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Sushi and Weight Loss

Sushi and Weight Loss For most fitness enthusiasts, the rule of thumb is to watch what you eat because that determines whether you put on weight or not in the long run. Very simply, more calories means a greater chance to put on weight, and lesser the calories means staying within the recommended daily limit. However, when it comes to sushi, one does notice a trend of calories between Western and traditional sushi in its various forms, with the former containing more calories than the latter. And the primary reason for this to occur is largely due to the kind of ingredients, toppings and condiments in the Western version. Now, before one takes these figures in a literal sense, you must remember that each chef when preparing either type of sushi, usually adds his or own ‘special’ ingredients that can either add to the number of calories for the particular ‘sushi’ mentioned here, so these figures can swing in either direction, give or take a few calories. One trick to check the calorie value is to check the nutritional value of meals provided at the sushi bar or restaurant that you intend to visit. Although sushi was about just eating fish, not only has this changed but even the way it is prepared as well. And these distinctions stem from either the way it is eaten, the kind of ingredients that are added and even the way it is assembled and arranged, with each region of Japan creating their unique style of the popular sushi types. Here are the eight types of sushi, right from its origin, and that is in existence today: 1) Nigirizushi – an oblong mound of sushi rice to which wasabi is added along with a topping that is wrapped around it. 2) Makizushi – this is a type of sushi roll that is wrapped in nori, while specific toppings are selected for their distinct flavor and taste. 3) Oshizushi – Known to be a pressed sushi made by an oshibako making a rectangular block. 4) Inarizushi – Stuffed sushi that consists of a pouch made from tofu and filled with sushi rice. 5) Sukeroku – Prepared as a combination of Makizushi and Inarizushi, it can be called ‘fast food’ sushi. 6) Chirashizushi – Known as scattered sushi, it consists of a bowl of rice with ingredients mixed in it. 7) Narezushi – Earliest form of sushi, where the ingredients consisted of rice and fish, and after preparation, only the fish was eaten. For example, the Shrimp Tempura Roll is around 500 calories while the Kappa Maki Roll is about 130 calories, with fat content being ranging from zero to about 21 g. If you compared these figures with almost every form of traditional sushi, the calorie value range between 40 to 65 calories per serving. What a difference! However, in the larger scheme of things, sushi (whether Western of traditional) can be considered a healthy food as compared to most junk foods that hit the roof in terms of calories and does nothing but make you eat more so that you can put on weight.…

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Choosing a Sushi Knife

Choosing a Sushi Knife There are three primary types of sushi knives: Heavy Duty Cleaver (Debo-Bocho) This type of knife is used for cutting through thick bones and filleting fish. Probably won’t need this if you are buying your fish in prepared blocks. Sashimi Knife (Sashimi-Bocho) This knife is used for the finish cutting. Cutting the pieces off of the blocks of fish and shaping the pieces into presentable offerings. Vegetable Knife (Usuba or Nakiri Bocho) Used for cutting razor thin pieces of vegetables required in the recipes. Also can chop or mince the vegetables. The knives can be made of carbon steel, stainless steel or new composite metals. Take your pick, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. For instance, while the carbon steel knife will hold a very sharp edge it also has the disadvantage of rusting if not properly maintained. The stainless steel knife won’t rust but it won’t hold an edge like the carbon steel one will. The new composite knives will hold an edge and will not rust but they are the most expensive of the lot. The main point you want to consider when choosing is to find one that is well balanced and comfortable, almost like an extension of your hand. Whatever you choose make sure you follow the following tips: * Don’t hurry. These knives are extremely sharp and will cut you before you even feel it. * Use a cutting board. Never let the knife hit surfaces that will dull or mar the blade. * Lay your knife down away from the working surface and pointed away from you * Keep your hands and knife clean and dry while using. Using a little common sense while cutting your sushi ingredients will go a long way to keeping you safe while preparing your sushi.…

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Making Homemade Sushi – How to Make Nigirizushi (Hand-Formed Sushi)

