One of my idiosyncrasies when it comes to food is that I never learned to like cooked fish, only raw fish. I know, I’m strange. Anyway, this means I’m a big fan of sushi. But sushi usually has a ton of white rice in it, which is not low-carb diet and/or hypoglycemic-friendly.
So I did some research (which was a great excuse for a trip to my favorite sushi spot in Houston, Soma Sushi) and you can eat sushi on a low-carb diet or a hypoglycemia diet, but you have to be careful.
Here’s the tips for enjoying sushi on a low-carb and/or hypoglycemic diet:
- The white rice is the main culprit of blood sugar issues, although be wary of sauces and other sources of carbs.
- Opt for non-rice rolls or low-rice rolls, such as the Summer Spring Roll and the Mermaid Roll in the photo above (note, one is fried, so it’s not completely innocent, but still low rice and DELICIOUS)
- Opt for sashimi (no rice)
- Research and ask about the amount of rice and carbs in each roll and choose wisely. For example, according to Diabetes Daily, a Shrimp Tempura Roll has 75 grams of carbs where a Philadelphia Roll only has 30 grams of carbohydrates.
- If you aren’t sure about a particular roll’s amount of rice, take a look at online review sites for photos of the rolls.
- If you’re like me, and your limit is 30-45 grams of carbs per meal, opt for one roll in that range and then fill-in the rest of the meal with no-carb options (such as sashimi, low-carb spring rolls, edamame, etc.)
- Skip the alcohol as that adds carbs
- Skip the group sharing experience. I always opt-out of this partially because I’m so picky (I don’t eat shellfish either) and because it’s too easy to lose-track of what you eat.
- Ask for brown rice: This one I’m not 100% convinced of. While it helps, it doesn’t really fully solve the carbohydrate issue. And, I’m worried that some traditional sushi places will be offended if you ask for this. After not being able to find a good answer online, I contacted several sushi places to ask this question and only one responded (Soma Sushi again!) and said that it’s not offensive to ask, but they don’t have brown rice.
- Diabetes Daily. This article has wonderful suggestions as well as nutrition information (including carbohydrate counts) for many common rolls.
- The Diabetes Experience. This article has great suggestions, especially related to portion control if you are eating with a group.
- Just Hungry. This is a guide to chopstick etiquette. It’s really easy to offend accidentally using your chopsticks, so please read this.
- Sushi FAQ. How to eat sushi etiquette. Very helpful tips on how to eat sushi in general and the etiquette of eating sushi.