With more than a hundred appearances in shows and movies, sushi is one of the foremost faces of Asian cuisine in the world.
But is it great for keto?
Sushi is a family name. There are many types of it. But, if you get the right kind, you can eat it every day on a keto diet and still reach ketosis.
That's what this article is about. To tell you what to avoid and how to include the South Asian meal in your keto diet every day if you want.
But, that won't happen if you don't keep reading. So, let's get started.
How Is Sushi Made?
Sushi is a popular meal from South Asia. It is the highlight of many Japanese restaurants, and a lot of people think it's all about eating raw fish, but there are more ingredients involved.
In the traditional sense, sushi refers to a meal made from rice, seaweed, and raw fish. The rice can be white or brown. Also, you must cook it.
Most people harvest the seaweed using bamboo nets. Besides, to make great sushi, you must pick the fish because of its fat content. (1) The presence of fat is good for keto since the whole idea is to use fat to burn fat.
Other things that determine the type of fish in sushi are quality and taste. The fish is mixed with numerous spices wrapped in seaweed and rice to create a more decadent meal.
Depending on what type of sushi you want to eat or what part of South Asia you're in, this cooking method may differ. The only constant thing about sushi is the raw fish.
The raw fish is what makes us consider the meal for keto. There are other reasons why sushi is keto compliant; let us explain them.
Is Sushi Keto Compliant?
The main ingredient in sushi is rice. Some of the other ingredients are seaweed, fish, and even crab. These ingredients have nutrients that are good for keto. However, the main ingredient is rice. It has high-level carbs. If you're on a strict keto diet, eating a plate may be more than your carbs limit for the day.
However, on a medium keto diet, it'll only dissipate a large portion of your carbs limit.
Rice is the major problem of sushi for keto dieters. Seaweed is a vegetable. The fish mainly contains protein and fat. Only rice has loads of carbs. Unfortunately, only sashimi is perfectly keto compliant because it has no rice. (2)
Why does rice contain so many carbs? Let us explain.
Rice is plant food. Like many plant foods apart from vegetables, it contains a lot of starch content.
So, sashimi is the only sushi that's keto compliant. Of course, there are ways to make the other types of sushi perfect for keto dieters. The first way is to ensure that the dip is soy-sauce. If there's no way to ensure that, you should have them serve it separately.
Another way is to avoid sushi rolls with breading. Of course, fried sushi will have some breading filled with carbs.
Since you now know that some types of sushi are keto compliant, it's time to learn what kind of sushi you can eat on keto. Let's go!
What Type of Sushi Can I Eat on Keto?
On a standard low carbs diet, you can work around the regular recipe. A standard diet means you can eat carbs worth 20% of the total calories you consume in a day. (3) So, if you're taking meals worth 2000 calories in a day, your carbs level should be around 200g.
In our experience, this type of keto is rare. After all, the amount of carbs you can eat to achieve ketosis varies due to differences in body types.
However, for dieters trying to achieve a constant state of ketosis, stick with sashimi. It is raw fish. Besides, eating sushi may be trickier.
If you want to try other recipes, avoid ingredients such as rice and fried tempura. Also, make sure brine is not garnishing the seaweed. This particular ingredient contains many carbs. So, skip it.
Also, avoid any sauce apart from soy-sauce. It contains just 1 gram of carbohydrates. Other things you should avoid are sweet teriyaki and rice syrup. They use it to add taste to the meal.
Let's face it; there are numerous types of sushi. Read on to find out the most popular ones.
What Are the Types of Sushi?
Sushi is a popular meal all over South Asia. Because of its popularity, the original recipes have been modified and remodified.
The first type of sushi came by accident in Japan. The people were storing their fish by keeping them in between grains of rice.
The idea was that the fermentation of the rice would keep the fish from getting spoilt. Before long, people started eating the rice with the fish. People in Japan still eat this type of sushi today. It is called Narezushi.
It is not very popular in restaurants because of its pungent smell and taste.
However, there is popular sushi that everyone loves. The list is below. Let's get started!
