Are sushi rolls healthy? The healthiest sushi options you Should Choose – and Why?

Are sushi rolls healthy

Are sushi rolls healthy? The finest rolls, sashimi, and snacks you can enjoy.

Rice is the most common ingredient of all sushi varieties with the exception of sashimi which is a single piece of raw, thinly cut meat or fish. The rice is cooked with vinegar and other ingredients to aid in holding its shape.

Sushi comes in different forms, including:

  • Maki, rolls made of rice with seaweed, and various fillings (usually seafood or a vegetable)
  • Nigri rice, topped with raw fish
  • Temaki is a hand roll in which nori (aka seaweed) is used to create wraps and is packed with rice, fish, or other vegetables.

If you’ve never tried sushi before, it’s never enough to enjoy this delicious dish and reap the nutritional benefits it offers. If you’re already a lover of sushi You’ll be interested in learning more about what it is good for you.

Sushi nutrition

What makes sushi a popular food is the endless variety of ingredients, resulting in a vast variety of intriguing yet complex tastes. From freshly-tasting sashimi pieces to the famous California roll, and the handroll of chopped scallops restaurants provide traditional sushi choices along with house or special rolls.

In general, one slice of maki roll can provide between 20 to 28 calories. Based on the type of filling and the type of filling, a piece of vegetable maki (20g) for example contains 20 calories, and a tuna Masaki (30g) includes 29 calories. A salmon nigiri piece (35g) contains 37 calories. And a slice (1 1 oz) of salmon sushi has 36 calories.

Are sushi rolls healthy? The healthiest sushi options you Should Choose - and Why?

Sushi is considered to be an all-inclusive food option for many reasons, not the least of which is that each roll can be packed with satisfying carbs, tasty veggies, and fresh fish. Adding sauces and tempura shrimp makes it even better, but it is possible that sushi rolls aren’t as healthy for you.

How is it healthy to eat sushi? Are sushi calories a problem? Dietitian Maxine Smith, RD, LD, shared what’s the best food to order in a Japanese restaurant and also what’s best consumed in moderate amounts.

What are the health benefits of eating sushi?

Sushi health benefits

The benefits to the health of sushi are based on two parts that are the fish and seaweed.


Fish is a lean and healthy source of protein. Although most people consume adequate protein from their diets, USDA My Plate recommends adults consume about 5 to 7 ounces of protein food each day. Protein can help you feel fuller because it takes longer to digest, which means it is more satisfying to eat.


Sushi is a fantastic method to consume your protein-rich meals If you enjoy eating fish. However, If you’re a vegetarian or vegan you may also like sushi made of plant-based proteins, such as tofu to fulfill your daily recommended intake of protein-rich food items.

Fish that are fatty, like mackerel and salmon, are common ingredients of sushi, with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) Omega-3 fats essential to heart health. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two portions of cooked fish 3 ounces each week, particularly fatty fish like salmon.

Fish also has higher levels of vitamins B12 and vitamin D than many other foods, which is a supply of vital minerals like zinc, selenium, and Iodine.

Seaweed (Nori)

Are sushi rolls healthy? The healthiest sushi options you Should Choose - and Why?

If you opt to eat maki or the temaki roll, you’ll be able to enjoy a slice of dried seaweed with a blackish-purple color that is wrapped around your rice with a filling. You might be shocked to find out that this kind of seaweed has iodine in it, the essential nutrient needed to create thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism in the body.

“Sushi is a great source of many different food groups into one package,” Smith says. It’s a good thing because you’ll get carbohydrates, protein as well as fat, antioxidants (vitamin E as well as C), and fat-soluble vitamins, such as B12 as well as K.

Based on the type of sushi you choose sushi, it could also include:

Healthy fats

All kinds of fish have protein, however, only a few contain omega-3 fats. These healthy fats are beneficial to your heart health by lessening the chance of developing cardiovascular disease or blood clots. They also provide the brain with a boost and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Mackerel is a great oil-rich source of omega-3 fats along with tuna, salmon, and eel.

Avocado sushi rolls are also excellent sources of monounsaturated fats, another healthy fat for the heart that may lower bad cholesterol.


Seaweed, ginger, and wasabi are rich in antioxidants or minerals and vitamins naturally found in nature that offer multiple health benefits. “Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits usually are inextricably linked,” Smith says. “And when you take a look at various sources of food that are antioxidant-rich and have anti-inflammatory properties, then you’ll help your body to be healthier.”

Dietary fiber is a good source of energy

Making sushi using brown rice, which is a whole cereal, makes for a good health decision. “You’re getting better health benefits from fiber, and from more B vitamins selenium, magnesium, as well as others minerals.”