Making Homemade Sushi – How to Make Nigirizushi (Hand-Formed Sushi) Nigirizushi (literally “hand-formed sushi”) is another of my favorite types of sushi. The combination of the flavorful sushi rice with the sensory experience afforded by the raw fish is truly inimitable. It’s also not very difficult to replicate at home and requires only the bare minimum of specialty ingredients, so for those of you who are creative or culinarily inclined this is my quick and easy guide to making your own nigirizushi at home. Ingredients Nigirizushi is simply raw fish on rice, and this is just about all you’ll need to make it. The rice must be prepared in the traditional sushi-style which takes approximately an hour, but once you’ve done that the rest is simple. Sushi rice requires a short-grained white rice, rice vinegar, salt and sugar. If you’re unfamiliar with the procedure for making it, I’ve written another article that describes the process in detail. While I generally advocate the usability of standard supermarket fish in sushi, in the case of nigiri it is beneficial to invest in the higher quality “sushi grade” fish that you can buy at health food stores, Japanese markets and from some sushi bars. The reason I say this is that while all forms of sushi are truly an art form, the beauty of them isn’t so intrinsically reliant on the appearance and quality of the fish. With nigirizushi, the fish is cut in a specific manner, placed with great care and arranged in the a way that is visually appealing. And because there are no other flavors to disguise it, the taste is of the utmost importance. Preparation As I mentioned, the way that you cut the sashimi (raw fish) is also important. If you’re not planning on going all out, that’s fine; cut it any way you’re comfortable with. If you’d like to learn the correct procedure, that is another article altogether which I plan to write in the future (in the meantime, that too can be found on many websites.) Once your sushi rice is prepared and the fish sliced into the appropriate-sized portions, everything else is quite simple. Using the first two fingers of the right hand, simply scoop a small amount of sushi rice into the palm of the left, then squeeze and shape it into an oblong with the fingers and thumb. I usually have to squeeze quite tightly in order to get it to stay together. One you do, place the rice on a dampened surface (don’t let individual rice pads touch each other or they’ll stick) and spread a small amount of wasabi on top. Place a piece of cut sashimi on top, arrange all the pieces of nigirizushi artfully, and you’re done!…

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How Is Sushi Healthy?

How Is Sushi Healthy? There are several factors that have lead to the increasing obesity of the American population. Jobs are less physically active. Hobbies are less physically active. Sedentary entertainment is amazingly seductive, and hyper-caloric processed foods are always at hand. As a result, most adults, at one time or another, deal with issues of weight loss, nutrition, and health. It’s no wonder that various and sundry diet plans have become part of popular culture. Dr. Atkins is famous, and who hasn’t heard of a low carbohydrate diet? There is even a cookie diet. With our country’s weight problem so interwoven with our culture, it might be wise to look toward other cultures that don’t exhibit these problems. It wouldn’t be worthwhile to look for answers in agrarian societies. Obviously, reworking our entire economy around weight loss and healthy isn’t likely. So, let’s look at other countries with similar economies. How about Japan? The small island nation is certainly a high tech, service oriented economy much like our own. However, other than the Sumo wrestler, the Japanese are not thought of as suffering from a weight problem. Let’s start by looking at the quintessential Japanese food: Sushi. Is sushi healthy? Sushi consists of small portions of rice (carbohydrates) and fish. Fish is almost pure protein. While some fish is fatty, most fish isn’t. Low fat fish includes tuna, albacore, halibut, red-snapper, and shellfish. Although, some sushi can be fattening. Avoid rolls with mayonnaise or any other ingredient that includes saturated fat, such as Philadelphia rolls or tempura rolls. Stick with the simple, traditional rolls composed of rice and fish. In terms of the rice in sushi, the smaller the amount of rice, the better. It is the logic behind the low carb diet. Carbohydrate rich foods have a high amount of calories for the mass consumed. In other words, the same amount of high carbohydrate food yields many more calories than the same amount of protein. It is also worthy to note that green tea is frequently served with sushi. There is a lot of hype out there about the miraculous properties of green tea. As it pertains to weight control, there is some evidence that green tea inhibits fat digestion by altering digestive enzymes. So, could sushi be the secret to Japanese weight control? The food balances reasonable carbohydrates with a low-fat, high protein fish. Undoubtedly, there are many other factors, however eating sushi certainly can’t hurt.…

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The Facts to Choose the Right Bamboo Flooring

The Facts to Choose the Right Bamboo Flooring One of the reasons that people choose bamboo floors over hardwood floors is the sustainability. If you cut a tree down for flooring it will take years for another to grow and replace it. The bamboo plantA�grows so fast that you can replace what was cut down in a matter of months. Bamboo is a type of grass and will grow back naturally, it does not have to be replanted. There are several different types of bamboo flooring, Once you learn about the difference, you can decide which type is best for you. The first choices you need to look at are the material itself. You can choose solid, engineered or strand woven. The solid planks use the whole bamboo plant. The strips of bamboo are basically glued together to form the planks either in the vertical or horizontal directions. Engineered flooring is a surface of bamboo strips backed by another layer of wood. That layer of woodA�is usually plywood, particle board or pine. Strand woven flooring is thin strands of bamboo bound together by using heat and high pressure. It is said to be one ofA�the most durable bambooA�flooring you can buy. The next choice is the color of the bamboo. Natural color bamboo is just that, it is untreated bamboo and is a light blond color. Carbonized bamboo is heat treated to caramelize the sugar in the fibers, which creates a darker color. You can also stain bamboo to match any color you want. Horizontal bamboo flooring shows the knots or knuckles of the bamboo. They are visible randomly on the surface and add to the beauty of the flooring. Vertical flooring is a more uniform look and does not show the knots. the strips are lined up by their edges, during manufacturing, instead of laying them out flat. You can also choose to get finished or unfinished flooring. Finished flooring is ready to install right from the factory. Unfinished flooring needs to be sanded and finished along with the installation. Most of the bamboo used in bamboo flooring comes from China. Yanchi, Morning Star and Wilsonart are some of the major companies for the flooring. When you are deciding on the company to use, remember to research the type of adhesive and finishes being used to determine the volatile organic compound (VOC) levelsA�and how they will affect you.…

