Is Sushi Keto-Friendly?

Is Sushi Keto-Friendly?

Konnichiwa! Japan is well-known not only for its innovation in technology and animation but also for its world-class cuisine, including sushi. 

There is, however, some rumors about whether sushi is keto-friendly or not. Some say they're okay in the keto diet, while others beg to differ. But what is it really about sushi?

First, you need to know what sushi really is, otherwise, you're bound to be confused. Sushi does not necessarily mean raw fish. And it's not always the rolled rice and seaweed variety. The raw fish in sushi rolls is sashimi. 

There are actually lots of varieties of sushi. The most popular are nigiri-zushi and makizushi. Each variety of sushi differs in their stuffing and how they are prepared. 

Nutritional Profile of Sushi

Let's talk about the carb content of sushi. The carbs in sushi are usually acquired from rice and tropical fruits, as raw fish have zero carbs. 

Again, there are different kinds of sushi, and each has different nutritional makeup than the others. 

For example, a piece of regular sushi contains 7.57 grams of net carbs. A piece of California Roll yields 6.11 grams of net carbs, while a piece of Philadephia Roll carries 5.80 grams of net carbs. 

Sushi with vegetables has 8 grams of net carbs, and sushi with vegetables rolled in seaweed is loaded with 6.61 grams of net carbs. 

Other sushi pieces have a higher amount of carbs. For example, sushi with sea eel contains 11 grams of net carbs a piece. Both smoked salmon and octopus sushi yield 9 grams of net carbs per piece. 

Is Sushi Keto-Friendly?


So, do you have to give up sushi in the keto diet?

Apparently, yes, as it carries a pretty unhealthy amount of carbs that might just kick you out of ketosis. 

The ketogenic diet is focused on consuming high-fat, low-carb foods, and sushi just doesn't fit in the requirements. 

Most keto dieters limit themselves to consuming only 20 grams of carbs a day. And if you're holding on to the same threshold, then a piece of sushi is already half of your carb limit.

And let's not forget about the carb content soy sauce and wasabi contain. Sushi is best enjoyed when dipped in soy sauce, and sure, an ample amount of wasabi is good to add a kick to your Japanese meal. Yet, both can contribute to the number of carbs you consume. 

Sushi Alternatives

Finding low-carb sushi in the ketogenic lifestyle is a challenge. Pretty much all sushi is not low in carbs because of the rice in it.

Remember, sushi is basically raw fish served with rice, which is something that might concern you if you are carb-conscious. 

You can enjoy sashimi instead. They are basically just raw fish and are high in good fat and protein. And what's more, they contain zero carbs! 

Or, you can create low-carb sushi yourself at home. Use smoked salmon, cucumber, avocado, and red pepper. All of these ingredients are impressively low in carbs. 

Simply chop the ingredients in a uniform style. Lay your seaweed sheet out, place the fillings, wet the edges of the seaweed sheet, and roll it up!

Final Takeaway

Sushi isn't keto-friendly. The rice, fruits, veggies, and even the sauces can contribute to your carb intake.

But that doesn't mean you have to avoid sushi forever. You can still enjoy zero-carb sashimis or low-carb sushi as long as you don't tip past the allowed daily keto carb intake.

About the Author

Ryan is a personal trainer, athlete, health enthusiast, and entrepreneur. He is researching and expanding his knowledge about the ketogenic diet. He spends most of his time writing content about his new learnings of the ketogenic diet and shares it on Ketogenic Supplement Reviews. You can find me on: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.