It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
Which sushi is OK to eat with high
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If CoQ10 with red yeast rice does damage to the liver, is there a safer way to reduce my cholesterol?
Is sushi high in cholesterol?
What foods will help raise HDL (good) cholesterol?
Am I eating too much oatmeal?
When choosing foods to help lower my LDL, is it better to go by the saturated fat or the cholesterol number?
What diet will help me increase my HDL?
What are the best ways to increase HDL (good cholesterol)?
I thought that spicy tuna rolls, etc., help lower cholesterol. Is that false?
I love sushi and it can be really good for you. Fresh raw fish served up in the best quality restaurant is key to delicious and safe sushi. Nigiri is the sushi that comes to your table as sliced raw fish topping an oblong mound of rice. This is pure and simple and generally served with soy sauce for dipping.
Maki, or sushi rolls, are sometimes made with sliced fish but some, like the spicy tuna roll, are made by first creating a salad of tuna finely diced and combined with chili oil, minced scallion and japanese mayonnaise. The mix is rolled inside a maki of rice and seaweed. Even with the little bit of mayonnaise rolls like this are healthy for you.
Most of the fish traditionally used is high in monounsaturated fat (which is good for your heart) and it's served with rice, veggies and seaweed. A good healthy combination but it's best to have a balance of the "salad" type maki and nigiri sushi.
Keep in mind that the soy sauce contains a lot of sodium. Even the low sodium version comes in at about 500 mg in a tablespoon. Sushi without dipping is really delicious. I have some of my maki and nigiri without and the flavor of the sushi really comes through.
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!