The nutritional content of sushi vs poke varies from dish to dish. After all, there are many varieties of sushi and with the popularity of the delicious Japanese dish on an ever-expanding quest to rock the United States, fusions of the dish make options about as endless as pizza is today. The same goes for the traditional Hawaiian dish poke. This too started out with more humble roots in its native land. However, when we’re talking about poke, we again have to look at the cultural influences of the present to see just what poke or a poke bowl entails.
If you’re interested in some of the most common nutritional facts about sushi vs poke, review the list below for a quick summary:
Nutritional Content of Typical Poke Servings (no sauce):
Farmed Salmon (100g)
- Calories: 130
- Protein: 20g
- Carbs: 0
- Fat: 4.4g
Farmed Ahi (100g)
- Calories: 106
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 0
- Fat: 0.4g
Cooked Shrimp (100g)
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 23g
- Carbs: 1.5
- Fat: 1.7g
Nutritional Content of Nigiri Sushi (2 pieces per serving w/sauce):
Maguro Ahi Tuna (100g)
- Calories: 115
- Protein: 15g
- Carbs: 12g
- Fat: 0.4g
Unagi Eel (100g)
- Calories: 180
- Protein: 13g
- Carbs: 13g
- Fat: 10g
Hotate Scallops (100g)
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 11g
- Carbs: 17.5g
- Fat: 1.2g
Ika Squid (100g)
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 4.5g
- Carbs: 14.5g
- Fat: 0.4g
Sushi Vs Poke – What’s the Difference?
When you break it all down to the most basic ingredients, the biggest difference between sushi vs poke is mainly the rice (or lack thereof). After all, the rough translation of the word “sushi means “sour rice”, frequently because of the mixing of rice and rice vinegar. So while the vast majority of sushi novices assume sushi means “raw fish”, that’s not the case. It basically means “vinegar rice” and that’s why every time you go out to eat at your favorite all-you-can-eat sushi spot, they’ll have a notice saying that you must finish all your rice. In other words, you came for the rice dish and the fish is an afterthought. While that may be an exaggeration of the truth, I hope you get the point. Sushi means rice.
On the other hand, the Japanese dish sashimi is much closer to the traditional dish of poke. When it comes to sashimi vs poke, the big similarity IS the focus on raw fish. When you’re eating sashimi, you may have some rice on the side, however, the dish is sliced raw fish often with some condiments for dipping. The same goes for traditional poke. Straight poke is simply chopped chunks of raw fish, usually marinated in a simple sauce or seasoning. So basically sashimi is slices and poke is cubes. For the most part, anyways.
So again, when we’re talking sushi vs poke, the options become much more complex in favor of sushi. And when we’re talking about the nutritional value of sushi vs poke, poke will most likely come out with higher marks, simply because the list of ingredients is small and very nutritious. However, when we start talking about sushi vs poke bowls, a whole wide world opens up.
Breaking Down Sushi Vs Poke
So, is a spicy tuna roll a better choice than this trendy specialty? Is salmon nigiri better than the ingredients found in a fresh poke bowl from your local Poke purveyor? How about that Godzilla roll you like so much? What exactly is the nutritional content of sushi vs poke? Let’s find out!
Healthy poke bowls should contain 500 to 700 calories if you make good choices. We will focus on the poke bowls that use rice as their base and carefully choose what they use for the rest of the toppings, especially with the sauces. Next, it will be how many calories will be contained in an average poke bowl based on various options.
However, it is essential to remember that calories are not everything when it comes to a healthy diet! Also, you should keep in mind whether or not your poke bowl has enough vitamins and micronutrients to make it fit, the amount and type of fat, and the level of sodium in it.
There are many types and styles of sushi you can indulge in, and sushi can indeed be a healthy and low-calorie meal. When it comes to homemade foods, a calorie counter can be very helpful. It differs from eating chips at the store or eating steak for dinner. Sushi is created differently by different chefs and restaurants, and the calories vary accordingly.
If you order sushi from a restaurant that prioritizes flavor over nutrition, your calories will be raised without your knowledge. As a result, here are some nutritional facts about sushi that can help you understand how many calories and nutrients it contains.
Keeping Your Sushi & Poke Experiences as Healthy as Possible
With so many delicious options and countless chefs constantly pushing the envelope, it’s hard to keep track of whether your sushi or poke is truly as healthy as it could be. Or as healthy as it was meant to be back in the good old days. After all the popularity of including a host of unhealthy but delicious ingredients has become all too common in westernized versions of these traditional Japanese and Hawaiian dishes.
