What to order at a Japanese restaurant

Think sushi is always a healthy option? You’ve been mislead! So many of us have hopped onto the sushi train believing that we’ve finally found a delicious healthy takeaway option. But regular trips to your local Japanese restaurant could secretly sabotage your healthy eating plan if you’re not careful.

What to order

  • Choose brown rice over white if you can. It’s higher in fibre and nutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, manganese and magnesium.
  • Sashimi salmon and tuna. These both have omega-3s to help reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease, maintain a healthy nervous system and support brain function.
  • Brown rice sushi filled with a lean protein and avocado and/or vegetable. Avocado provides a healthy dose of skin-loving fat and vitamin E and the vegetables add extra nutrients and fibre to help fill you up. Lower calorie healthy options include prawn and avocado, salmon and cucumber, tuna, and teriyaki chicken rolls.
  • Miso soup is a good option to fill you up. But stick to one cup as it’s high in sodium which can contribute to water retention and bloating.
  • Edamame is great for a lean protein hit. It’s perfect for the snacker who wants to eat more but is watching their weight. These beans require a bit of chomping to remove from their pod, so you’ll be working for them, rather than scoffing them down.
  • Agedashi tofu provides a lean dose of protein with minimal sodium, sugar and calories.
  • A side salad is a great way bump up your vegetable servings and provide a boost of nutrients and tummy-filling power. Just go easy on any dressing. Even better ask for dressing on the side.

What to avoid

  • Anything with the words ‘crispy’, ‘fried’ or ‘tempura’ in the description. This one is kind of a given. Deep fried foods contribute to the ageing process as they produce AGE compounds and add unnecessary calories to your meal.
  • Don’t eat more than two white rice sushi rolls if you’re going to have sides.
  • Anything ‘katsu’ or ‘karaage’. Think crumbed, battered and fried, typically served with white rice and a high calorie sauce. Just say no!
  • California rolls. It usually contains ‘crab stick’ which is usually highly processed with lots of additives and fillers to turn it into a stick shape. Enough said!
  • Any ‘bowls’. Think chicken bowls or beef bowls. They contain a tonne of calories and pack in a hefty dose of sodium (more than half the daily limit).
  • The desserts, especially the mousse and tiramisu at the train restaurants. They typically contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar! Go for some fresh fruit instead.
Image by Thinkstock