. You can't avoid everything, just eat in moderation.
3. 500 Calories Menus
Whilst calories should not be the only factor determing your eating choices, we thought we would give you samples of meals containing 500 calories. This will help you get an idea of the fat and sugar content of your meal.
3.Alves JC, Lima de Paiva E, Milani RF, Bearzoti E, Morgano MA, Diego Quintaes K. Risk estimation to human health caused by the mercury content of Sushi and Sashimi sold in Japanese restaurants in Brazil. J Environ Sci Health B. 2017 Jun 3;52(6):418–24.