Can Sushi Be Low in Sodium?
Sushi can be a healthy meal--or a sodium nightmare. Learn how to avoid the biggest sodium bombs at your favorite sushi restaurant.
Q. I enjoy sushi and, from what I understand, it’s a fairly healthy choice--apart from the sodium. Unfortunately, I'm starting to deal with blood pressure issues. Are there ways that I can still enjoy sushi?
A. You're right, the sodium in a sushi dinner can add up quickly. It’s not the fish that’s the problem--it’s the accompaniments. My Sodium in Sushi Cheat Sheet lists typical sodium content for some of the more common items. As you can see, even the low sodium soy sauce still packs a whopping 500mg per tablespoon.
Because sushi rice can be fairly high in sodium, consider ordering sashimi (just the fish) instead of nigiri (fish balanced atop rice). If you do order a maki roll, avoid the ones made with salty sauces (such as Unagi eel rolls) or pickled vegetables and go for rolls made with raw fish and vegetables like cucumber and avocado. You might also want to learn to enjoy sushi the way the Japanese do--with little to no soy sauce or extra wasabi. This allows you to fully savor the delicate flavors of the fish and vegetables.
Nutrition Diva's Sodium in Sushi Cheat Sheet
Sushi with chopsticks image courtesy of Shutterstock