7 Healthy Sushi Options, Plus Ingredients to Look Out For

Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2022
7 Healthy Sushi Options, Plus Ingredients to Look Out For
Here are healthy sushi options as well as ingredients to look out for

Although sushi is seen as a relatively healthy choice, some menu items can be high in sodium, sugar, and other ingredients that you may want to avoid.

Here are healthy sushi options as well as ingredients to look out for.

7 healthy sushi options

  1. Sashimi or nigiri: Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish, and nigiri are pieces of raw fish laid across a ball of rice. Both options are low in calories and rich in nutrients such as protein, B vitamins, selenium, and potassium. 
  2. Rainbow roll: Rainbow rolls often contain crab, salmon, shrimp, at least one type of tuna, cucumber, and avocado. Due to the abundance of fish and avocado, this dish is high in protein and healthy fats and a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  3. Hosomaki rolls: Hosomaki rolls are made with rice, fish, or vegetables wrapped in seaweed. These rolls are typically smaller, so they have roughly half the calories and carbs of some of the more typical rolls. To make this option even healthier, ask the cooks to use less rice.
  4. Naruto rolls: Naruto rolls are an ideal low-carb option since they have fish or vegetables wrapped in cucumber instead of rice.
  5. Vegetable roll: Vegetarian rolls often contain ingredients such as avocado, cucumber, carrot, mushroom, onion, asparagus, and tofu, which are a great option for vegetarians or people who aren't big fish eaters. 
  6. California roll: The California roll is made up of rice, nori, avocado, cucumber, and imitation crab meat, made of pollock, egg whites, sugar, and other ingredients. As long as you avoid the high-calorie mayonnaise-like dips and sauces, a California roll can be a healthy choice.
  7. Tuna: Tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and is a common ingredient in sushi rolls. However, tuna can contain high levels of mercury, so it is best to limit consumption to once a week. 

What ingredients to look out for in sushi

  • Tempura: Tempura involves deep-frying battered fish or vegetables. Deep frying foods are often high in calories and unhealthy fats. 
  • Teriyaki sauce: Teriyaki sauce is calorie-dense and high in added sugar, which is not good for your health.
  • Cream cheese: Some sushi rolls, like the Philadelphia roll, contains cream cheese or other fatty sauces that are low in nutrients and high in saturated fats.
  • Swordfish: Sushi is often served with swordfish, which is known for its solid, meaty flesh. Unfortunately, due to possibly high mercury levels, swordfish is listed on the FDA's list of fish that young children and pregnant or nursing women should avoid eating.
  • Marlin: Marlin is also relatively high in mercury content and should only be consumed in small amounts.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2022
Image Source: iStock image