T Nation

Sushi Healthy?

For as long as I can remember, I have considered sushi a pretty healthy meal. I’m not talking about tempura or rolls covered in sauce, I’m talking about straight up fish and rice, or nigirizushi for the people who want to get technical.

The more I think about it though, it’s basically high fat, high carbs, and medium high protein. What are peoples thoughts on the overall health of such a meal?

Also, most restaurants use vinegar combination’s to make the rice sticky, some of which contain sugar. While I was browsing through the ingredients list on the back of a sushi pack from Drager’s (high end/over priced grocer) I noticed that high fructose corn syrup was listed as part of the sticky rice concoction. Is this common practice?

Any thoughts or info would be great…they want to know

I think that additions like vinegar and HFCS are mostly supermarket occurences. If you eat it at a restaurant it’s usually just the fish, veggies and rice.

I’ve always considered it a healthy meal, despite the P+C+F. I still only eat it on cheat days because I’m almost always low-carb.

Depending on what you order, it’s extremely healthy. If you are worried about any fat gain then ditch the rice and just eat sashimi…

you guys may want to take a look at this

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/Seafood/FoodbornePathogensContaminants/Methylmercury/ucm115644.htm

I think 2 meals a week of fish is enough unless you pull the fish out of the water yourself. Even then, quality of their habitat needs to come into consideration…or something.

Where’s the fat? Just avoid the mayonaisse based sauces.

And you can always just do straight up sashimi (raw fish only) to boost the protein intake.

Thank for the replies. Yea, I am not to concerned about the fat intake, more about the additives that might be used to make the components such as sticky rice.

I was also interested in how the body would process high carb/high fat/high protein all at once, but it sounds as if it’s not a big deal.

I love sushi, so I like what I hear so far.

[quote]admbaum wrote:
you guys may want to take a look at this

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/Seafood/FoodbornePathogensContaminants/Methylmercury/ucm115644.htm

I think 2 meals a week of fish is enough unless you pull the fish out of the water yourself. Even then, quality of their habitat needs to come into consideration…or something.[/quote]

Honestly, I am not to worried about mercury poisoning. I probably don’t exceed more then 2-4 servings of fish per week, but even if I did, I think the mercury poisoning thing is a litter overkill.

You can almost always expect the sushi vinegar to be sweetened…check even at organic markets. They sell low sugar, low sodium rice wine vinegar, but it is extremely bland. Almost all other rice vinegar, particularly when intended to make the rice “gluey” are sugar-sodium blends. Sometimes the brown rice is different, and inside-out rolls are less likely to be sugar-spiked too because they don’t have to be wrapped as tightly.

Your best bet is to look at the bottom of the rolls at your favorite sushi place and check the consistency of the rice. If it is on the dry side (assuming fresh), you’re probably ok. Taste is a good indicator too. Some places really over do it…and it is delicious.

[quote]SkyNett wrote:
Depending on what you order, it’s extremely healthy. If you are worried about any fat gain then ditch the rice and just eat sashimi…[/quote]

Since when does rice make you fat? There’s way more fat in sashimi than rice, making sashimi much more calorically dense. I think what you meant is the total calories decrease if you ditch the rice…or am I missing something?

[quote]sstewart22 wrote:
You can almost always expect the sushi vinegar to be sweetened…check even at organic markets. They sell low sugar, low sodium rice wine vinegar, but it is extremely bland. Almost all other rice vinegar, particularly when intended to make the rice “gluey” are sugar-sodium blends. Sometimes the brown rice is different, and inside-out rolls are less likely to be sugar-spiked too because they don’t have to be wrapped as tightly.

Your best bet is to look at the bottom of the rolls at your favorite sushi place and check the consistency of the rice. If it is on the dry side (assuming fresh), you’re probably ok. Taste is a good indicator too. Some places really over do it…and it is delicious. [/quote]

Thank you. This is what I was most concerned about, and I was pretty sure that most places did it, because sticky rice is basically a staple of sushi. I guess the only way to avoid it is to stick to sashimi?

[quote]phatkins187 wrote:

[quote]SkyNett wrote:
Depending on what you order, it’s extremely healthy. If you are worried about any fat gain then ditch the rice and just eat sashimi…[/quote]

Since when does rice make you fat? There’s way more fat in sashimi than rice, making sashimi much more calorically dense. I think what you meant is the total calories decrease if you ditch the rice…or am I missing something?[/quote]

No - you have a point, but it’s healthy fat after all, and I really just meant he might be looking to avoid the insulin spike that comes with sugar consumption, since the rice is sweetened…

And overconsumption of anything can make you fat, but certainly a fast digesting white rice sprinkled with even more simple sugars would cause an undesireable blood sugar spike if leanness is the goal…

Of course, the protein you are eating along with the rice would help temper the blood sugar response, but you get my point.