Sushi is healthy or not? Sushi is good for diet or not? Depends on kinds and amount of sushi you eat. So let us take a look the sushi calories chart and the result of our survey “How many pieces of nigiri sushi do you usually eat at your dinner?”.
- How Many Calories in Nigiri Sushi?
- Calories in Nigiri Sushi
- How Many Pieces of Nigiri Sushi Do You Usually Eat at Your Dinner?
- Calories in Sushi Roll
- Editor’s Recommended Combination
How Many Calories in Nigiri Sushi?
Many consider sushi to be a healthy food. This is in some parts true, but one must bear in mind what you are consuming. You are eating predominantly fish and rice, and yes, it does lack the leafy green vegetables that your doctor always tell you to eat. However, fish is a great source of protein as well as other nutrients like fish oil, vitamin B, iron, and more. Another plus to eating sushi is the few ingredients used making sushi: simply rice, vinegar, rice wine, and in some cases salt. It’s always nice to know that what you are eating does not contain the artificial ingredients with names you can hardly pronounce. So in that sense – yes, what you are consuming is completely natural.
However, the concept of “healthy” and “calories” don’t always go hand in hand. While sushi, as stated above, is a good source of nutrients and proteins, it also contains carbs. That small ball of rice under the fish may look small, but can definitely add up as you begin eating 5, 10, 15 pieces. An average male should consume about 2000 calories and females, 1800 in a single day. Of course depending on your weight, height, age and your daily activity, that target number will differ. But it is safe to say that you should not be consuming more than 1000 calories in a single meal if you plan to eat three meals a day as generally deemed healthy. To give you an idea, a burger combo with a soft drink will have about 1300 calories. No wonder it’s not considered a diet-friendly food.
So let us take a look at sushi. If you take a look at the chart below, you can see an average amount of calories per piece of nigiri sushi. An average nigiri sushi contain about 20 grams of rice or 32 calories from rice.
Calories in Nigiri Sushi
|Japanese Name||English Name||Calorie Count with Rice (1pc)|
|Aji||Spanish Mackerel||50 calories|
|Akagai||Ark Shell||43 calories|
|Amaebi||Sweet Shrimp||45 calories|
|Anago||Sea Eel||70 calories|
|Aoyagi||Round Clam||45 calories|
|Hamachi||Young Yellowtail||70 calories|
|Hokkigai||Surf Clam||43 calories|
|Ikura||Salmon Roe||73 calories|
|Kani||Clue Crab||41 calories|
|Mirugai||Geoduck Clam||44 calories|
|Tai||Red Snapper||61 calories|
|Toro||Fatty Tuna||85 calories|
|Unagi||Freshwater Eel||76 calories|
|Uni||Sea Urchin||56 calories|
Depending on what sushi you eat, the calories may range from just above 40 calories to 85 calories per piece. A basic omakase at a sushi restaurant will consist of roughly around 11 pieces of nigiri sushi like the image shown below.
In this picture of a set omakase, you’ll see (from top row L to R) ikura, uni, anago, tako, hokkigai, tamago (bottom row L to R), aji, maguro, tai, ebi, and saba. If you add it all up, it totals 640 calories. If you stop at that, without ordering other appetizers or sushi, you’d have a fairly controlled meal.
But can we stop it at that? There are so many more kinds of sushi you will want to try, and not to mention the ones you want to eat two or three times? So we asked our readers about how many pieces of nigiri sushi they tend to eat in a single visit to sushi restaurants.
From the survey, men answered that they average about 21.9 pieces of nigiri sushi (at 1,253 calories) and women about 16.0 pieces (908 calories). Total average was about 18.6 pieces (1,061 calories).
How Many Pieces of Nigiri Sushi Do You Usually Eat at Your Dinner?
The choices man made are…
Respondent: Male 50’s
4 pieces of hamachi, 8 pieces of salmon, 4 pieces of uni, and 4 pieces of unagi.
– That’s 20 pieces of nigiri in total. But because his choices have many high calorie items, the total calorie intake from his meal would be 1,192.
Respondent: Male 50’s
1 amaebi, 1 anago, 1 hamachi, 1 hirame, 1 hokkigai, 1 ika, 11 ikura, 2 maguro, 1 sake, 1 uni, and 1 unagi, total of 22 pieces.
– His calorie intake was 1,409 calories even though he only ate two pieces more than the previous respondent. Part of this is because he ate a whopping 11 pieces of ikura, which has 73 calories each. By eating different types of sushi, you can limit your calorie intake as well as get various health benefits from each fish.
Respondent: Male 30’s
1 awabi, 2 hamachi, 2 hirame, 2 hotate, 1 ika, 2 ikura, 1 iwashi, 1 kohada, 2 maguro, 1 mirugai, 2 saba, and 2 tai.
– His calorie comes out to only 1,066 calories despite eating the 20 pieces.
Looking at the choices women made
Respondent: Female 30’s
4 anago, 2 awabi, 2 hamachi, 2 sake, 2 uni, and 4 unagi.
– 16 pieces in total came out to be 1,024 calories.
Respondent: Female 20’s
1 amaebi, 2 hamachi, 1 hokkigai, 1 hotate, 2 ikura, 1 maguro, 1 masago (80 calories), 1 mirugai, 4 sake, and 2 uni.
– She also chose 16 pieces, but her total calorie intake would be 896 calories.
Calories in Sushi Roll
|Roll Name||Main Ingredients||Calorie Count (1 roll)|
|Avocado Roll||Nori, rice, avocado, sesame seeds||140 calories|
|California Sushi Roll||Nori, rice, avocado, crab, cucumber, sesame seeds||255-350 calories|
|Dragon Sushi Roll||Nori, rice, eel, crab, cucumber/avocado outside||450 calories|
|Philadelphia (Philly) Sushi Roll||Nori, rice, salmon, avocado, asparagus or cucumber, cream cheese||290-320 calories|
|Rainbow Sushi Roll||Nori, rice, avocado, fish||424-476 calories|
|Salmon & Avocado Roll||Nori, rice, salmon, avocado||304 calories|
|Spicy Tuna Sushi Roll||Nori, rice, tuna, mayo, chill sauce||290 calories|
|Tiger Sushi Roll (Shrimp Tempura Roll)||Nori, rice, shrimp, tempura batter, avocado||417-508 calories|
|Tuna (Maguro) Roll||Nori, rice, tuna||184 calories|
Editor’s Recommended Combination:
When I go to a sushi restaurant, I usually make a circle on whatever is available and fresh by eating one piece each, and if I am not full, I will ask for seconds on the ones I like. For example, I will order 1 piece of aji, 1 piece of amaebi, 1 piece of anago, 1 piece of aoyagi, 1 piece of hamachi, 1 piece of hirame, 1 piece of hotate, 2 pieces of kanpachi, 1 piece of kohada, 1 piece of saba, 1 piece of sake, 1 piece of tai, 1 piece of tako, 2 pieces of toro, 2 pieces of uni. A total 18 pieces and my calorie intake would be 1,053 calories.
But when I do go to a sushi restaurant, I usually end of ordering miso soup and a couple of slices of sashimi as well. That means my calorie intake will be well-over 1,200 calories which is too much.
Sushi is not an everyday food, so you might as well indulge your cravings and forget about the calories. But remember, sushi is a healthy source of sea minerals and proteins, but with all that selection, you have to keep a real close eye on your calorie count.