Does Sushi Contain A Lot Of Calories?

Does Sushi Contain A Lot Of Calories

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish made basically with rice, seaweed, seafood, veggies, and fruit, but does it contain many calories? Modern ways of cooking allowed chefs to fusion sushi with other dishes and combine them with other ingredients. With its small serving, one of the biggest problems of eating sushi is portion control. So, when does it become unhealthy? We’ll give you the nutritional facts that you need to know before consuming this mouthwatering food.

Sushi may look compact, but it contains a lot of calories. However, the calorie count varies depending on the ingredients used and the preparation done. For example, sushi with fried ingredients and lots of condiments and sauces will have higher calories. On the other hand, a single sushi fish and vegetable roll cut into six to nine pieces typically have 200 to 250 calories.

Sounds too much? Well, if you’re watching what you eat, it’s best to go for sushi with a lower calorie count like sashimi (raw fish) and nigiri (raw fish on a small bed of rice). You can also stick to sushi rolls made with fresh or pickled vegetables. There are ways to make a roll of sushi, like making a smaller rice portion or choosing healthier rice options for sushi, like brown rice. Before you run, check out first the details about the calories of some popular sushi.

Does Sushi Contain A Lot Of Calories?

It is not harmful to eat sushi, but you should control yourself. This section lets us emphasize the calories in sushi and the nutritional values you are likely to find if you eat it.

1.Shrimp Tempura Roll – 508 calories

Since the shrimp is breaded and fried, the Shrimp Tempura Roll has the most calories, supplying the shrimp with a crunchy, delicious flavor. It has 508 calories, 21 grams of fat, 64 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 grams of protein, making this sushi has the most calories. However, it is still one of the most favorite kinds of sushi ordered by those who are the most adventurous sushi lovers and fond of shrimp tempura.

2.Rainbow Roll – 476 calories

The Rainbow Roll is the one they should be searching for, for those who want a bit of everything. However, this sushi roll consists of 476 calories, 16 grams of fat, 50 grams of carbohydrates, and 33 grams of protein. Because of the various kinds of fish on top, this sushi roll is known as one of the most varied and protein-packed rolls. While the calories are high, it’s a colorful meal, so it’s effortless to lose your control when eating it.

3.Philadelphia Roll – 320 calories

The Philadelphia Roll is where you’ll find salmon and cream cheese, making it one of the more caloric sushi rolls. It consists of 320 calories, 8 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of protein.

4.Spider Roll – 317 calories

The Spider Roll consists mostly of battered crab, which adds a roll that is otherwise reasonably simple with flavor and calories. It has 317 calories, 12 grams of fat and 38 grams of carbohydrates, and 13 grams of protein. The preparation of the fried crab adds fat, but it’s still a trendy and delicious roll.

5.California Roll – 225 calories

The California Roll is a classic. It’s made up of 225 calories, 7 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrates, and 9 grams of protein. It’s the perfect roll for beginners to try making sushi for the first time or a light dinner.

Sushi: Healthy or Unhealthy?

Since it has many nutrient-rich ingredients, sushi is also famous as a nutritious meal. This famous Japanese dish, however, frequently contains raw fish. What’s more, consumers often eat it with high-salt soy sauce. So, let’s take a comprehensive look at what makes sushi healthy and when does it become unhealthy.

What Makes Sushi Healthy?

Most kinds of sushi rolls are healthy because of their natural ingredients. Most of the time, here are some components that make sushi healthy for all occasions.


Fish is an excellent source of iodine, protein, and various vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. Furthermore, one of the few foods containing natural vitamin D. Fish contains omega-3 fats that need to work optimally for your brain and body. These healthy fats help battle medical conditions such as stroke and heart disease. Fish is also associated with a lower risk in old age for some autoimmune disorders, depression, and memory and vision loss.


If you want some kick in your sushi, you should eat it with wasabi paste. It is from Eutrema japonicum’s grated stem, which belongs to the same family as cabbage, horseradish, and mustard. Since its flavor is excellent and too strong, you should only eat it in small quantities. Wasabi is rich with beta carotene, isothiocyanates, and glucosinolates.

Research indicates that antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties can be found in these compounds. However, many restaurants use an imitation paste made from a mixture of horseradish, mustard powder, and green dye because of the wasabi plant’s shortage. It’s doubtful that this commodity has the same nutritional properties.


Nori is a type of seaweed that is common for rolling sushi. It offers various nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, iodine, thiamine, and vitamins A, C, and E. Protein is 44 percent of its dry weight, equivalent to high-protein plant foods such as soybeans.

Nori is also excellent in combating viruses, inflammation, and even cancer. However, only a little seaweed is provided in one roll of sushi, which makes it unlikely to add much to your everyday nutrient needs.

