June 15, 2024

Is sushi good for weight loss? This question has been asked by sushi lovers all the time.

Sushi is a traditional Japanese delicacy made with cooked and raw seafood, vegetables, and rice wrapped in sheets of dried seaweed called nori. This dish has made its way into the Western world, and the recipes have been modified to suit their tastebuds.

Sushi is thought to be a healthy food, as it contains fresh seafood and plain cooked rice. In this article, we analyze the calorific value and see if the nutritional profile makes sushi good for weight loss.

Is sushi fattening? What makes sushi good for weight loss?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish. (Image via Unsplash/Jakub Dziubak)
Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish. (Image via Unsplash/Jakub Dziubak)

To understand whether sushi causes weight gain/loss or not, we must take a look at the nutritional profile of popular sushi dishes. The nutritional value and calorie content vary with the type of sushi roll. Here are two popular ones:

California roll

It’s a popular type of sushi roll that’s made of cucumber, avocado and cooked imitation crab wrapped in nori. Imitation crab is a type of fish called pollock, known as surimi, and is cooked before consumption.

Hundred grams of California rolls contain:

  • Calories: 93 kcal
  • Protein: 2.9 grams
  • Carbs: 18.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Sodium: 428 mg, or around 18% of the Daily Value (DV)

It can be observed that this dish only contains only 18.4 grams of carbs, which makes surimi sushi good for weight loss if consumed in moderate amounts.

Tuna & salmon sashimi roll

The main ingredient is either raw tuna or salmon. Raw fish is known as sashimi in Japanese. Hundred grams of this dish provide:

  • Calories: 175 kcal
  • Protein: 7.5 grams
  • Carbs: 16.7 grams
  • Fat: 7.5 grams
  • Sodium: 217 mg, or 9% of the DV

Tuna and salmon are amazing sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Although this dish contains 175 calories, it’s mostly contributed by healthy fats. The carb content of 16.7 grams makes tuna and salmon sushi good for weight loss.

The best sushi for weight loss

Keto sushi is best for weight loss. (Image via Unsplash/Andraz Lazic)
Keto sushi is best for weight loss. (Image via Unsplash/Andraz Lazic)

A rice-free sushi can be amazing for weight loss, as it can fit into any type of low-carb diet. Such a sushi dish is known as sashimi, which refers to the meat used in it.

Sushi prepared without fried shrimp and fish further helps with weight loss. The low-carb profile of fish makes sushi good for weight loss. Avocados used in some sushi rolls provide good fats. It does not cause an insulin spike and hence it makes sushi good for weight loss.

Try out this keto sushi recipe for weight loss:


  • 4 oz Smoked salmon
  • 1/4 large Red bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium Cucumber
  • 1/2 medium Avocado
  • Sheets of Nori


  • Cut the red peppers and cucumbers into small thin slices.
  • Cut the salmon and avocado into thicker slices.
  • Arrange the five nori sheets in a single layer on a cutting board.
  • Place one piece each of salmon, red pepper, cucumber and avocado.
  • Roll up the sheets carefully to make one roll. Repeat for the other ones too.

Is sushi healthy for you? Low-calorie sushi options

Freshly prepared sushi made with fresh fish is healthy for you. We have already explored the nutritional profile of these ingredients and found that sushi to be good for weight loss.

Try to avoid sushi rolls that contain fried shrimp or fish. Sushi can provide very good amounts of protein and good fats. Sushi can be healthy for you if it’s made in a wise way.

The following low-calorie sushi options are best:

  • Rice-free vegetable sushi roll
  • Salmon cucumber sushi roll
  • Sashimi roll
  • Steamed shrimp roll

These low-calorie options make sushi good for weight loss and are available at most sushi outlets.

Indranil Biswas is a nutritionist and personal trainer with a diploma in dietetics and personal training with a specialization in sports nutrition and strength training.

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