As you may or may not know, sushi is one of my life’s zests. Ask me where to eat, and sushi is always at the top of my list! I wanted to share some facts with you about sushi and a few insights I have gained as an avid eater and as a former sushi waitress. It might do you good to pick up those chopsticks and add a little more sushi lovin’ into your diet! All opinions expressed here are my own and have first appeared on The Petite Adventurer.
In this article, I am discussing nigiri, sashimi, and traditional maki rolls–house specialty rolls with sauce are also yummy, but not always so healthy.
First thing, lets lay down the facts [I compiled these from a variety of sites while doing a research project]
1) High protein, low in fat, and contains ESSENTIAL Omega-3 fatty acids — this can only be attained through food or vitamin supplements
2) Omega-3 (which can be found in fish) plays a crucial role in brain function, normal growth, and development. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least TWICE a week.
3) Sushi rice is made with vinegar, which is great for arterial clogging. Try brown sushi rice to go even healthier– and it’s still high on the yum factor.
4) Sushi utilizes lots of fresh ingredients including veggies and fruits — consider how much instant and unprocessed food you eat and your possible lack of fresh food
So why not sushi?
** What about mercury levels in the fish?
It’s definitely true some fish will contain high levels of mercury and other contaminants– but the amount in them will not harm you if you do not eat excessively. Sushi once a week should be just fine.
** Sushi is too expensive!
Yes, sushi can definitely be over-priced and over glorified in some spots, but there are also great places with great prices! Check out yelp and hunt for lunch specials. Most places offer a sushi lunch bento of some kind for 15 dollars or less.
** I’m apprehensive about eating “raw” fish.
Taking that first bite of raw fish may change your life forever, once a sushi lover, always a sushi lover. Try eating a little inside of a roll with other ingredients that you like. You’ll come to realize the fish isn’t “fishy” (unless it is not fresh!! yuck) and it has an appealing texture. I usually suggest most first timers try cooked things such as unagi (eel) first, and then either try tuna or salmon. From there, you can move onto the other fish such as tai (red snapper), hamachi (yellowtail), hirame (halibut), ika (squid), tako (octopus), and so on.