Sushi Survival Guide (Best and Worst Orders)

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As major sushi freaks, we thought it was time to round up all of our best advice for a night at a sushi restaurant. You can totally have your crab roll and eat it too...


Instead of diving straight into the fish, have these items first...

Miso Soup - Super-low in calories and always delicious. Plus, studies have shown that people who start their meals with broth-based soup consume fewer total calories overall. A cup has around 70 calories, 2g fat.

Sunomono - A simple salad mostly consisting of sliced cucumbers and rice vinegar. Tasty, light, and a great way to keep from filling up on heavier items. A 1-cup serving has about 50 calories.

Edamame - A 3/4-cup serving (still in the pods) of these tender little soybeans has around 120 calories, 4g fat. Plus, shelling the stuff is kind of a project (a "snacktivity," as we like to call it) -- it'll slow you down and prevent you from shoveling too many beans into your face.

  Know Your Extras

YES! Wasabi, soy sauce, seaweed, and pickled ginger
NO! Too much mayo, cream cheese, and various oils

Mayonnaise and cream cheese often appear inside the various rolls. If a menu item you really want lists mayo as a component, ask (politely!) if it can be made with less mayo than usual or none at all.

  No-No Words:

- Don't fall for it -- tempura means battered and deep-fried. Sure, sometimes the tempura is made up of otherwise lean items like assorted veggies and shrimp, but we all know that deep-frying can ruin even the most virtuous foods.

"Spider" - A spider roll is stuffed with tempura-style crab (and what have we learned about tempura?) and frequently involves spicy mayo. Yeah, it sounds good, but so do fried Twinkies. Skip this one. (Spiders are creepy anyway...)

"Dynamite" - Though it sounds pretty tempting (DY-NO-MITE!), resist. Chances are, anything called "dynamite" is gonna be fried and loaded with a spicy mayo-based sauce. Don't do it. (If this DOES sound super-tempting, check out our shrimpy swap!)

"Crunch" - It's the same deal as at fast-food joints -- "crunch" means FRIED IN LOTS OF OIL. This word will get you in trouble (unless it's referring to the crunchy, non-fried veggies that garnish the plate).

  Sweet on Sake?

With around 40 calories per ounce, sake is higher in calories than regular wine, which has about 25 calories per ounce. But sake's also served in smaller portions. Those li'l sake cups generally hold about 2 ounces, which would come to about 80 calories per petite sake cup. Just don't get too crazy...

  Things We LOVE

"Light" Rice or Brown Rice
- When we say "light" rice, we don't mean low-calorie grains or anything like that; it's a special request (ask nicely!) to have less rice in your roll than usual, which means fewer calories. You can also ask if it would be possible to sub in brown rice -- lots of places have it these days, and extra fiber rocks. If your group just orders regular sushi (fish sitting on a lump of rice), you can always eat the fish and leave the rice. OR you can order...

Sashimi - Sashimi is just the fish, people. It's typically very thinly sliced and weighs less than half an ounce per piece. With 15 - 30 calories and about half a gram of fat per piece, a 6-piece serving of assorted sashimi will have about 130 calories, 3g fat. Which is AWESOME. TONS of protein!

Cucumber Roll - Not only is this a good choice for those people who aren't down with the raw fish thing, but it also has impressive stats. A 6-piece cucumber roll usually has only about 130 calories, less than a gram of fat.

Spicy Tuna Roll - So yummy and kinda decadent without being over-the-top. Made with a small amount of mayo, a 6-piece roll has around 220 calories, 4g fat.

California Roll - This avocado-enhanced roll will cost you around 300 calories, 8g fat for a 6-piece serving.

HG Heads-Up! Even our top picks vary from place to place. Some are HUGE, some pack unannounced mayo, etc. These are just some useful guidelines to help you out!


The sushi lovers in your life need this guide; so do the people who don't even know they love sushi yet. Click "Send to a Friend" to help your pals get informed!


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