In Japanese restaurants you’ll often see traditional dishes like sushi and sashimi on the menu. Both are equally popular. But what makes them different from each other?
Sushi is made with vinegared rice added to fresh ingredients like fish and other seafood and wrapped in seaweed. The sushi that most of us know contains raw fish but not all sushi uses fish. Some have sweet potato, avocado, cucumber and mango. It’s also accompanied by garnishes like wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce.
Sashimi, on the other hand, is consist of raw seafood, usually fish. There are also sashimi dishes that use squid and shrimp. Unlike sushi, sashimi does not come with vinegared rice, sauces or toppings.
Both sushi and sashimi, like the ones you can order from Nama Sushi, are generally good for our diets. But they vary in nutritional value. To compare, a 100g California sushi which contains crab meat, cucumber and avocado has 93 calories, 3g of protein, 1g fat, 18.5g carbohydrates and 1g fiber. A 100g smoked salmon sashimi, on the other hand, contains 179 calories, 21.5g protein, 11g fat, 0g carbohydrates and 0g fiber.
Sashimi has more protein since it’s purely meat (seafood) and also has high amounts of healthy fat which helps protect the heart and regulate inflammation in the body.
Health Benefits of Eating Sushi
Eating sushi offers several key benefits to your health, including
- 1. Sushi (seafood) is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which have been found to help manage cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and maintain a healthy heart.
- 2. Fish is an excellent source of protein that keeps energy levels stable and prevent cravings in between meals.
- 3. The fish in sushi nourish brain cells so you can focus and improve your concentration levels. Omega-3 has also been found to boost memory and protect the brain’s cognitive function.
- 4. Sushi is rich in protein which aids in muscle recovery and repair.
- 5. Sushi also contains vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A and C, as well zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphorous which help boost the immune system.
- 6. Finally, seafood sushi which contains seaweed like nori and wakame are high in iodine. This helps those with low thyroid function to manage their weight.
Health Benefits of Eating Sashimi
Here are the main benefits of eating sashimi:
- 1. Sashimi contains raw fish/meat which has high protein content.
- 2. It’s also a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which play an essential role in our health and well-being.
- 3. It’s packed with B vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12. These vitamins are needed for various bodily processes, including DNA repair, metabolism, and reducing inflammation.
- 4. Sashimi contains lots of potassium which is essential for blood pressure control and stroke prevention.
- 5. Sashimi is an excellent source of selenium, a trace mineral that aids in bone health and is even believed to prevent cancer.
- 6. Finally, eating sashimi is a good way to manage your weight as it can help you avoid cravings while at the same time improve satiety.
Potential Risks of Eating Sushi and Sashimi
The biggest concern with eating sushi and sashimi has to do with eating raw fish, which can be a source of parasites and bacteria like salmonella and tapeworm. Raw fish used in sushi and sashimi are frozen to help kill the bacteria but there’s never any guarantee that it is 100% free from contaminants.
Some fish also contain a heavy metal known as mercury which is toxic when consumed in large doses. Pregnant and breastfeeding moms should avoid sushi and sashimi to be safe.
Lastly, and this is a concern with sushi in particular, is the high levels of sodium used in soy sauce, which could have long term side effects like kidney disease and heart failure.
Watch this video to learn how to eat sushi correctly: