Losing Weight By Eating Sushi
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Losing Weight By Eating Sushi

Sushi can be a wonderful dieting option, but it is not without its faults.

For many dieters, it seems that sushi is a dream come true; combine healthy carbs in reasonable quantities with lean fish and vegetables and even throw in the good fatty oils of the avocado. And, to top it all off, it’s filling and comes in little bite sized pieces. Sounds like the delicious equivalent of the “100 Calorie Pack” solution to snacking. And in most cases, sushi is a wonderful diet food. However, as sushi has gained popularity, it has also become more extravagant, less authentic, and has lost some of its health benefits.

To a certain extent, sushi is healthy because it is plain. Broken down, plain, run-of-the-mill sushi is basically a bundles of healthy ingredients rolled in seaweed and sticky rice. The most common types of seafood used to fill sushi (tuna, salmon, crab, eel, and shrimp) are all recommended by the US Health Department and many a talk show host as great alternatives to red meat for protein requirements and lauded as wonderful staples to any diet. The avocado present in most sushi rolls, though highest in calories, contributes healthy fatty acids that promote brain health, as well as lower blood pressure and the risk for heart attack. Also frequently in sushi, cucumber boasts a multitude of health benefits, including clearing skin, preventing water retention, and contributing to the strength of human connective tissue. The under-recognized seaweed wrapping used to tie sushi together is a wonderful source of iron, an antioxidant, and it has recently been suggested that seaweed may have cancer-fighting benefits as well. Even the rice, arguably the least healthy bit of a sushi roll, provides healthy carbohydrates to the body to be broken down into glucose and glycogen to power muscles and bodily functions.

With all of these wonderful ingredients, sushi sounds like a wonder food. And it can be, as long as it isn’t over embellished. Many restaurants now sell larger sized rolls drenched in creamy mayo sauces, drizzled with sweet syrups, and sprinkled with “crunch” which is basically fried dough crushed into flakes. Adding so many toppings to the sushi adds unnecessary—but tasty!—calories and fat, cancelling out the health benefits of eating the sushi in the first place. Originally, sushi wasn’t widely available in such a decorated form. However, as it gained popularity, sushi went through the typical Americanization of foreign food. It seems everything tastes better fried or dunked in cream sauce, or with sweet sauce on top, and by adding these options, restaurants made sushi more acceptable and appealing to wary diners. Raw fish can be a hard sell, but when presented just right, sushi is no longer an acquired taste, but instead a fancy delicacy one can feel elite in consuming. The elaborate sushi available at most Japanese restaurants is anything but a diet food at this point.

Dieters should beware with sushi; it is a delicious way to shed the pounds without feeling ultra-restricted to a diet. However, the excess toppings and decorations must be used sparingly, or all benefits are negated by the extra calories and fats added. The decorations are gorgeous and delicious, but should only be eaten occasionally for best results. On the whole though, sushi has the potential to overturn the dieting world as the next wonder food, as long as consumers do their consuming wisely.

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Comments (1)

im probably the only one in this planet who is not enamored with sushi.. eck.hehehe. But nice information here, if ever I need to lose weight I'll just look out for sushi.