Contrary to regular sushi, regular rice has added vinegar and salt and is also starchier. “That’s the reason it helps to pack it all together,” Smith says. “It’s processed. If a grain is processed, and the outside bran portion that makes up the grain has been taken away and removed, will be less nutritious.”

Soluble fiber

Along with avocado, brown rice seaweed salad, edamame and seaweed are all great sources of insoluble fiber. This type “gives you a feeling of fullness” Smith says, in addition to helping to lower cholesterol levels and manage blood sugar levels.

What kind of sushi should you stay clear of?

Certain types of sushior sushi add-onsare best only for occasions because they could cause harm to your health.

Cream cheese and mayonnaise

In contrast avocado, mayonnaise, and cream cheese have unhealthy saturated fats, that have been linked to an increase in the risk of heart disease as well as the build-up of bad cholesterol in arteries.


Are sushi rolls healthy? The healthiest sushi options you Should Choose - and Why?

Fried foods are known to be unhealthy, such as tempura-battered sushi. “You could easily increase 100 or 200 calories extra by cooking the fish before adding sauces and mayonnaise,” Smith says. “You’re also adding more sodium. You can take all the sodium needed for the day on only one piece of sushi.”


Are sushi rolls healthy? The healthiest sushi options you Should Choose - and Why?

Certain species of fish (including high-quality tuna) contain mercury, a metallic that can be extremely toxic in high concentrations. If sushi is a regular component of your menu, Smith recommends sticking to smaller fish that have lower levels of mercury.

The top (and healthy) roll to buy

If you’re ordering pizza, adding toppings could cause the calories to quickly add up. Sushi is a lot like it. “As often it is simpler,” Smith says. “A straightforward roll will be light on calories. It’s as low as an average meal, meaning you’re talking about 300 calories or more. It’s easy to increase this when you’re getting into some of the more luxurious roles and bigger superior roles.”

Other good roll options are:

Hosomaki rolls

Are sushi rolls healthy? The healthiest sushi options you Should Choose - and Why?

Hosomaki rolls contain seaweed wrapped around rice, and may also contain vegetables or fish. “These rolls tend to be smaller, which means they contain less than half the carbs and calories of maki-based rolls,” Smith says. It is possible to make this roll healthier by asking chefs to take a break from the rice or to cut the six-piece rolls into 8 (or larger pieces) and share it with your friend.

Hosomaki rolls that are popular comprise:

Tekka Maki (tuna).

Sake Maki (salmon).

Kappa Maki (cucumber).

Kanpyo Maki (squash).

Shinko Maki (pickled radish).

Sashimi or Nigiri

Nigiri small pieces of fish that are tucked in the rice in a molded clump or the thinly cut sashimi make good options. The addition of sashimi to greens will provide an additional source of nutritional value, Smith adds. Fish that are commonly used in Nigiri or sashimi include:

Maguro (tuna).

Sake (salmon).

Hamachi (yellowtail).

Uni (sea Urchin).

Unagi (eel).

Ikura (salmon roe or fish eggs).

Saba (mackerel).

Amaebi (sweet shrimp).

Naruto rolls

If you want the most low-carb meal choose naruto rolls that feature vegetables or fish wrapped in cucumbers instead of rice.

Tips for choosing a smart sushi restaurant

The sushi Menus are often overwhelming but planning your sushi menu prior to time will help avoid decisions you later regret. “Going to the office with a plan in place is always a good idea and it is possible to include healthy food choices in your strategy,” Smith says. “Japanese foods are a part of a wide range of healthy meals: You will find healthy choices almost everywhere!”

Other tips that smart sushi lovers remember:

Raw fish is not safe to consume.

While sushi that is cooked or loaded with vegetable rolls are generally safe for everyone sushi rolls made with raw fish are not safe to eat for some categories, such as:

Anyone more susceptible to foodborne illnesses.

Anyone aged under 5 and older than 65.

People with weak immune systems.

Patients who are taking immunosuppressant medication.

Pregnant people.

People who have an elevated level of iron within their bloodstream, a condition known as hemochromatosis.

Pick your condiments carefully

The condiments used in sushi may contain much more sodium in them than you thought. “One teaspoon of wasabi is likely to provide you with 100 milligrams of sodium however, a teaspoon of the soy sauce that is easily taken up by rice, contains 800 milligrams sodium,” Smith says. Pickled ginger also an impressive amount of sodium. A handful of tablespoons could add hundreds of milligrams.

