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Sushi Calorie Count

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sushi_caloriesDiet With Sushi

You probably wouldn't think it, but sushi is one of the more healthy dining options out there. I know you're probably thinking, "Sushi? Isn't that raw fish? How can raw fish possibly be good for you?" That's what most people think when they first hear of it. It turns out that, even though the fish is not cooked, it is still very healthy for you. Not only is it naturally low in the saturated fats you'd find in red meat, it's a good source of necessary nutrients such as protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. The seaweed wrap (or "nori") used in some types of sushi has quite a few essential vitamins and minerals. While the various sushi restaurants might do things differently, generally the amount of sushi calories is pretty low.


Best Low Calorie Sushi

Most seafood, raw or cooked, is relatively low in calories. Of course, this can vary based on the actual sushi ingredients used, as well as how it is prepared. If you're new to sushi, here are a few of the main categories served in most sushi restaurants.

  • Sashimi: Raw fish served by itself. This means it's not on any kind of rice bed or roll.
  • Nigiri: A filet of either fish or shellfish with a dash of wasabi resting on a small bed of rice.
  • Maki: Seaweed wrapped around rice and fish and/or vegetables. Generally, maki sushi it is made in a roll and then cut into pieces.
  • Temaki: Also called a hand roll, temaki is similar to maki, but wrapped in a cone-like fashion.
You can also get sushi made with non-seafood items such as cranberries, banana and avocado. Also, anything involving shellfish is going to be cooked.

Since sushi rolls are made up of up to 80% rice. This accounts for a lot of the sushi calories found in maki and temaki portions. One of the most common rolls is called the California roll. It's usually made up of avocado, imitation crab meat, cucumber and roasted sesame seeds wrapped in a sheet of seaweed and rice on the outside. A typical California roll has approximately 255 calories and 7 grams of fat per roll. Also very popular is the spicy tuna roll. It's made up of rice, tuna, mayonnaise and hot pepper wrapped up in a seaweed roll. It has approximately 290 calories and 11 grams of fat per roll. One good thing about these rolls is that they are generally pretty large and cut into a lot of different pieces. At many sushi restaurants, you can make a light meal out of one or two rolls. It's also possible to cut down even further by asking for less rice or for brown rice rather than white. Sometimes the rolls can contain some deep fried (tempura) material, but even the caloris in sushi that contains tempura are not as high as what you'd find in your average order of fries.

Since nigiri has doesn't have as much rice as maki or temaki, the sushi calories mostly come from the fish/shellfish itself and the tiny dot of wasabi used to hold it all together. Most of the sushi ingredients and recipes fall between about 35 and 60 calories per ounce of fish. Even the "higher-calorie" pieces of amaebi (sweet shrimp) and uni (sea urchin) only have 60 and 64 calories, respectively. The only possible down side to nigiri sushi is that you usually have to order it piece by piece. Thankfully, nigiri is fairly cheap compared to other rolls. Sashimi consists only of the fish or shellfish, and thus usually weighs in between 20 and 60 calories per piece.


While there are always going to be variations between recipes and restaurants, sushi is usually a good choice for people trying to lose weight or just cut back on fats and calories. Since most of it is made of raw, lower-fat seafood, sushi calories tend to come from the carbohydrates found in the rice or any condiments used to hold the rolls together. Even so, the sushi ingredients you'll find in your typical sushi meal are very high in protein and other essential nutrients. Best of all, most of the fat that comes in sushi is of the healthy, non-saturated variety. Itadakimasu (enjoy your meal)!

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