Since I moved to Los Angeles in 1996, one food has stood out as my favorite by far. For anyone who knows me, knows that the way to my soul is through Sushi. Yes, I had Sushi back east before coming to LA LA Land, however, I was unimpressed. I’ve heard it’s gotten better there over the years, but I won’t know for sure until I go and taste it for myself. I’ll let you know soon, in case you are curious.
But for now, thanks to an inquiry from some Boot Camp clients, I’ll focus on some of the nutritional aspects of this cuisine from the sea.
The typical Sashimi order (without rice) is several slices (normally 5 or 6) of 1 ounce pieces of fish. The most common orders are Salmon, Tuna and Yellowtail. Each piece contains a little more than 6 grams of protein, with the Salmon and Yellowtail boasting a fat content of more than 1.5 grams per slice. Tuna weighs in as the lowest in fat with .25 grams. So, if you are following Bill’s Boot-Camp Diet, you’ll see that the maximum number of pieces of Sashimi you can eat in one sitting is only about 12. That’s just two orders; hardly worth the wait at Hide (Mel, I know that’s not your real name), the cost at Sasabune (and you can’t even sit at the bar – Nobi won’t like that!) or the metrosexual atmosphere of En (sorry Suzuki).
The traditional Sushi order (with rice and two pieces of fish) contains approximately 2 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates and about 10 grams of protein (depending on the type of fish ordered of course). Again, some simple math will result in the realization that each order is about 100 calories. So, if you are on a 2000 calorie diet, and follow the rules that your smallest meal should be your last meal and you should be eating between four and five times a day, chances are that you’ll have 300 – 500 calories allotted for your dinner. That translates into only three to five orders of Sushi. That doesn’t include ponzu or shoyu (soy) sauce, your drinks, edamame, miso soup or any other side dish your soul might desire.
By the way, you know you should be watching your sodium intake and avoiding rice at night, right? Well, if you were unsure, the average PIECE of Sushi contains more than 150 milligrams (mgs.) sodium, while a full order of Sashimi contains about half that amount. So, if you’re gonna endulge your soul, choose Sashimi over Sushi. If you do, you won’t experience the dry-mouth or bloated feeling I am experiencing as I write this thanks to the many orders of Monkfish Liver, Uni and Unagi my mom and I had Friday night at Hide.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that this fare is unhealthy. In fact, just the opposite is true. With its low fat and high protein content, as a cuisine, none reign as supreme. It’s the quantity that makes for the pitfalls. When counting calories and monitoring sodium in an attempt to lose weight, waiting may be your best strategy. Resist the fix and don’t unwrap your chopsticks.