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Sushi Nutrition Facts

Sushi is a well-known food derived from Japanese cuisine. It has been widely accepted in westernized cultures and is loved by a diverse range of people. There are different types of sushi, however, the main ingredients are vinegar rice, seaweed and raw, blanched or slightly cooked fish.

Typically, the fish that is used in sushi is generally raw or seared tuna, salmon, crab sticks or prawns.

The types of sushi include nigiri, maki, oshi, chirashi and narezushi. The most common sushi however, is the nigiri and maki sushi.

Nigiri sushi is the most popular type of sushi and is usually a portion of rice with a thin layer of wasabi paste and topped with either raw tuna or salmon. It is sometimes tied together by a string of nori, or better known as seaweed.

Maki or makizushi is typically a roll of sushi that has been created with the assistance of a bamboo mat. It is prepared, starting with a thin layer of sushi rice, followed by a center such as salmon, tuna, prawn and topped with avocado, cucumber and carrots. It is then rolled together and secured with a piece of nori before being cut into bite-sized portions. These are tastefully presented and accompanied with wasabi paste and pickled ginger.

The "California Roll" is probably the most popular type of maki and is prepared with crabsticks, avocado and carrot toppings.

Other forms of makizushi include futoaki, which is a large cylindrical roll that contains various fillings and the nori on the outside.

Hosomaki is similar, and contains only one filling. Hosomaki can be further broken down into kappamaki (filled with cucumber) and tekkamaki (filled only with tuna).

Uramaki contains two or more fillings and the rice is on the outside, while the nori is on the inside. Additionally, uramaki has an outer coating of sesame seeds or roe.

Temaki are large, cone shaped hand rolls with the nori on the outside. They may contain various ingredients.

The main ingredients of sushi, raw fish and rice, are naturally low in fat (with the exception of some roes and western style rolls), high in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Specifically:

  • Fats: Most seafood is naturally low in fat, and what fat is found in them is generally unsaturated fat rich in Omega-3. Since sushi is often served raw, no fat is introduced in its preparation.

  • Proteins: Fish, tofu, seafood, egg, and many other sushi fillings contain high levels of protein.

  • Vitamins and minerals: These are found in many of the vegetables used for sushi. For example, the nori used to make sushi is rich in nutrients. Other vegetables wrapped within the sushi also offer various degrees of nutritional value.

  • Carbohydrates: These are found in the rice and the vegetables.

A typical serving (six pieces) of California Rolls provides the body with 255 calories, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 8.5 grams of fat (none of which is saturated) as well as zero cholesterol, sodium and protein.

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