When you think of sushi you may think it’s a healthier restaurant option. Depending on what type of fish you order it can have various amounts of Vitamin A and D, magnesium and calcium. Some sushi features fresh vegetables like cucumbers and carrots, obviously a good thing. On the flip side, depending on the quantity of sushi you get and what type you’re ordering, you could end up with a meal high in carbs and sodium.

Beware of the sodium
A major issue with sushi is that it can be high in sodium. The nutritional information for sushi will differ depending on what you order and where it’s from, but it’s a safe bet to say most sushi rolls have a significant amount of sodium.

In general, tempura rolls, king crab rolls and calamari rolls contain more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium per serving. Considering the daily limit should be somewhere around 2200mg of sodium, one sushi meal can easily surpass this recommendation.

Carbs and hidden sugars
Sushi rice is made with sugar and rice vinegar. There is approximately one tablespoon of sugar for each cup of cooked sushi rice and each sushi roll contains approximately one cup of white rice. This means, eating one roll contains approximately 240 calories.

Traditional white sushi rice is also high in refined carbohydrates, which isn't the healthiest option. White rice digests quickly and causes a spike in blood sugar that leaves you hungry shortly after eating. Although the protein and healthy fats in fish based sushi options can help mitigate the blood sugar response of the rice, we need to be mindful of our overall carbohydrate and sugar intake depending on how active we are.

What you should order
The healthiest choice is to order sashimi (raw fish without rice). In some restaurants you can ask for the sushi made with brown rice, which might be a better option for some as it has more fibre and can be more filling.

If you’re looking for a high-protein try rainbow rolls, tuna or salmon. Try ordering salmon, trout or tuna if you’re looking for options rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Minimize your use of sauce. Many sauces are high in salt, sugar, fat and calories. Avoid ordering any type of sushi with adjectives attached to the name. Things that are ‘spicy,’ ‘crazy’ ‘crunchy’ or ‘creamy’ are usually filled with mayonnaise or butter.

Sushi can be healthy or unhealthy – it depends on what ingredients are used, how it’s prepared and how much you consume. Just remember, everything in moderation and try to choose the freshest and simplest options available to you.