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There is something striking about the well-known combination of rice and vegetables, rolled in raw fish and baked seaweed, all dipped in soy or wasabi sauce.

Based on the ironclad maxim that everything tasty is actually unhealthy, there is no other way but ask ourselves can something as delicious as sushi be also useful? We are all aware of the various benefits of omega-3 in the fish, especially the widely used salmon, but we have heard about the heightened levels of mercury in the seafood. Here follow the known and the little known “truth” about sushi. But before I disclose it, let me say a few facts about the history and present of this exotic delicacy.

The History Of Sushi

The origins of sushi lie back as far as the 4th C BC in South-east Asia. As canned food, the salted and fermented fish with rice was an important source of protein and a traditional dish on the table. After evisceration, the fish meat ferments in rice, whereas the naturally occurring processes help its preservation.

Gradually, sushi spread out in China, whereas it came to Japan as early as the 8th C AD. This type of sushi was consumed while the fish was still undercooked and the rice had not lost its flavour. This way sushi gradually moved from a plain canned fish to a genuine culinary industry product. Later, instead of just being used for the fermentation process, the rice was mixed with vinegar and was added to the fish, vegetables and other dried ingredients. Today, every region in Japan has preserved their unique taste by preparing sushi in a variety of recipes passed down from generation to generation.

In the 80s at the dawn of the heightened awareness of health, sushi is one of the healthiest dishes that counted on a great reputation; later with the advent of sushi machines combining mass production with the delicate skills of the sushi masters, sushi became available for many countries around the world.

After all, what is sushi?

When they hear "sushi", most people think of raw fish. Obviously, this is not quite right. Actually, if you go to a Japanese sushi bar and look at the fish dishes, only a few of them will have genuinely raw fish. Yet even the one that looks like raw has undergone some kind of processing. Canning, blanching, soaking in arrack and freezing - there are many things that can happen to the fish before you eat it.

Energy Value

Have you ever wondered how many calories there are in a piece of sushi? Fortunately, the answer is not enough to gain weight if consumed in moderate amounts. With or without rice, rich in complex carbohydrates, even the standard portion of sushi can be a very healthy food that does not leave a lasting imprint on your figure.

In fact, the low-calorie seafood is often unfairly overlooked. Same types of sushi can contain different amounts of the separate ingredients and thus have different calorie content, fat, carbohydrates and protein.

Why sushi is good for your health?

In recent years, the sushi is becoming increasingly famous, but there are many questions concerning the health risks associated with consumption of this raw delicacy.

The majority of the main ingredients in sushi are very healthy. Fish, the main component, is rich in protein and calcium. If you want maximum dose of protein, try tuna. The main advantage of oily fish such as salmon are Omega-3 fatty acids. Fresh fish is a healthy food with a great reputation. Rich in protein and low in fat, hundreds of species are a main source of food in many parts of the world.

The baked seaweed wrap is another important source of protein and calcium. In addition, they provide many different vitamins such as A and 10 varieties of vitamin C. The seeweed wrap also has good digestive properties. Wasabi sauce possesses excellent antibacterial properties and also contains vitamin C.

Risks associated with the consumption of sushi

U nfortunately, o ne of the most discussed issues on consumption of fish or seafood is the amount of contained mercury. Another problem is the amount of calories consumed. A portion is unlikely to satiate an adult, accustomed to eating more . Beware - the calories in these small pieces pile up and this is mainly due to the rice which is rich in complex carbohydrates;.1 cup of white rice contains around 160 calories.

The sushi has one significant drawback - as most of of those specialties consist of raw fish, it is very likely that there are parasites in the meat . This happens especially when the fish is cleaned of entrails outside sea.

On the plus side, incidents of illness due to consumption of sushi are quite rare. The sushi is as safe as any other food if it is handled and stored properly. While people with higher intolerance will have to take measures to reduce certain risks associated with the current condition, for most of us sushi is as safe as it is useful. Be smart and you will not have problems to find a sushi dish, which you enjoy.

There are variations with chicken meat, baked in the oven, which are a safer version of the meal. You will not enjoy the same taste, though, due to various reasons, starting with the shift from the main ingredient. Keep in mind that in order to prepare a tasty and delicious food, your oven must be in a tip-top shape, completely clean from burnt-on deposits and any other grime.

The Choice Is Yours

Weighing the "pros" and "cons" may impede our choice whether to eat sushi or not. As many say, sushi can give us a lot, nutrition-wise. According to others, if we decide to swallow raw delicacy we could be fishing in troubled waters. Ultimately, sushi has a few flaws, but then we have to ask – is the burger at your favorite restaurant a better choice? Probably not.

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