Health Benefits for Sea Urchin Sushi

Sea urchin on plate, high angle view, differential focus
Fresh sea urchin with wasabi on a plate. (Image: DAJ/amana images/Getty Images)

Sea urchin sushi, also known as uni, is a delicacy made from the gonads of the sea urchin. According to Sushi Encyclopedia, this type of sushi is rich and creamy, although it has a strong ocean smell. Sea urchin sushi, as with many other types of seafood, is relatively low in calories and provides some other health benefits that may make it a good addition to your diet. Note that nutritional values may change based on how meals are prepared, so consult product labeling or restaurant servers when in doubt.

Low in Calories

Sea urchin sushi is low in calories, with about 34 calories per ounce. This makes it lower in calories than other types of sushi, such as sushi made with salmon, albacore tuna or mackerel. The low calorie content of sea urchin sushi can be beneficial if you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, as replacing a higher calorie meal with this sushi can help you create a calorie deficit. The Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for a weight loss pace of 1 to 2 pounds per week, which would mean you'd have to create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories daily.

Very Low in Fat

Sea urchin sushi is very low in fat. Each ounce has just 1.1 grams of fat, which is the most energy-dense nutrient with nine calories per gram. Low-fat diets may help keep you healthy, and the National Institutes of Health suggests consuming between 25 and 35 percent of your daily calories from fat.

Minimal Carbohydrate Content

One benefit of sea urchin sushi that may be relevant to dieters is that this type of sushi contains little to no carbohydrates. An August 2010 study from "Annals of Internal Medicine" suggests that low-carbohydrate diets provide as quick a rate of weight loss as low-fat diets while offering superior reductions in cardiovascular risk factors.

Rich in Protein

Another health benefit of sea urchin sushi is that it derives most of its calories from protein. Each ounce of sea urchin sushi contains 3.2 grams of protein, which is more than half of what an egg contains. Protein is an essential nutrient that provides your body with amino acids, the building blocks of muscle. Protein is also filling, which can benefit dieters.

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