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Home > Sushi Nutrition / Benefits / Diet / Calories
Sushi Nutrition / Benefits / Diet / Calories

Sushi Nutrition Facts

Sushi is a balanced diet. It is composed of Lean protein, carbohydrates, negligible in saturated fat, and loaded with unsaturated fat.

Depending on the chef, the rice portion of the sushi can vary from 20-30 calories or 3~5 grams of carbohydrate

15 grams of sugar (60 cal) and 10 grams of salt are used to make 100ml of sushi rice vinegar. A less than a third, or 30ml of this is used for a whole cup of rice. A cup of rice will yield about 25 pieces of sushi. One nigiri sushi will contain no more than 0.7 cal from the sugar, or 0.2 grams of carbohydrates. This will also equate to 0.47 grams of sodium or 2% of the daily recommended daily value.

While the protein and fat content may vary with the type of main ingredients used, here are some examples. (The weight of the fish used in an average nigiri sushi is about 5 grams at the most).

Tuna 7 cal 1.1 grams Protein 0.1grams Unsaturated Fat 0.06 grams Saturated Fat
Salmon 7 cal 1 gram Protein 0.4 grams Unsaturated Fat 0.1 grams Saturated Fat
Halibut 4 cal 1 gram Protein 0.1 grams Unsaturated Fat 0.02 grams Saturated Fat

A rough caloric average of a single nigiri sushi is about 35 calories, 1 gram of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates, 0.3 grams of unsaturated fat, 0.03 grams of unsaturated fat, and 0.05 grams of sodium. Multiply that by 10 and that will be an average sushi meal. The only thing that is lacking in sushi is fiber. Appetizers that are mostly prepared with vegetables are recommended.

Health Benefits of Sushi

For a person with normal health, sushi has many health benefits. All dishes (excluding eel, and some fusion style sushi) are low in saturated fat and high in protein. There may be a slight load in carbohydrates in thick sushi rolls, but it is negligible for nigiri sushi since they are small in amount.

High content of fish oil is the main health factor which promotes a healthy cardiovascular system. The hikarimono, or shiny fishes (mackerel, Spanish mackerel, sardine, Pacific Saury) contain the highest amounts of EPA and DHA omega3 fats. (Ironically they are the least expensive fishes). These fishes are also high in vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant.

Nori contains a great source of minerals found in the ocean and vinegar acts as an important factor in promoting cell metabolism. People who use vinegar frequently (to dress salads, blend with soy sauce, or drink in small amounts (please refer to rice vinegar in choosing the best ingredients) have lower percentages of body fat.

Unfortunately, people with type I or II diabetes should stay away from sushi, and stick to sashimi. Individuals with high blood pressure must limit their use of soy sauce (see: how to eat sushi).

Sushi Diet

The sushi diet takes advantage of many benefits of sushi and the fortunate people that can afford to eat sushi frequently often use it as a carefree weight loss or diet program. Depending on the types of sushi and the amount you eat, you can loose weight over a moderate period of time. Now it is very unrealistic for you to eat only sushi for several days, but let’s explain why eating sushi can help you loose weight and also, give you some advice to take into consideration.

Sushi consists of small portions of rice (carbohydrates) and pure protein packed with omega-3 oils. It consists of mostly protein, a little less than half the amount of carbohydrates (compared to protein in grams), and beneficial fat to lower your cholesterol. This is a golden ratio of food components when dieting. Bodybuilders use similar ratios of each of these components to drop their body fat. (Yes, they take unsaturated fat pills to melt away fat in difficult areas) Weight gain can result from an imbalance of carbohydrate, protein and unhealthy fat. In many cases, people eat foods that contain too many carbohydrates, and saturated fat compared to protein.

Besides a good nutritional balance, sushi is often accompanied by many beneficial ingredients and condiments that can promote weight loss. One is vinegar and citrus. These acids promote fat loss during metabolism. Sushi rice is prepared with rice vinegar. Some white fishes are eaten with ponzu, or soy-citrus sauce. Then you have the gari to aid quick digestion for the body to quickly use up what you have eaten. Green tea is always served with sushi. Since green tea has many properties that burn fat it has its very own green tea diet system.

While most sushi are not fattening, if you are concerned of the calories in sushi, the optimal ingredient to have when doing the sushi diet are the ones that have close to 0 grams of fat. These sushi’s consist of tuna, albacore, halibut, red-snapper, and shellfish. While the oilier fishes such as toro, salmon, and mackerel will not make you gain weight, they may not make you loose significant weight depending on your current metabolism, but your cholesterol will drop significantly and melt away some fat in your internal organs, which are harder to get rid of. This goes along with other ingredients such as salmon roe and sea urchin.

Avoid eel, futomaki(excessive carbohydrates), tamago (sugar included), and especially rolls with mayonnaise or any other ingredient that includes saturated fat, such as Philadelphia rolls or tempura rolls. Avoid any sauces that are sweet, or creamy such as unagi sauce and spicy sauce. The key is to stick to the traditional Edo style sushi and moderately limit your carbohydrate intake by sticking to nigiri style. The smaller the rice, the better. Eat gari in between each sushi to cleanse your palate, use soy sauce sparingly to avoid excessive salt and drink a lot of hot green tea. Last but not least, eat in moderation. Enjoy each piece of sushi you eat, take your time, and remember that sushi is not really meant to be eaten in huge quantities (although you can if you want to). Each one of them, though very small are to be given some thought and appreciation to, while tasting them, which leads to a more satisfied stomach. The sushi diet has a lot to do with the attitude towards, or how to eat sushi as well.

Calories in Sushi (Fusion Type Sushi Rolls)

While sushi calories may vary by their sizes, there are minimal deviations. Here are a list of an average piece (1) of fusion type sushi rolls and their caloric value.

Boston Roll Thin 31 cal
California Roll Thin 25 cal
Dragon Roll Thick 72 cal
Dynamite Roll Thick 148 cal
Philadelphia Roll Thin 71 cal
Rainbow Roll Thick 45 cal
Salmon Avocodo Roll Thick 37 cal
Spicy Scallop Roll Thick 49 cal
Spicy Shrimp Roll Thick 48 cal
Spicy Tuna Roll Thick 52 cal
Spicy Yellowtail Roll Thick 55 cal
Spider Roll Thick 51 cal
Tempura Roll Thin 40 cal
Tijuana Roll Thin 30 cal
Tuna Avocodo Roll Thick 41 cal

1/3 cup of Japanese short grain rice is used for a one thick roll of fusion type sushi rolls which equate to about 207 calories. Rolls are cut into 8 pieces so one average rice portion is equal to about 26 calories. A thin roll will average to about 15 rice calories per serving.

1/4 of an avocado is used for rolls which is about 60 calories, and 8 calories per serving.

1 cup of spicy sauce is abou 800 calories and roughly 100 calories for a whole roll or 13 calories are used per serving for spicy roll.

1 shrimp tempura is equal to about 60 calories.

Other ingredients such as sushi rice vinegar, and eel sauce

 are factored in to according rolls.