Sushi is one of the most popular kinds of food. I am constantly being invited by friends to go to one of the several local sushi restaurants in town. With so many ways to prepare sushi and the number of different sushi rolls you can order, it can be challenging to know if what you’re eating is considered healthy or if it’s fattening.
Sushi has often been dubbed as a “diet-friendly” meal, but is it actually? Is sushi fattening?
Whether sushi is fattening isn’t a straightforward answer. With hundreds of different sushi rolls and different ways to prepare the meal, whether it’s fattening or not depends on what you order, how it’s made, and how much of it you eat.
What Makes Sushi Fattening?
Almost everything we eat contains fat. It can be what we call healthy fats or unhealthy fats. Generally, when you think of sushi, it doesn’t have a lot of fattening properties because it’s usually made with rice, fish, and vegetables. So what’s the fattening part of sushi?
What makes sushi fattening is the extra ingredients and variety of sauces that come with your sushi. Some sushi rolls will come with mayonnaise or spicy mayo, which is generally a reasonably fatty ingredient. Another sauce sometimes included in some sushi rolls is teriyaki sauce.
Teriyaki sauce is high in saturated fat. Of course, everything is okay in moderation, but eating several sushi rolls, all with spicy mayo or another fattening sauce, will take your relatively healthy meal to a potentially unhealthy one.
Another popular ingredient in some sushi rolls is cream cheese. While this is absolutely delicious, cream cheese is a fattening ingredient.
If you’re really craving a sushi roll with cream cheese in it, to reduce the amount of fat in your meal, only eating one roll with cream cheese or splitting it with a friend while you eat a roll without cream cheese is a great option.
How Many Types of Sushi Rolls are There?
There are over 85 different types of sushi rolls. Something to keep in mind is that this number may be even higher when you take into consideration the several variations of standard sushi rolls.
What are the Least Fattening Sushi Rolls?
If you’re craving sushi but are watching your fat intake, there’s a lot of sushi roll options available to you. The biggest thing you’ll want to watch for is whether they have cream cheese or provide a mayonnaise ingredient. Here are some of the most popular sushi rolls that aren’t generally fattening:
- Alaskan Roll
- Blue Crab Roll
- California Roll
- Energy Roll
- Hawaiian Roll
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A Brief History of Sushi
Have you ever wondered where your beloved sushi came from? Well, even though it’s an incredibly popular and well-known dish from Japan, the origins of sushi are not from Japan. Sushi actually has roots in what we now know as China. In China, narezushi was created with salted fish and fermented rice as early as the 2nd century BC.
It wasn’t until the 8th century BC that this narezushi spread from China to Japan, the now sushi capital of the world. What was once known as narezushi became what we know today as sushi through years of evolution and transforming the simple dish. The 18th century is when sushi began booming in Japan.
Originally, sushi was considered street food in Japan. Many of the vendors who were selling sushi couldn’t afford to open a restaurant due to the price of the property being so high. But, in 1923, an earthquake struck that changed everything.
The cost of property dropped, and vendors were able to open up sushi restaurants. From then, sushi restaurants began becoming increasingly popular in Japan and began spreading throughout the world.
Sushi Facts That May Blow Your Mind
Sushi culture in Japan is a little different than it is in other parts of the world. Next time you’re chowing down on some fresh sushi, you can impress your friends with these fun facts.
- When using soy sauce for your sushi in Japan, it’s surprisingly disrespectful to waste any. You read that correctly. The best way to avoid this is to pour smaller amounts and add the sauce as you need it to avoid wasting any.
- Even though most people eat their sushi with chopsticks, people traditionally ate it with their fingers.
- They take being a sushi chef very seriously in Japan. To be a sushi chef in Japan, you must go through approximately ten years of training. That’s almost double how long it takes for someone to become a doctor there.
- Initially, only men were allowed to be sushi chefs in Japan. While there was no official date when women were allowed into the profession, they are now. Granted, they make up less than 10% of the sushi chef population.
- I think it’s safe to say that you’ll eat the best sushi in the world when you visit Japan, but where is the second-best place to get sushi? The second best place to eat sushi in the world is in New York City.
The Most Expensive Sushi Roll
While you can find affordable sushi in many places, there are some higher-end restaurants throughout the world where you’ll find the price for sushi much higher. But have you ever thought about what the most expensive sushi roll in the world is?
Angelito Araneta Jr created the most expensive sushi roll in the world. Before you wonder who decides what’s the most expensive, this chef has been given the title for his such roll by the Guinness Book of World Records.
This Filipino chef loves adding expensive ingredients and elements to his sushi rolls to make them unique. This uniqueness that he adds also adds a few dollar signs. Angelito Araneta Jr’s nigiri roll is deemed the most expensive sushi roll in the world.
It’s a five-piece roll composed of pink salmon, foie gras, wrapped in edible 24-karat gold leaf, three Palawan pearls, and 20-carats of diamonds. When you add all of this together, you have a sushi roll that totals 1,978 United States dollars.
Alicia is the senior content editor and writer here at Food FAQ. She has extensive experience with acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and various supplements. When not eating food for “research”, she’s watching “Friends” for the 100th time.