While it’s always fun to splurge and try something new, the real sushi and poke purists are going to want to focus on the fresh, raw, minimal ingredients that are low in calories, high in protein, high in fiber, and truly bring out the textures and flavors inherent in these two fantastic dishes. If that sounds like you, here are the ways you can make healthier choices when you sit down to order sushi or poke.
Avoidance of sugars (in teriyaki sauces), heavy amounts of salt (traditionally sky-high in soy sauce), and fat-laden sauces often mixed in or topping your favorite rolls & bowls are the easy rule of thumb. However, there are many sneaky ways that poke and sushi become less healthy than you might expect. Follow the tips below to keep these delicious dishes as healthy and nutritious as possible.
Healthier Choices When Ordering Sushi
Here are some simple ways to make your next sushi night as healthy as possible:
Choose whole-grain brown rice
These days, most sushi restaurants offer the option for patrons to choose brown rice over traditional white rice. Oftentimes, most of the health benefits of white rice have been pulled out through processing. Keeping all the natural layers that comprise the grain and avoiding common bleaching technics really makes a huge difference.
According to the USDA, brown rice has fewer calories, fewer carbs, and more magnesium, fiber, and phosphorus. If you’re ok with the slight texture change between white and brown rice, go for it! It’s actually quite delicious!
Avoid fried dishes and ingredients
As we said before, there are so many options and so many types of sushi. Every restaurant tries to create something new. Something unique. To add their own flare! And that’s awesome. Trust us we love the fried dishes, fried rolls, crystal shrimp, and classic tempura batter. But let’s face it. That stuff is about as healthy as a corn dog. Tasty but not healthy.
If you’re looking to keep your sushi as nutritious as possible, avoid frying anything. It’s really a no-brainer but take a look at the sushi menu next time you’re there. Look at those rolls. I’ll bet you’d be surprised just how many modern westernized sushi rolls rely heavily on fried fish. Our tip is to ask if you can get that roll subbed out with the fresh alternative. For example, if the roll you want has crystal shrimp, ask for cooked shrimp.
Ask for sweet, salty, and savory sauces on the side
You’d be shocked just how much of EVERYTHING you want to avoid is hidden in all your favorite sauces. Gluten, sugar, salt, fats. Oh man, they’re all delicious. But oh boy are they high in sodium and saturated fats. The same goes for all the tasty sauces that have a sweet side like teriyaki, ponzu, and more. After all, that’s what makes all these delicious sauces so freaking tasty.
However, if you’re looking to keep your sushi nutritious, just ask about the ingredients if you don’t know. And if they don’t know or can’t answer you, ask for the sushi roll without the sauce. While delicious, I often order rolls without sauce, simply so I can truly taste and experience the quality of the base ingredients in my sushi. I want to taste that fish. I want to feel the fresh crunch of the veggies. Try it for yourself.
If you really want to have your sauce and eat it too, ask for some on the side instead. That way you can control just how much you get.
Choose low-fat options when possible
Once again, there are a lot of fatty ingredients hidden in your favorite sushi rolls. As we noted above, fried foods like tempura, sauces made with a mayonnaise base, and adding things like cream cheese are common in westernized sushi rolls. These are all high in fat and packed full of pretty unhealthy calories. They are very low in the nutrients you really need and really make for an unhealthy sushi experience. A delicious one but an artery-clogging one as well. It’s all good in moderation, but once again, it’s something I try to avoid when I’m eating sushi.
Instead of fatty sauces, opt for spicy ones like Sriracha, spicy garlic sauces, light soy sauce (in moderation), or with light drops of the tart citrus-based ponzu sauce. It’s a favorite of mine but no good if you’re trying to keep your sugar intake low. Still, if fat is the issue, it’s one of the better options available.
Finally, the cheese. Ya, it’s delicious but can we at least agree that we can do without cheese in our sushi? Typically this fatty cheese is added to fried rolls, so if you’re skipping the fried foods, you’ll probably end up skipping this by default. Still, it makes its way into a fresh roll or two so just opt for something else or keep the cream cheese to a minimum. it’s probably the healthiest fat out of all those named here. However, you’ll get plenty of heart-healthy fats from the raw fish you love so I say just skip it if possible.
