Is Sushi a Good Diet Food?

Americans spend around $40 billion each year on diet programs, products and books, according to the PBS website, and the majority of attempts to lose weight are unsuccessful. More than 65 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. The Japanese have a healthier weight profile and that population is among the healthiest in the world. Okinawa, Japan, is among the top longest living areas. Traditional Japanese foods, including sushi, contain vegetables, fish and rice -- ingredients that provide nutrients that support weight loss.

Sushi meal. (Image: LeeAnnWhite/iStock/Getty Images)

California Roll

California roll. (Image: Ockra/iStock/Getty Images)

The California roll is a popular sushi variety developed in the United States. The ingredients in the California roll are imitation crab, or pollock, avocado, cucumber and nori, or seaweed, and short-grain white rice. A roll of six pieces contains several nutrients beneficial for weight loss, including 282 calories, or 14 percent of a standard 2,000-calorie diet; .9 grams of fat, or less than 2 percent of the 65 grams Food and Drug Administration daily value and 3.6 grams of fiber, or 14 percent of the 25 grams FDA daily value. Including a California roll in the diet contributes to dietary fiber intake that makes you feel full and regulates carbohydrate absorption, improving metabolism.

Spicy Tuna Roll

Spicy tuna roll. (Image: Rauluminate/iStock/Getty Images)

A spicy tuna roll is a sushi roll that includes tuna, short-grain white rice, nori and a spicy sauce. The roll provides 290 calories, or 15 percent of the standard 2,000-calorie diet and 11 grams of fat, or 17 percent of the 65 grams FDA daily value. Including a low-calorie spicy tuna roll in the diet lowers energy expenditure requirements.

Shrimp Tempura Roll

Shrimp tempura roll. (Image: metinkiyak/iStock/Getty Images)

The shrimp tempura roll is a sushi roll that includes shrimp fried in batter, short-grain white rice and nori. The roll provides 544 calories, or 27 percent of the standard 2,000-calorie diet, and 13 grams of fat, or 20 percent of the 65 grams FDA daily value. The shrimp tempura roll and all sushi rolls that include deep-fried ingredients have a higher calorie content compared with unbreaded raw fish and vegetables. Avoid eating this type of roll on a diet, or if you do include this sushi role in the diet, closely monitor your daily calorie intake.


Soy sauce. (Image: ffolas/iStock/Getty Images)

The accompaniment to sushi rolls that retains water weight in the body is soy sauce, or shoyu, a fermented soy and wheat sauce. A 1-tablespoon serving of soy sauce, or about two packets, provides 902 milligrams of sodium. The FDA established a 2,400 milligram daily upper intake for sodium. A low-sodium soy sauce provides 533 milligrams of sodium, nearly a 50 percent sodium reduction.

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