Low-sodium Soy Sauce is a great option and so is having sauces available with a side of them so you can dip at convenience and according to the specifications you want.


If you’re trying to cut down on carbs, pay attention to your food choices

Carbs can add to a surprising amount in sushi. “Sushi rice is packed very compactly,” Smith says. “You must be cautious since a sushi roll could be equivalent to eating four slices of bread.” Sweeter sauces may also appear to be high in carbs. Smith claims she looked at a tiny packet of sweet chili sauce and discovered it contained about 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Get a Nutritious Appetizer

Edamame, also known as cooked soybeans, is a fantastic option to start your meal. “You can find a significant amount of plant protein and fiber in edamame that can give you the feeling of being fuller,” Smith says. “It is also a bit time-consuming to consume food, so if you’re with a group, looking at something healthy could reduce calories.”

Smith states that a salad side dish is also a must-have appetizer. “Dark leaves of green are an excellent everyday choice. If you’re ordering an accompanying salad that’s packed with nutrients, you’ll be getting more.”

It is important to know that seaweed salads as well as soup have low calories yet are very high in sodium. In reality, seaweed salad can contain anywhere from 500 to 1,000 milligrams of sodium.

Take note of the size of the portions

If you’re inclined to take a sushi boat whenever you visit at a Japanese restaurant, moderation is the best. “If you limit your sushi order to only one sushi roll or edamame it’s possible to have a meal that’s light on calories,” the expert says. “If you can purchase an affordable restaurant meal at under 700 calories that’s a decent price and a good number of heart-healthy options on the light menu include between 500 and 700 calories in your menu.”


Like any dining experience, the food you order can be the most important factor. “Sushi is a healthy and green food if you order it in a simple manner,” Smith says. “If you’re craving sushi, or you love the social aspect of sharing sushi with friends do it. It’s a great experience.”

“You need to be careful and conduct your research prior to time to ensure that you nourish your body properly and make the best choices,” she adds. “With some foresight, you can make healthier decisions.”

Are you allowed to eat sushi while losing weight?

The good thing is that sushi can be part of your diet when you’re trying to shed weight. By following the tips given, for instance, buying more of the standard rolls, and fewer special rolls can help you avoid having the calories you really need.


Certain restaurants also serve brown rice in lieu of white rice. If you’re trying to control your weight or are looking to be healthier it is possible to switch the white rice for brown to get the fiber. This will be more satisfying and has a lower impact on blood sugar.

The practice of mindful eating is important to control weight and avoid binge eating. Be aware of your body’s signals by eating slowly and taking in each bite.

Do you have to limit your sushi consumption when you’re vegan?

Yes, but you’ll need to avoid eggs and seafood. With the increasing emphasis on foods that are plant-based sushi restaurants are becoming innovative with their menus, providing a variety of vegan options. There are even vegan sushi restaurants dotted throughout trendy areas that appeal to people who eat only plant-based meals.


There’s a mixture of traditional vegetable sushi rolls, such as avocado and cucumber, as well as contemporary sushi rolls that are geared toward vegans. There could be a variety of ingredients in one roll like a special roll however, they are made with plant-based ingredients. This means that these fancy vegan sushi rolls might contain additional sauces that can add calories as well as sodium.

Also even though some sushi that is vegan might include mock or tofu meat, others may not have it. If this is the case you might want to request some side dishes such as edamame to incorporate some protein from plants in your food. If you’re eating only plant-based it is possible to inquire about dishes that appear vegan, such as miso soup. However, it could be made using broth or fish sauce.

The Best and Worst Sushi to Your Health

Beware of Your Sushi


It is a Japanese standard, according to its broadest sense is rice that has been vinegared. It is available in a variety of forms and various variations. Most often, it is made with raw fish. There is the potential for some truly healthy food when you do the right game.

Rice Is Only the Beginning


The rice is the principal factor in this case. In terms of nutrition, brown rice is superior to white (higher in fiber). However, sushi really is all about the other ingredients. Sashimi generally is a term used to describe raw, sliced fish such as eel Octopus and tuna, salmon swordfish, eel — you can name it. When the seafood is consumed by itself is technically sashimi, then it’s considered to be so. However, place it in rice that has been seasoned with vinegar and you’ll have sushi.

Good: Salmon


One of the food items that are high in omega-3 acid Salmon is a fantastic option to serve with some hand-pressed rice (nigiri sushi) or rolls (maki sushi) or in a variety of other ways. It is important to be aware of the sauces and condiments, however. They can increase calories and fat.

