A heart-healthy meal plan should include fish -- the American Heart Association recommends two 3.5-ounce servings per week. Opting for sushi helps you incorporate more variety into your diet while meeting your recommended fish intake. As long as you make smart choices and practice portion control, you can likely incorporate sushi into a heart-healthy diet. If you have high cholesterol or heart disease, however, always check with your doctor before making changes to your diet.
While your body uses cholesterol for certain physiological functions, like making hormones, you can make it on your own and don't need to get cholesterol from food. For most people, dietary cholesterol -- the type found in food -- has only a moderate impact on blood cholesterol levels. People who are sensitive to dietary cholesterol, however, can experience a significant increase in their blood cholesterol levels after eating cholesterol-laden foods. For optimal heart health, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your cholesterol intake to a maximum of 300 milligrams daily. If you have high cholesterol, diabetes or heart disease, lower your intake to 200 milligrams.
Cholesterol in Sushi
The exact proportions of ingredients in sushi differ from restaurant to restaurant. The fish used to make sushi, however, typically contains a moderate amount of cholesterol. For example, a 1-ounce serving of bluefin tuna contains just 50 milligrams of cholesterol, while yellowfin supplies 72 milligrams. An ounce of eel in your sushi ups your cholesterol intake by 35 milligrams, while yellowtail and salmon both contain 15 milligrams of cholesterol per ounce. Go for vegan or vegetarian sushi rolls that don't contain meat or animal products as a cholesterol-free option.
Sushi's Fat Content
If you're worried about your cholesterol levels, you also need to pay attention to your saturated fat intake because this fat has a harmful effect on your blood cholesterol. Fortunately, fish tends to be low in saturated fat and instead offers beneficial unsaturated fatty acids. A 1-ounce serving of eel, for example, contains 3 grams of total fat but less than a gram of saturated fat, while raw salmon or yellowtail each contain less than half a gram of saturated fat per ounce.
Healthy Selection Tips
Keep your sushi as healthy as possible by avoiding sodium-laden add-ons and foregoing refined grains. For example, instead of getting your sushi made with the more traditional white rice -- a refined grain -- ask for your roll to be prepared using whole-grain brown rice. Avoid fried sushi, like tempura rolls. Not only does frying add calories, but fried foods also tend to contain trans fats, the worst type of fat if you're worried about your cholesterol. Finally, don't season your sushi with soy sauce, a significant source of sodium, but instead savor the food's natural flavor. While sodium doesn't affect cholesterol, a high-sodium diet may boost blood pressure, which can negatively affect your cardiovascular health.
- Colorado State University Extension: Dietary Fat and Cholesterol
- Miso Sushi and Grill: Nutrition List for Sushi
- HealthAliciousNess: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool
- Linus Pauling Institute: Whole Grains
- Linus Pauling Institute: Sodium (Chloride)
- American Heart Association: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Photo Credit piyato/iStock/Getty Images
Nutritional Information on Sushi
Sushi is a type of food that contains rice that's been seasoned with rice wine vinegar. Some sushi contains raw fish, ......
Sushi Rice Nutrition Facts
Some of the nutritional benefits of sushi rice are that it is cholesterol-free, low-calorie and gluten-free. Sushi rice traditionally is made from...
Is Shrimp High in Cholesterol?
Shrimp popularity has soared in recent years due to its versatility, flavor and health benefits. Despite shrimp's reputation as a lowfat food,...
Which Shellfish Are High in Cholesterol?
Our bodies produce the cholesterol we need in the liver. But it is the cholesterol we consume that produces problems. These are...
How to Choose Low-Calorie Sushi
How to Make Low-Fat Temaki Sushi. Sushi is Japanese finger food that, legend has it, was invented for card-players' snack trays. Temaki...
Low-Fat, Low-Sugar Diet
Doctors often recommend low-fat, low-sugar diets to treat a wide variety of conditions from diabetes to heart disease. Besides improving diagnosed health...
Signs & Symptoms of High Cholesterol
There are good cholesterol and bad cholesterol measurements and if you have a good high cholesterol sometimes this will offset the trouble...
Nutrition of a Soft Shell Crab
There are 66 mg of cholesterol in every serving of crab. This is 22 percent of your daily recommended amount of cholesterol....
Signs of High Cholesterol in Women
High cholesterol and its associated health risks have become a major health concern among women. Women are more susceptible to developing high...