Though being prepared with enough make-ahead healthy work lunches to last the week is the key to sticking to your health goals, it’s not always easy to be fully prepped as sometimes the week gets busier.
At such times, opting for sushi has been touted as a healthy alternative when eating out.
However, these Japanese favourites could contain far more calories than advertised on the (bento) box.
Consider that deliciously sticky rice, for example. If you’ve made your own sushi at home, you’ll know achieving that stickiness requires a mix of salt, rice vinegar and sugar.
And while adding vinegar to the mix lowers the GI of rice (which keeps you fuller for longer), the addition of sugar may come as a shock.
What won’t come as a surprise, however, is the recommendation to avoid the fried filling options often available.
Fried chicken, tempura veggies and tempura seafood are easy to forget about when they come all neatly wrapped up in a healthy package. Better options are fresh vegetable or raw fish rolls.
Speaking of fish, there’s one that should just keep on swimming and it’s those mini soy sauce packets. According to dietitian Susie Burrell, a single pack contains one-third of the recommended sodium intake.
Last on this disappointingly long list of things to avoid at your local sushi joint, is the tasty mayonnaise that now seems to be found on most options. On the plus side, it’s not a traditional sushi filling so you can go without knowing you’ve chosen the authentic option.
Luckily, there are a few ways to make your sushi slightly healthier.
Starting with miso soup is a great way to help fill you up, as is adding a side of edamame beans, if one sushi roll just won’t do. Opting for brown rice will also keep you fuller for longer, while a touch of wasabi will give you a boost of antioxidants without many calories at all.
Alternatively, choose nigiri over your regular sushi hand roll. Two salmon nigiri contain just 90 calories compared to a six-pack lunch’s 300 calories.
Or, you could just make your own sushi with our delightful sushi recipes so you know exactly what’s on your plate.
If you still love hand rolls more than the healthier nigiri, you can learn how to make healthy mini sushi rolls at home with detailed steps here.
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