Good: Tuna


Another great source of omega-3s Tuna is a well-loved option for sushi, either on a roll or with a topping. Be cautious when eating tuna bigeye, for instance, can contain mercury however, a serving per week is sufficient for women who are pregnant and have small children. Spicy tuna rolls? Be careful. Keep in mind that adding sauces and other condiments can increase calories and fat.

Good: Avocado


A lot of popular sushi rolls contain avocado, usually along with vegetables and fish however, sometimes they are served with rice (and nori, the seaweed sushi’s wrapper). Avocado is rich in healthy fats and fiber, and it’s loaded with other essential nutrients. This can aid your kidneys, your heart, and also your nerves.

Good: Vegetarian/Veggie Roll


Sushi does not have to contain fish. For those who aren’t a fan of seafood or vegetarians vegetables, sushi rolls (with items like cucumber, avocado, onions, carrots, mushrooms asparagus, tofu, and asparagus) are nutritious and easily accessible in both sushi and supermarkets restaurants. Pickled ginger, incidentally is a typical ingredient served along with sushi. It is intended to cleanse your taste between each bite.

Good: California Roll


The most popular sushi dish California roll is a classic in sushi. California roll is made up of rice nori, avocado, nori cucumber as well as “crab” (usually Surimi or imitation crab comprised of pollock, sugar, egg whites, and other ingredients). Sometimes, it’s served as the uramaki (with it being served with rice outside, and the nori and other ingredients inside). The California roll is usually acceptable when you stay clear of the high-calorie, fat-laden, mayonnaise-like sauces and dips.

Very Good Rainbow Roll


It’s the Mount Everest of sushi, which can be made up of crab (usually imitation) and shrimp, salmon, at least one type of tuna, and occasionally other fish. It’s typically the case that you get a California roll that’s topped with the entire fish. It’s high in protein and because of all the avocado and fish it’s very fatty however, it’s also packed with healthy fats. But, you should consume avocados in moderate amounts.

Then again, not so good: Philadelphia Roll


It’s the Philly roll is among the sushi-related inventions that could make you believe it’s healthy. It’s not. The main ingredient of cream cheese is that it is rich in cholesterol and saturated fats and is low in nutrients. With the healthful components found in some Philly rolls, such as avocado or salmon If it’s not made with reduced-fat cream cheese it’s best to steer clear of it.

Not Good: Shrimp Tempura


Shrimp may not have the nutritional value of salmon (lower in minerals and vitamins, but more sodium) However, it’s an excellent source of protein, and for a lot of people it’s delicious. Avoid tempura, however. It’s a method of battering and deep-frying shrimp. (It’s also done with other vegetables, too.) It could increase calories and fat.

Not Good Swordfish


The fleshy, firm, firm swordfish (mekajiki from Japan) is considered to be a delight when eaten along with sushi. However, swordfish is listed in the list of fish that children as well as women who are likely to become pregnant or who are breastfeeding, should beware of due to potentially excessive levels of mercury.

Unpleasant: Shark


The same problem swordfish face with mercury is also true for sharks. King mackerel and marlin also. One serving won’t affect you much. But, kids and many women are advised to stay clear of it.

Iffy Mackerel


Also known as saba in Japan mackerel is yet another heart-healthy species of fish that is high in omega-3s, protein, as well as other nutrients. It’s an excellent option for sushi. Be aware: Although Atlantic mackerel appears on the FDA’s list of top choices King mackerel is listed as one of the fish to stay clear of due to the potential for excessive concentrations of mercury. Be aware of the fish you’re purchasing.

Then again, not good: Marlin


In Japan, it is believed that nairagi is an exquisite delicacy in sashimi, sushi, as well as a raw fish dish called poke. There are however questions about the levels of mercury in the dish. The FDA has included marlin in their list of seafood that should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing and infant children. Some people may eat it however, it is best to limit consumption just to ensure you are safe.

Unbelievably Bad: Dragon Roll


There’s a lot of sushi available that are available. With some experience, you’ll be able to create your own healthy sushi masterpieces as well. The dragon roll should not be included in your menu. It’s made of unagi, or eel, which is rich in omega-3s, protein as well as vitamins B12, A, and D. But, in general, dragon rolls include a heavy, calorie-laden sauce. Additionally, unagi is endangered. Beware of it.

Bottom line

Sushi is a popular food in the world. The combination of rice, fish, and other seasonings makes sushi an ideal food item to be included in a wholesome meal plan. Sushi is a great choice for any diet plan as an eating plan that is healthy. It is also possible to enjoy sushi at home by making it yourself sushi. Enjoy!

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