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Is sushi healthy? Everything you need to know

Is sushi healthy? Especially when it contains vegetables, seafood and fish rich in omega-3s and small amounts of avocado, healthy for the heart because it is a source of good fats.

After all, sushi comes from Japan and it has been scientifically proven that the diet of this country, similar to the Mediterranean one, is positive for health. According to research by the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, published in the British Medical Journal, the Japanese food guidelines, which provide for a balanced consumption of cereals, vegetables, fruit, fish and little meat (therefore, not just sushi! ), lead to a lower risk of premature death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease.

This obviously does not mean that the sushi we find in Italian cities is a certainty and is indiscriminately good. Indeed, going beyond the basic recipe, the dishes offered in Japanese restaurants can be rich in calories and salt.

Rolls with tempura and sauces

The question changes if we choose dishes with mayonnaise, eggs, frying and particular sauces: in these cases the calories rise significantly. A serving of tempura can exceed 500 kcal and more than 20 grams of fat, which is double the calories and triple the fat of a roll that does not contain fry.

Slices of raw fish

Sashimi is a typical dish of Japanese cuisine, which consists only of raw fish. Fish is rich in omega-3s, proteins, vitamins, phosphorus and iodine and by eating it raw we can be sure that the nutrients do not get lost in cooking. Salmon is slightly fatter than other fish: if we eat 100 grams, we are around 180 kcal. As for tuna, on the other hand, we reach 150 kcal and for shrimp we are on 70 kcal, again per 100 grams.

Toxic infection risk

Much of the fish served in Japanese restaurants is raw. It is therefore necessary to pay maximum attention to avoid the risk of toxic infections. If the hygienic rules are not respected, which provide for proper killing of raw fish, it is possible to come into contact with Anisakis, a parasitosis that can infest fish and cause even serious problems in humans. The advice is to be wary of restaurants with an all-you-can-eat formula with particularly low prices: if with 10 euros you can eat everything you want and at the market the fish costs 30 euros per kg, the quality of the fish does not it must be excellent.


Another tip to keep in mind: white sushi rice is typically prepared with sugar and salt together with rice vinegar and is therefore rich in refined carbohydrates. If you eat sushi often, try asking for the full version. While it will still have added sugar, it will be richer in fiber.

The algae

Seaweed is rich in water, iodine, vitamins, some minerals and chlorophyll, which is an excellent antioxidant and source of magnesium. Be careful, however: those with thyroid problems should be particularly cautious due to the high amount of iodine.

The soy sauce

Soy sauce is made with fermented soybeans and flour. One tablespoon has 8 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and 902 milligrams of sodium, which is roughly 40% of the amount of salt we should be consuming in a day. The problem with soy sauce, therefore, is not the calories, but the amount of sodium (read this article to learn more). Since it is depopulating as a tasty and alternative condiment (not only when eating sushi), we must not exaggerate: in the long run an excessive salt intake can favor ailments such as water retention and contribute to the onset of more serious problems, such as hypertension.

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