Japanese cuisine is quite popular and it is often attributed to being one of the reasons behind the longevity and good health of Japanese people. One staple Japanese food is sushi, a dish which is prepared primarily using rice, fish, vegetables, among other things.. It's quite popular and trendy these days. But is sushi healthy? Read what Dietician Vidhi Chawla, Founder of Fisico Diet Clinic has to say about the same.
Sushi is prepared using a combination of ingredients and has a wide range of flavours. It’s basically a seaweed roll filled with cooked rice, vegetables, and raw or cooked fish. Mostly it is served with soy sauce.
Sushi Nutrition value
We can’t term sushi as completely healthy or unhealthy. When we talk about health benefits, sushi has a rich nutritious value because of the various ingredients used to prepare it.
Fish has high proteins, vitamins, minerals, iodine, and vitamin D. It contains the most important ingredient, Omega-3 fat, which is actually required by your body to function well and it also helps you fight heart conditions, depression, and autoimmune diseases.
Seaweed is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, and vitamins. Interestingly, nori helps you fight viruses, inflammation, and diseases like cancer
Drawbacks you need to be aware of
Even though sushi is nutritious, there are a few ingredients that can be considered unhealthy and you need to be aware of the same:
White rice is the main ingredient of sushi and white rice is ripped off all the vitamins, minerals, and fibre. If you have too much white rice it increases blood sugar levels which can lead to heart diseases and diabetes. You need to note the rice used in sushi is prepared using sugar, which is even more unhealthy as it breaks down the carbs quickly and leads you to overeat because of spiked insulin levels.
You need to choose the right sushi! Many types of sushi are made with fatty sauces and fried batter resulting in more calories. Sushi cannot be considered a filling dish as it contains a very small amount of vegetables and fish which can make you feel hungry quicker
Sushi consists of a lot of salt as the rice vegetable and fish are cooked and smoked in salt. Mostly sushi is served with soy sauce which contains even more salt that can lead to high blood pressure and stomach diseases and cancer
Fish may also contain bacteria, viruses, mercury, and other toxins so one needs to be careful about which type of fish they are consuming.
How to make your sushi meal healthy?
According to Dietitian Vidhi Chawla, one can use more vegetables than rice, or opt for brown rice over white; rice vinegar can be added to lower blood sugar levels. It can be accompanied by fresh salads to make it more filling. A lot of soy sauce and salty fish can be avoided. Avoid sushi containing a lot of cheese and extra unhealthy ingredients.
Lastly, one needs to be conscious as to which type of sushi they are consuming. You can add more veggies and healthy ingredients to make it diet-friendly and good for your body.
Image credits- freepik