Healthy Japanese food ordering guide

Japanese restaurants can be found everywhere in Thailand and are highly popular with all layers of the population. Japanese food can be very healthy, as long as you chose the right products. But if you make some bad choices while ordering you run the risk of having a very unhealthy meal high in carbohydrates, the wrong fats, and salts. Here are some tips to on what to order while eating out at a Japanese restaurant.

1 Edamame

A good start of your meal is a portion of Edamame. Many people eat this as dessert but by eating it at the start of your meal you can start filling up with healthy vegetables and limit your total calorie intake. Edamame contains proteins and is rich in fibers which will keep your stomach busy with digesting. Go easy on the salt with Edamame as Japanese food is already high in sodium.

2 Miso soup

Miso soup is also a great started that helps you fill up. Miso soup is low in calories and contains some fermented soy beans giving it fibers and making it rich in vitamins and minerals.

3 Sushi

When you talk about eating Japanese food you immediately think of sushi, but sushi is actually one of the worst choices you can make in a Japanese restaurant health-wise. Sushi is prepared with a lot of rice, and this is almost often Japanese white rice which is not only low in fibers but also high in simple carbohydrates: the type you want to avoid as much as possible. To make it even worse: most people dip their sushi in soy sauce which is high in sodium (salt).

4 Sashimi

Sashimi is the best alternative to sushi. While it comes at a much higher price it contains all that is good in sushi and leaves out all that is bad. Sashimi basically contains fatty acids and proteins. And to make things even better: the fatty acids in sashimi like salmon and mackerel are omega-3 acids which are very beneficial for your heart and brain. White fish like snapper and sea bass are high in protein and low in fat. Shrimp have a bad reputation as having high levels of cholesterol, but this is undeserved as the cholesterol levels in shrimp are very low. With sashimi it is recommend to follow how the Japanese eat it: with only a little bit of soy sauce at best to keep your salt intake low.

5 Deep-fried items

When it says “deep-fried” it should already be clear that it is not a healthy choice. Deep-fried products are high in fat and this is not the type of fat you want to include in your diet. It gets even worse for items with a crunchy crust as the crust consists of simple carbohydrates and is soaked in fats. Rather select something that is either grilled or steamed.

6 Green tea

Most Japanese restaurants give free refills of green tea, either hot or cold, and this is the perfect choice for health-conscious eaters. Green tea is high in antioxidants and low in calories as long as it is unsweetened. Try to avoid taking a beer with your meal, sake, or fruit juices as they all are high in carbohydrates.

7 Chopsticks

By using chopsticks you eat a lot slower than by using a fork and spoon. And eating slower will probably result in eating less calories as it gives your body time to signal it is full before you ordered a new round of dishes.

Originally published at

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