How to Order Healthy Sushi

sushi

With so many options–some doused in sauces and coated in rice–it is difficult to know which sushi options are the most healthy. Dr. Suneil Jain, NMD, naturopathic physician and the founder/owner of Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics, has offered up some “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to ordering sushi–in the healthiest way.

Experts say that like all fish, sushi gives you a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein

Do: Eat sashimi, slices of raw fish accessorized with veggies

Don’t: Order maki and nigiri. Both often wrapped in white rice is not so healthy because it gives you fast carbohydrates instead of a nutritious, filling meal

Like all foods, if it’s fried or smothered in sauce, it’s not healthy

Do: Order rolls with plenty of fish and sea vegetables. Have it wrapped in brown rice or request no wrap at all

Don’t: If it’s deep-fried like the famous Vegas roll or comes swimming in a mayo-based sauce, stay away

Sushi is raw, so it’s not for everyone, be careful of where it is sourced from

Do: Choose a well-run restaurant with a good reputation and be careful of the source of the fish

Don’t: If you have immune deficiency like the elderly or chronically ill and if you are pregnant, stay away from raw sushi. Also, everyone should be cautious of store-bought sushi. Its longer shelf life gives bacteria more of an opportunity to flourish and one study found that almost half of the 58 samples of grocery store sushi contained unsatisfactory levels of bacteria

Yes, you still need to worry about mercury

Do: Eat small-bodied fish that are lower on the food chain because they have less mercury and are more sustainable because they have a lower chance of being farmed. Things with two shells like scallops, clams and oysters have some of the highest omega-3 levels and are raised more sustainably

Don’t: Unfortunately, three of the most popular items – tuna, salmon and shrimp – are usually not fished or farmed sustainably. They may have higher levels of mercury and lower levels of nutrients

Traditional soy sauce contains gluten, an ingredient many people have sensitivity to

Do: Research ahead of time by calling the restaurant and asking if they have a gluten-free soy sauce option

Don’t: Assume that all other sauces are gluten-free. Many eel sauces also contain gluten

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