Is Eating Sushi Healthy?

Japanese dish

Certain types of sushi rolls are denser in calories and unhealthy. Let’s see some of them.

Sushi is a novel delicacy that is loved the world over. When prepared the traditional way, this Japanese dish looks as great as a piece of art! 

But is sushi good for health?

Fish is healthy but what about the other ingredients like mercury and white rice and all those sweet and salty sauces?

Well, we are here to clear the air on the nutritive value of sushi and whether it should be considered as a healthy meal.


A lot of people think that sushi is one of the healthiest meals you can eat out – and it can be; however, much of it depends on what goes in the sushi and how it is prepared. 

While fresh fish is a great source of protein and supplies the healthy fats that our body needs, there are things which we need to put in or roll it with that can add up to be quite a calorie-dense ingredient that’s high in sodium, and offers little nutritional value. 

The common sushi roll for example usually contains seafood and vegetables that are wrapped in white rice. This rice is made with a mixture of vinegar and sugar and packed tight which makes it sticky. 

This roll is served with mixed mayo sauces which are high in spices and salt (not a good combo!). Studies have shown the health risks that high carbs (white rice and mayo) can have on your health.

With mayonnaise-based sauces and fried sides and high in sodium soy sauce, sushi can be as unhealthy as you can imagine!

What makes sushi healthy or unhealthy?

Sushi can be made into an extremely healthy meal with ingredients that give you heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and that are low on calories too.

The most common sushi – Nigiri sushi that’s fingers of sticky rice topped with a fillet of fish/seafood is a healthy option for a meal. On average, one piece of Nigiri sushi contains about 70 calories.

The Maki sushi rolls are made with sticky rice, fish, and Nori (dried seaweed). One piece of maki roll gives you about 48 calories.

In a Sashimi roll, raw fish is served without the rice which makes it healthier with only about 22 calories per piece. 

Certain types of sushi rolls are denser in calories and unhealthy. Let’s see some of them.

  • Sushi made with tempura shrimp as its deep-fried before serving.
  • The same is the case with spider rolls that have mayonnaise and hence are higher in fat and calories.
  • Another concern is with the high amount of mercury found in certain species of fish which can be unhealthy, particularly for pregnant and lactating women.
  • Too much soy sauce is high on sodium content which is also unhealthy.

Avocado rolls are higher in fat too but they have a large content of heart-healthy monosaturated fat which makes them a healthier option.

Health benefits of sushi 

While there are seemingly endless variations of sushi with vegetables, fish, and meat, many of these have several health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of these.

  • Heart Health: Having concentrated amounts of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids that are present in fishes like trout, herring, tuna, and salmon, sushi can be incredibly healthy.
  • Metabolism: Fish is said to be high in protein and low in fat which is great for your metabolism. Low calorie and high-quality proteins can boost your body’s potential to function properly and metabolize energy.
  • Immunity: Two ingredients are always paired with sushi – Wasabi and ginger. Both of them are known for their antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.
  • Hormone Regulation: Most of the sushi rolls are wrapped in Nori sheets (seaweed) that contain many beneficial minerals like iodine. It has a major role in maintaining hormonal balance and optimizing metabolic activities.

As you’ve probably gathered by now, apart from being delicious, sushi can be incredibly healthy if made the right way with the right ingredients. So, if you’re ready to start reaping some amazing health benefits of good sushi, you must visit Wassabi

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