This sushi contains fish alone along with some vegetables. There are many types of sashimi. Most of them don't have carbs at all. The sashimis that have carbs contain insignificant amounts.
So,.in 56 grams of Unagi (eel sashimi), you'll only find 4g of carbs. Even if you're on a strict keto diet where you can only take 20-50g in a day, this amount is insignificant. (4)
Other types of fish you should explore for sashimi are; octopus, squid, and red snapper.
Chirashi is also known as chirashizushi or scattered sushi in English. It describes a type of sushi where the fish and vegetables are mixed and placed on top of the rice in no arranged pattern.
Most chirashi sushi contains vegetables, so they are great for vegetarians. If the sushi has fish, then it'll be cooked instead of raw. (5)
In some places, this type of sushi is called Barazushi or Gomoku sushi. The kinds of things mixed with chirashi sushi toppings are avocado, green beans, octopus, and crab.
The name means two fingers, and it refers to the amount of rice every roll has in it. Traditionally, nigiri is simply fish and rice on top of each other. Usually, something is in between, and this can either be wasabi or seaweed.
They are close to the ones you see most in Japanese restaurants, even though they are not tightly wrapped. Usually, they make the sushi rice with vinegar and other condiments. (6)
The taste is the embodiment of the original sushi taste. The best fish to use for this tasty meal are halibut, bluefin tuna, and salmon.
Maki is the most famous sushi in the world. They are the tight sushi rolls found in most Japanese restaurants. According to many purists, they are not traditional enough.
There are five types of maki. Three of them have names that correlate with the thickness of their rolls. They are futomaki, chumaki, and hosomaki.
Futomaki is a thick roll of rice and fish inside nori or seaweed. Vegetables can also replace the fish if you're a vegetarian.
Hosomaki are thin rolls, and chumaki are in-between. Thus, Chumak means they are medium rolls.
The remaining two types are uramaki and temaki. Uramaki is a type of makizushi where the rice is outside instead of inside. Temaki is a cone-shaped maki where the fillings are inside. (7)
It's not enough to know the types of sushi. You must know how to make it too. Find out how to make your keto sushi below. Now, off we go.
Making My Own Keto Sushi
If you're on a keto diet, the best sushi to make is sashimi. That's because it has the smallest amount of carbs.
Making sashimi is very easy. All you have to do is follow this process.
For ingredients, get sushi-grade tuna, yellowtail, or salmon of any size you want. Also, get cilantro, daikon radish, cucumber, carrot, sushi rice, avocado, fresh lemon, shisobi, wasabi, and soy sauce.
Cut a block out of the sushi-grade fish and sear it with sesame oil and cilantro. Once that's done, cut the block into slices of 0.3 inches. This size is an estimated one; it can be a little smaller or bigger.
Arrange the fish one after the other and garnish with the shredded vegetables. Slice the orange, cucumber, and avocado. Arrange them in a fan beside the sliced fish.
Once that's done, add shiso leaves, wasabi, and ginger to taste. Eat with a dip of soy sauce.
In case you still want to learn more about including sushi in a keto diet, read on.
How often can I eat sushi on a keto diet?
Sashimi contains minimal carbs and more protein. So, you can eat it once a day on keto diet. Since the protein content is very high, though, eating it more than once a day can have you depleting your protein limit very fast.
For example, in salmon sushi serving with 156 calories, the protein level is 22kg.
What sushi can bring you out of ketosis?
The answer is simple. Every other sushi apart from sashimi will bring you out of ketosis. They contain more carbs than you should take. And, you leave ketosis the moment you exceed your carbs limit.
So, to avoid such a situation, it's better to stick with sashimi.
At this point, you should already have an answer to the question; "Can I eat sushi on keto?" But if you don't know, the answer is yes.
Sushi has some great ingredients that are both tasty and good for keto. Of course, you'll have to avoid many other ingredients. As for sushis like maki, you'll have to avoid them altogether. In the end, the fact that you can go to a Japanese restaurant and order sushi still does not change.