Sushi is a Japanese dish with the main ingredients being vinegared rice and often served with raw fish. Sushi has many different variations and can be a real healthy food. Whether eating sushi is good does not depend on the type you choose.
1. What is sushi?
Rice is the main component in sushi. Nutritionally, brown rice is better than white due to its higher fiber content. But sushi also includes many other ingredients.
Sashimi is a dish consisting only of pieces of fish (tuna, salmon, swordfish), eels and octopuses – all alive and sliced into bite-sized slices. If raw seafood is the main component then the dish is called sashimi. But if you add vinegared rice to eat with sashimi, it's called sushi.
Sushi is also divided into many different types. For example, when rice and other ingredients are pressed by hand, in a long form, it is called nigiri sushi, when wrapped in a roll, it is called maki sushi, and if rolled up outside, it is called uramaki.
Since part of the ingredients that make sushi are not cooked, many people are concerned about whether eating sushi is fluke. So, in general, is it good to eat sushi?
2. Is eating sushi healthy?
Cooking food can kill pathogenic bacteria and parasites. However, some people prefer the texture and taste of raw fish. Sushi and sashimi are especially popular in Japan and are famous all over the world.
Regarding the question of whether eating sushi has flukes, experts say regularly eating raw fish increases the risk of infection with parasites, although the rate is quite rare. Another risk is food poisoning. Therefore people with a weakened immune system should avoid eating raw meat and fish in particular, or sushi in general. In addition, cooked fish also help reduce the levels of certain contaminants, including PCB, PBDEs and mercury.
On the contrary, if the fish does not contain contaminants, eating raw will provide you with more nutrients, typically long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. In general, certain nutritional qualities may decline when the fish is cooked. Instead of frying, eating raw fish also reduces the amount of grease, cholesterol and calories significantly. In addition to the reason thateating sushi is healthy, using raw fish dishes helps to maintain the diversity of culinary cultures between countries.
Professional chefs will have their own treatment to ensure the deliciousness and safety of the sushi. The simple way to get rid of parasites in live fish is to deep freezing at a temperature of -4°F (-20°C) for at least 7 days. Freezing also helps prevent bacteria from growing, but does not kill them all.
3. Healthy sushi
3.1. Salmon sushi
As one of the foods with the highest content of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon becomes an excellent choice in many sushi dishes. But it should be noted the sauce and other accompanying ingredients as they can increase fats and calories.
3.2. Tuna sushi
It is also a good source of omega-3 and deserves to be a popular choice for sushi. However you have to be careful with some types of tuna – for example, big-eyed tuna, which contains a lot of mercury. You are safe to take one serving per week, even for pregnant women and young children. Also pay attention to spicy tuna pancakes and accompanying ingredients such as high-fat and caloric sauces.
3.3. Avocado sushi
Avocado is a familiar ingredients in many sushi rolls, which can be served with fish and vegetables, or simply butter, rice and seaweed. Avocados are high in fat and fiber that are good for the heart, as well as abundant other nutrients. Consuming avocado sushi can help your kidneys, heart and nerves work better.
3.4. Vegetarian sushi
Sushi dishes do not necessarily include raw fish. For those who do not like seafood or vegetarian, sushi combines butter, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, onions, asparagus and tofu … is a healthy choice. These ingredients are always available in supermarkets, as well as sushi restaurants. In addition, pickled ginger is also a popular flavor to serve with sushi, which has the effect of cleaning the palate while you eat.
3.5. California-style sushi rolls
This is a classic, Californian-style sushi that includes ingredients such as rice, nori seaweed, avocado, cucumber and crab sticks (usually made from fish, egg whites, sugar and other ingredients). This type of sushi is usually presented with a roll-up style, that is, the rice on the outside, seaweed and other ingredients on the inside (called uramaki). A California sushi roll will be a healthy choice if you don't serve it with high-calorie dipping sauces and sauces, for example mayonnaise.
3.6. Rainbow Sushi
This is a combination of various types of sushi and is presented in one serving. Ingredients may include: crab sticks, salmon, shrimp, at least one type of tuna and other fish. This is also a california-style rolled sushi with all kinds of fish. Rainbow sushi is high in protein as well as healthy fats from fish and butter. However, you should also eat only to the extent allowed.
4. What kinds of sushi are not healthy
4.1. Sushi Philadelphia
This is a Western variation from traditional Japanese sushi. With the main ingredients of cream cheese, Philadelphia sushi is high in saturated fats and cholesterol, which is very low in nutrients. Even when combined with healthy ingredients, such as salmon or butter, if they are not made with low-fat cream cheese, you should still limit this type of sushi.
4.2. Sailfish / Chess Fish Sushi (Marlin)
In Japan, this fish is considered a delicious raw material for making sashimi, sushi and raw fish salad (called poke). However, the FDA was concerned about its mercury levels and included marlin fish on the to-avoid list for pregnant, lactation and young children. Others can eat sailfish in limited quantities to ensure safety for health.
4.3. Swordfish sushi
With its firm flesh, swordfish (Japanese name: mekajiki) is considered a delicious ingredients for making sushi. However, swordfish that are on the FDA list recommend avoiding in young children and women who are or will be pregnant, as well as breastfeeding mothers because of their high mercury content.
4.4. Shark sushi
Similar to swordfish, sharks also have a high content of mercury. A portion of sushi won't affect you too much, but in general, children and women should avoid it.
4.5. Dragon Roll Sushi
The main ingredients of dragon roll sushi are eel, which contains many proteins, omega-3s and vitamins A, B12, and D. But dragon roll sushi is often served with a high-calorie sauce. Moreover, the unagi eel is an endangered animal. Therefore, it is best to avoid it.
4.6. King ma ma's sushi
Known as a saba fish in Japan, the fish is good for the heart thanks to its content in proteins, omega-3s and other nutrients. This is also a great choice for sushi. But only Atlantic fish are recommended by the FDA, while emperor fish are on the list of fish to avoid because of their high mercury content. So you need to distinguish what kind of fish you are served.
In short, whether or not to eat sushi will depend on the type of fish and sauce you choose to take. However, live fish still have a higher risk of parasitic infections and food poisoning than cooked. You can minimize the risk by buying fish from a reputable supplier and deep freezing at a temperature of -4°F (-20°C) for a week to kill all parasites. Defrosted fish need to be stored in the refrigerator and eaten up within a few days. If you adhere to the correct storage and processing conditions, you can enjoy sushi at home or in the restaurant with peace of mind without worrying too much about the risk of health effects.
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