You don't have to give up sushi if you're trying to lose weight. Depending on the types of sushi and the amount you eat, you can lose weight over a moderate period of time.
Three of the main components of sushi - fish, rice and vinegar - all have potential weight-loss benefits.
However, you may want to enjoy it in moderation though - and some people should even avoid sushi altogether - as there are some potential risks associated with consuming raw fish.
- Lose weight with Sushi
Whether or not sushi is beneficial for weight loss partly depends on how much and what type of sushi you choose to eat. The calories in sushi can vary significantly from about 200 or 300 calories for a meal to over 1,000, with many of the calories generally coming from the rice used to make the sushi rolls. To lose a pound of body weight, you need to create a 3,500-calorie deficit by eating less and exercising more. So, opting for the lower-calorie version of sushi may help you cut calories and slightly increase your weight-loss results.
- Lose weight with Fish
Fish is usually a great food for weight loss as it provides protein without a lot of fat or calories.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2007, people who included fish as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost about 2 pounds more in four weeks than those who didn't eat any fish.
Also, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish or seafood twice a week and suggests opting for those varieties lowest in mercury, that include salmon, shrimp, catfish, clams, flounder, scallops, crab and pollock. Try to avoid shark, tilefish and king mackerel, the types of fish highest in mercury.
- Lose weight with Rice
A study published in The FASEB Journal in 2008 found that rice consumption is associated with having a lower body weight, less body fat and a smaller waist circumference than not consuming rice. Further research is necessary to verify these effects though.
- Lose weight with Vinegar
Consuming a beverage containing about 1 tablespoon of vinegar daily for 12 weeks helped to lower the body mass index, abdominal fat and waist circumference of people who participated in a study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry in 2009.
Even though the exact amount can vary based on the chef, a sushi roll generally contains about 1 cup of sushi rice – and each cup of sushi rice genarlly contains about 3 tablespoons of an equal mix of sugar and vinegar. So, basically each roll of sushi should contain a little more than the vinegar used in this study.
- Wasabi is important
Wasabi, that spicy green paste that usually comes along with sushi, may actually increase its weight-loss benefits. Although the research is still very preliminary, according to an animal study published in Nutrition Research and Practice in 2013, wasabi may help limit weight and fat gains in those fed a high-fat diet.
- The Best Types of Sushi for Weight Loss
As weight loss has to do with cutting calories, it makes sense to opt for the types of sushi lowest in calories when trying to lose weight.
For instance, Nigiri, which is practically just raw fish placed on a small ball of sushi rice, is the simplest form of sushi and typically the lowest in calories. Maki, which are the sushi rolls, contain other ingredients besides the rice and fish, and therefore are generally a little bit higher in calories.
When you are focusing on weight loss try to avoid any sushi that contains cream cheese, mayo or fried fillings, like rolls that are labelled "spicy" or "crunchy". Instead, opt for those that only contain fish, rice and vegetables.
Other options you can go for in order to decrease the calories in your sushi include asking for your sushi to be made with less rice or maybe choosing a naruto version of sushi rolls - which means your roll will have cucumber holding it together instead of rice.
Well, what do you think? Would you try a sushi diet to lose some weight? If you are a sushi lover it will be quite easy. Right? ☺
Share your opinion and/or experience with us in the comments below.