Pickled ginger

Pickled ginger or gari is sometimes used between various pieces of sushi to cleanse your palate. It is a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Furthermore, it may have some properties that help protect against viruses and bacteria. Studies show that ginger can enhance memory and help relieve nausea, muscle pain, arthritic pain, menstrual pain, and even LDL ( bad) cholesterol levels.

What Makes Sushi Unhealthy?

A roll of sushi should be healthy, but it may become harmful to any diet depending on the ingredients you put in and how much you consume. Here are some reasons that make sushi unhealthy.

Sushi Comes With Refined Carbs And Low Fiber Content

White rice is the main ingredient of sushi. Some studies indicate that a high intake of refined carbohydrates and the associated rise in blood sugar levels may promote inflammation and increase heart disease and diabetes risk. Moreover, sushi rice is often cooked with sugar resulting in easily breaking down in your digestive system. 

As a result, it can cause blood sugar and insulin levels to increase, leading to overeating. Studies also indicate that rice vinegar added to sushi can help lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and fats in the blood. Instead of white rice, using brown rice in small quantities will improve its fiber content and nutritional value. 

High-Fat Content

With high-fat sauces and fried tempura batter, it increases the calorie content significantly. Additionally, there usually are minimal quantities of fish or vegetables in a single piece of sushi. It makes it a low-protein, low-fiber meal, therefore not very effective in reducing appetite and hunger. Try accompanying your next sushi meal with miso soup, edamame, sashimi, or wakame salad to make it more filling.

Soy Sauce Have High Salt Content

Generally, a sushi meal contains a significant salt, but the soy sauce used for dipping is very high in salt. Too much salt will raise the risk of stomach cancer in your diet. In individuals that are susceptible to this ingredient, it can also promote high blood pressure.

You should limit or eliminate soy sauce and sushi made with smoked fish, such as mackerel or salmon, if you want to reduce your salt intake. Although miso soup can help prevent you from overeating, there is a great deal of salt in it. You may want to stop it as well if you’re watching your salt intake.

Raw Meat May Have Contaminated Bacteria And Parasites

You may be at risk of infection from different bacteria and parasites when consuming sushi made from raw fish. Salmonella, various Vibrio bacteria, and Anisakis and Diphyllobothrium parasites are some of the species present most commonly in sushi. It is important to remember that the use of the ‘sushi-grade fish’ mark is not currently controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This mark does not, as such, guarantee that the sushi you consume is healthy. It is more of a marketing strategy by manufacturers to get your trust.

Aim to eat sushi at reputable restaurants that are more likely to follow acceptable food safety standards to decrease the chance of food poisoning. Vegetarian rolls or ones made of fried fish may also be opted for. Some individuals will need to entirely avoid sushi made with raw fish, including pregnant women, young kids, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems.

Sushi Is Prone To Having Mercury and Other Toxins

Owing to oceanic contamination, fish can also contain heavy metals like mercury. Predatory fish tend to have the highest amounts, such as tuna, swordfish, mackerel, marlin, and sharks. Salmon, eel, sea urchin, salmon, lobster, and octopus are seafood species that are low in mercury. Ciguatera or scombroid poisoning can result from other types of toxins found in fish.

The most likely to cause ciguatera poisoning are sea bass, grouper, and red snapper, while scombroid poisoning is most likely to result from consuming tuna, mackerel, or mahi-mahi. By avoiding the types of fish most likely to be infected, you may reduce your risk.

How To Maximize Benefits Of Sushi?

Does Sushi Contain A Lot Of Calories

If you want to maximize the health benefits of consuming a sushi roll, make sure that you consider the following tips. There’s no harm eating a sushi roll, but make sure that you know your limits. Otherwise, you might end up getting unhealthy.

  • Raise the intake of nutrients. Over those made with white rice, select sushi rolls made with brown rice.
  • Favor cone-shaped hand rolls containing less rice than more conventional rolls (temaki).
  • Increase your meal’s protein and fiber material. Edamame, wakame salad, miso broth, or sashimi complement your sushi.
  • Stop cream-made rolls of cheese, sauces, or tempura. Ask for extra vegetables to create crunchiness without these unhealthy ingredients.
  • Cut it down with soy sauce. Stop soy sauce or gently dip your sushi in it if you are salt-sensitive.
  • Order sushi from reputable restaurants that are more likely to meet proper practices for food safety.


Sushi can be rich in many vitamins, minerals, and compounds that support well-being. Some forms, however, come with processed carbohydrates, salt, and unhealthy fats. Even sushi can be a perfect addition to a healthy diet if you’re smart about how you consume it well.

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