Is Sushi Healthy?

The basic ingredients of sushi are: raw fish, boiled white rice, vegetables, rice vinegar and nori seaweed. There are only two traditional sauces that accompany sushi and they are soy sauce and wasabi.
Is Sushi Healthy?

Last update: 19 February, 2019

Sushi is a dish that originates from Japan, and it’s generally accompanied by sesame and salmon or trout according to different tastes. Sushi can be prepared with either raw fish or smoked fish and marinated with rice vinegar, sugar or salt. It can also include other different ingredients such as vegetables and seafood. However, the question arises, is sushi healthy?

Sushi contains omega-3 fatty acids that are usually found in fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the cardiovascular system and are a natural anti-inflammatory. This fatty acid plays an important role when it comes to brain function.

Let’s analyze some of the ingredients in sushi to see how healthy it really is.

  • Fish: raw fish is the basic ingredient in sushi. The most popular fish is tuna and salmon. These are both healthy fish, high in protein. Along with omega-3, fish also contains minerals and vitamins.
  • Rice: traditional sushi is prepared with boiled white rice and flavored with rice vinegar. Rice is a cereal that provides important amounts of carbohydrates. Keep in mind, however, that sugar is often added to rice in sushi and this increases the caloric content.
  • Nori seaweed: nori seaweed is used to wrap the rice with the fish in order to form a traditional sushi roll. It’s rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, especially iodine.

The drawbacks of sushi

  • It generally has a high sodium content, although this varies according to the specific recipe.
  • Sugar gives a richer taste and makes the sushi more appetizing. Although this also increases the number of calories that the dish contains. Particularly when we consider that it’s typical to consume several pieces of sushi during one meal.
  • Sushi is made with raw fish. This carries certain risks such as contamination from bacteria or parasites. Another possible danger is the presence of minerals and metals such as mercury. Traces of this mineral are often found in larger fish from polluted areas.
  • Before eating sushi, pay attention to the quality and freshness of the fish.
  • Superficially, sushi is made from rice, fish, and vegetables. However, sushi may not be as healthy as it seems due to its sugar content. Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight, don’t use sushi as a staple dish in your diet.
  • Wasabi sauce is a green and spicy sauce that in theory, is made using many natural ingredients. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes wasabi is made artificially to conserve its characteristic spices removing its original and natural properties. It’s not advisable for people with digestive ailments such as gastritis, acid reflux or ulcers to consume wasabi.


Sushi has benefits, however, it’s not completely healthy. If you’re going to prepare sushi at home while being mindful of the ingredients you add, feel free to treat yourself from time to time.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.