From Sushi to Ramen: How to Make Healthy Choices at Traditional Japanese Restaurants

Are you a lover of Japanese cuisine but worried about its potential impact on your health and fitness? Fret not! Traditional Japanese restaurants offer an array of healthy choices that are both delicious and nutritious. In this blog post, we will guide you through the menu items to look for and avoid, from sushi rolls to ramen noodles. Get ready to satisfy your cravings without compromising your wellbeing- let’s dive in!

What are the Healthiest Options at Traditional Japanese Restaurants?

When it comes to picking a restaurant for Japanese cuisine, there are many healthy options. Here are the healthiest options at traditional Japanese restaurants:

Sushi: Generally, sushi is considered to be a healthy option because the fish is usually low in fat and calories. In addition, most sushi only has minimal ingredients and can be something that you enjoy without feeling weighed down.

Ramen: Ramen typically contains less sodium than other types of food. In fact, some places even have pre-made broth that you can order without any added seasonings or spices. Additionally, ramen noodles are often made with whole wheat flour which makes them a good source of dietary fiber.

Inari Sushi Balls: One fun way to add some extra protein to your meal is by ordering inari sushi balls instead of regular sushi rolls. These little bites are made from flour, salt, ground pork or chicken and egg which makes them high in protein and cholesterol free.

How Do I Order a Healthy meal at a Traditional Japanese Restaurant?

Traditional Japanese restaurants are a great place to get a healthy meal, but it can be hard to know what to order. Here are some tips on how to order a healthy meal at a traditional Japanese restaurant:

1. Ask the waiter or host what dishes are served with soy sauce or without. These dishes are typically healthier because they don’t contain a lot of salt.

2. Ask the waiter or host about the chef’s specialties. Some chefs put together unique menus that include items like steamed fish or vegetable dishes instead of sushi rolls, which can be a great way to get your greens and proteins in one bite!

3. Keep an eye out for bento boxes and nigiri sushi rolls. Bento boxes usually come with rice, tempura flounder, shrimp tempura, and sometimes pickled vegetables or sushi rolls. Nigiri sushi rolls are often piled high with avocado, cucumber, and you tare (sushi rice). They’re perfect for satisfying your sushi cravings without all the extra sugar and fat!

Sample Menu and Tips for ordering a Healthy Meal at a Traditional Japanese Restaurant.

When choosing a traditional Japanese restaurant, it’s important to be aware of the menu and make healthy choices. Here are some tips:

1. Sushi is a great option for an easy and healthy meal. Order toro or king salmon instead of spicy tuna or shrimp. Both are recommended options on the sushi selection board.

2. For ramen, choose miso or shoyu broth over soy sauce. There are also variations like with tonkotsu ramen which have a pork based broth. Vegetables like bamboo shoots, green onion and corn can be added to add flavor and nutrients to your dish. Stick to a rice bowl option if you’re looking for something lighter.

3. When selecting items from the grill, try chicken, salmon or vegetable kebabs instead of fatty beef or pork skewers. These dishes will still offer protein and essential nutrients along with low calorie sides like salad or steamed vegetables.


Traditional Japanese restaurants are a great place to enjoy a delicious meal and indulge in some favorite comfort foods. However, it is important to be mindful about the healthy choices that you make when dining out for food. Sushi can be high in mercury, so it is best to stick with seaweed rolls instead of salmon or tuna sushi rolls. Ramen usually contains MSG and other additives that can cause upset stomachs and other health problems, so it’s best to choose the broth-less variety if possible. By making a few simple substitutions, you can enjoy your traditional Japanese dishes without compromising your health or waistline.