Opt for more veggies in your rolls
Ok, so we’ve basically removed all your favorite parts of eating sushi now huh? Well if that’s the case… oops. But seriously if you’re looking to keep those rolls bulked up and flavorful, I’m telling you to stick to the basics and you’ll be surprised just how great your sushi can be.
Add daikon radish, sprouts, cucumber, green onions, jicama, and jalapenos… there are usually a number of awesome options to really make your roll unique. The more veggies you can fit in, the better! And ya fruits are always great too as long as they are fresh. Just keep them at a minimum if you’re avoiding sugary foods. Still, a mango has nutritional benefits, and teriyaki sauce, not so much. Everything in perspective.
Healthier Choices for Ordering Poke Bowls
Many of the same tips for sushi apply to poke bowls. After all, they use a lot of the same ingredients with a focus on raw fish, veggies, fruits, grains, and greens. However, there are often other choices to make when ordering poke bowls. In our opinion, you have more of an opportunity to eat as healthy as possible for whatever dietary restrictions you may have when you eat a poke bowl at Pola Poke Bowls in Reno. That’s because when you order all-you-can-eat sushi, you’re bound by the rules of the establishment, and if rice is an issue for you, it’s simply a no-go.
If you’re on a low-calorie diet, you simply can’t do all-you-can-eat sushi unless you plan to eat a few bites and call it quits. The rice alone is going to push you over the edge. If you’re on a low-carb diet, even a roll or two of sushi will push you over your daily limit and out of ketosis. However, if you’re on either of those diets, you can choose every single ingredient that ends up in your bowl and every single one that enters your body.
If you don’t want to have rice, just get greens or kale. Want a healthier version of rice? Then brown rice is the healthier answer for you. If you’re looking for a lower-calorie fish or protein option, there are typically a number of ones to choose from, and of course, the fresher the better. On the Pola Poke menu, we offer a variety of protein options including salmon, ahi tuna, spicy tuna, imitation crab, shrimp, chicken, octopus, tofu… the list goes on. Each of those options has varying degrees of nutritional content. However, if you’re looking for the healthiest, most nutrient-dense protein option, go with salmon or tuna. SO GOOD! And SO GOOD FOR YOU!!!
Which is Better, Sushi vs Poke?
Regarding healthfulness and ingredients, in the case of sushi vs poke, modern poke bowls are similar to modern sushi. However, there is a clear winner. Nothing can compare to the flexibility of the poke bowl vs sushi rolls, especially when we’re talking all-you-can-eat sushi. While both sushi vs poke offer a vast array of options and customizability, the restrictions common to sushi make it harder for the average person to stay on a healthy eating program.
Because poke bowls are a build-your-own kind of dish and you have the chance to avoid typical carb-heavy rice and opt for large amounts of fruits and vegetables in its place, in our opinion, pound for pound (literally), it’s the most nutritious option. You can even stick to vegetarian and vegan options when eating poke bowls. While that can be true of sushi as well, most restaurants simply aren’t ready to serve vegans and vegetarians with enough options to make decent rolls. When it comes to sushi vs poke, poke bowls simply have more to offer our veggie-loving friends.
Now don’t think we’re against sushi by any means. I love sushi to death and don’t you ever question that! However, when it comes to dietary restrictions and the ability to even opt for straight protein-rich fish, poke just edges it out for me. However, if I’m looking to splurge or looking for a fun night out with friends, the social experience of sushi can’t be beaten! In the end, they’re both awesome and both offer fantastic nutritional benefits. It’s really up to you to make the healthiest choices that make sense for you and your body.
Get Your Fresh Food Fix!
Pola Poke is proud to bring fresh poke, acai bowls, smoothies, and craft coffees to Reno, Nevada! We’re a locally-owned business created and operated by a Reno native. Furthermore, our palate-pleasing sustainably sourced bowls offer the perfect combo of healthy and tasty.
Customize your bowl to kick-start your wellness and nutrition for the day. Choose from our menu or make it your own poke bowl with a variety of fresh, delicious ingredients. Our menu offers the perfect selection of healthy lean meats, veggies, and toppings to satisfy every fish lover. Additionally, we’re the perfect choice for keto and protein-rich diets.
So what are you waiting for? An invitation? Well, here it is! Come join us and see why everyone in Reno is raving about Pola Poke Bowls! And if you’re too busy to come say hi, we also offer online ordering for your convenience. What more could you ask for?
Enjoy Fresh Poke in Reno
Pola Poke Bowls
3594 W. Plumb Lane Ste A
Reno, NV 89509