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Paying attention to your line does not mean that you have to give up on Japanese restaurants. A dietitian-nutritionist advises Top Santé on making the right choices and knowing what is best to avoid.

Your two biggest enemies in the Japanese restaurant are the fried foods and the quantities, explains Vanessa Bedjaï-Haddad, dietitian-nutritionist. “You can very quickly end up with too much caloric intake compared to the daily needs” with caloric bombs like spring rolls or beef skewers with cheese. However, the expert reminds us that you should not “just be limited to the caloric aspect, a dish can be caloric but nutritionally interesting as well as satiating.

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How much sushi is recommended?

The secret is to choose an entry”filling enough not to need too much sushi or rice“. Avoid fried dishes as much as possible (tempuras, spring rolls) which are full of “bad cholesterol” (LDL cholesterol), which increases the risk of cardiovascular problems.

The number of sushi and maki recommended by the dietician is 8 sushi Or 12 maki. You can also mix the two. To note : if you have a bowl of rice, don’t have sushi which adds even more rice to your meal. For 150 g of rice, 10 to 12 sashimi (slices of raw fish) are sufficient. Complete your order with edamame or raw vegetables to provide fiber that facilitates digestion.

One of the advantages of Japanese restaurants is the absence of interesting desserts, which limits the energy intake of the meal. The recommended amount of calories for a meal being approximately between 600 and 700 Kcal (calculated according to height, weight and gender), so without the 200 Kcal for dessert you can have fun!

What are the best Japanese dishes from a nutritional point of view?

You can completely limit the damage on the line and health by going to a Japanese restaurant. The nutritionist recommends:

  • THE edamame (soya beans) which you don’t necessarily think of, which provide complex carbohydrates but above all excellent quality proteins which will be very satiating.” Edamame are served plain, with no added fat or sugar.
  • THE Spring Rolls are a good starter idea. Absolutely not greasy, not sweet, they contain rice noodles which are gluten-free and digestible.” With raw vegetables and some prawns, a roll represents an average of 120 Kcal. They are also satiating, so it is a very good choice for your health and your figure.
  • THE salmon which is a fatty fish, is a good source of omega 3. These are unsaturated fatty acids (the “good fat”) that help prevent cardiovascular disease because they lower cholesterol levels. Fatty fish are interesting but should not be consumed too often because they are 2 to 3 times more caloric than white fish or seafood. And more and more, they contain heavy metals. Expert advice:We prefer sashimi to skewers because they are fattier and sweeter because they are marinated in the sauce.” But, only downside, “Raw salmon may be less digestible for some people.

Yes, when we make a diet, you can absolutely go to the Japanese restaurant. Besides, there is no point in depriving yourself of anything because it’s all about frequencies and quantities“, concludes the nutritionist.

Thanks to Vanessa Bedjaï-Haddad, dietician-nutritionist and author of My gourmet program to wean myself off sugar (ed. Mango).

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spring rolls
Although they are irresistible, spring rolls unfortunately represent no dietary and nutritional benefit. “They are very high in calories for a satiation that is not there. If you really can’t do without them, take one or two at the most.” A very good healthy alternative that you don’t necessarily think of: spring rolls.

© Shutterstock / Veronika Kovalenko

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The cabbage salad
“It is not necessarily very caloric since a small bowl represents less than 100 Kcal.” explains the expert, but “you have to be aware that nutritionally it will not bring much.” Indeed, this salad does not provide the nutritional benefits of raw vegetables because the cabbage is marinated and the sauce is very sweet. “I recommend the wakame seaweed salad instead because it is rich in water, fiber and protein, as well as a source of antioxidants.”

© Shutterstock / Couanon Julien

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Beef skewers with cheese
This specialty does not actually exist in Japan. And bad news for its fans, it’s a caloric and dietary disaster! Indeed, these skewers mainly contain saturated fatty acids, which are very bad for the heart.

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If sushi and maki are not a problem because they contain a small amount of rice, those containing surimi are not recommended. The nutritionist warns against this ultra-processed food: “I always recommend going more towards a less processed diet. Surimi is certainly less caloric than salmon but it is full of additives, preservatives, colorings, and flavor enhancers.”

© Shutterstock / Vita Sorokina

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Cheese maki
The rice in the Japanese restaurant is cooked for a long time and therefore it is very starchy. This carbohydrate intake will cause a glycemic peak which will give a feeling of satiety, but will make you hungry again 2-3 hours later. Maki and sushi with fish will compensate for this intake because the fat will slow down the passage of sugar in the blood. However, this will not be the case for those with cheese.

© Shutterstock / Ostancov Vladislav

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Limit soy sauce
Soy sauce contains a high amount of sodium, which can contribute to blood pressure spikes. Knowing that only 2 cl of soy sauce represents almost half of the recommended daily dose. It should therefore be used sparingly.

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