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Eating Sushi Can Benefit Your Over All Well Being

Eating Sushi Can Benefit Your Over All Well Being If you haven’t tried eating sushi yet, I guess you’re not alone. There are a lot of Canadians who have probably missed out on this delicious and nutritious Japanese delicacy. For what reason, I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s quite unfamiliar to us North American people from eating raw fish. We are a bit wary because we are much too afraid to contract some kind of viral or bacterial infection brought about by eating wrong choices of food. I cannot really blame you because although eating raw fish and meat is quite familiar to some cultures, specifically Japanese culture, introducing this to people who overly consume fast food and well-cooked food can be very strange. This was how I felt in the beginning, but not until I bite on my first sushi experience. I must say that the feeling of a raw fish melting in your mouth is quite extra ordinary. The soft smooth texture that bursts with flavor can be very inviting for a second, a third and even a fourth piece. But do you know that more than this extra ordinary culinary experience, there are other more compelling reasons to each sushi. And this is the health benefit of this traditional Japanese dish. We all know how eating fast food that are subjected to high heat and are mostly fat-laden can be very bad for our health. Well, the good news is there is an alternative to this habit. You can switch to eating healthy sushi, which are packed with high protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Because the main ingredient is mostly fish of high quality nutrition, such as tuna and salmon, you expect that your body will be nourished deeply by the nutrients that this main ingredient carries to the body. Another powerful ingredient of sushi is the piece of wrapping that the fish and the rice combination are placed. It is called nori sheets, made from fresh seaweeds that are full of ocean-enriched vitamins and minerals. Not to mention the addition of vegetables and fruits that provide additional source of anti oxidants and vitamins. All of this goodness packed in a small but terrible protein-enriched, low-calorie meal. Now how’s that for a nutritious alternative to your usual fast food meal. However, although sushi in itself is very healthy, you have to cautious in putting or dipping it into too much soy sauce. This condiment is quite notorious for its high sodium content and other forms of preservatives, which can be harmful to your health. So, the next time you enjoy your sushi, make sure that what you will enjoy are the combined flavors of the main ingredient, but less of the soy. You also have to be cautious not to over-eat. It may be very tempting to consume so many of this delicacy because it is low-calorie, but you have to know that a piece may very well be around 100-300 calories per piece. So, consuming more than what is modest can also turn out to be unhealthy. The next time you feel the hunger pangs, why don’t you go out and visit a sushi restaurant for a change. You will not only have a satiating meal, but you will also enjoy all the health benefits of this traditional dish.…

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Sushi, Sashimi and Worms, Oh My!

Sushi, Sashimi and Worms, Oh My! What was once a trendy food a short time ago is now very mainstream. In restaurants in cities all over America, sushi and its cousin sashimi can be found in Chinese buffets and Japanese sushi bars everywhere. You can even find it in your local supermarket. The raw seafood used in these foods may contain parasitic worms that can cause relatively mild to severe infections in humans. Anisakis simplex is the most likely offender when it comes to parasitic infections from these now common foods. Anisakis is a marine roundworm that can be found in over 200 species of fish, eel and octopus. When you eat raw seafood contaminated with this roundworm, you are ingesting live larval forms of the parasite. From as soon as 1 hour to 2 weeks after eating the sushi, the symptoms may begin. The worms typically attached themselves to the stomach where vomiting and abdominal pain will ensue. More severe symptoms may be abdominal pains resembling appendicitis and rarely bowel obstructions.. Typically in this country people discover they have this parasite when they feel a tickling sensation in the throat and actually cough up the worm. This parasite rarely achieves maturity in the human host and eventually dies in a few weeks. The dead worms however stimulate an inflammatory response which can cause allergic type symptoms. There is no antibiotic or other pill to take for treating Anisakis. Removing the worm surgically may be the only way to alleviate pain in very severe cases. The good news is that this food borne illness is quite rare in the United States with only approximately 10 cases reported annually, though it is speculated that many mild cases are not reported. How do you prevent getting this potentially painful parasite? The Food and Drug Administration recommends that all seafood intended for raw consumption be either blast frozen (-35ºC) for at least 15 hours or regularly frozen for 7 days which will kill the parasite. Go to reputable restaurants that surely follow these health and safety guidelines. Don’t prepare your own sushi from fish you caught yourself. This disease should be considered if you’ve had recently eaten sushi or sashimi and have symptoms of an allergic reaction with abdominal pain. As more and more people patronize restaurants that serve sushi, it is expected that the levels of Anisakiasis will increase in this country.…