Sushi… rice, uncooked fish, vegetables and seaweed… apart from being absolutely delicious, it’s probably one of the healthiest things you can eat, right?
Not so, says Hollywood celebrity nutritionist Rachel Beller, to the anger of many Japanese netizens. Beller, who recently appeared on the popular reality TV show The Biggest Looser, is famous for her low-carb recipes and quick result weight-loss plans. Asia is the world’s fastest growing market for diet products, an industry which will soon be worth $200 billion worldwide, but the reaction this article got is about more than just fat, carbs and salt content…
Her views first appeared in the Chinese press before being taken up by Yahoo! Japan where the article quickly topped the rankings, getting almost 3000 annoyed comments, as well as being featured on 2ch.net blogs. The Japanese version of the article refers to Beller as ‘Bell’, and also notes that she is English, when in fact she is American. The original article from the English-language press can be viewed here.
From Yahoo! Japan:
Chinese Media Reports: “Far From Being Healthy, Sushi is Bad For You”, Says English Nutritionist
In her recent book, English nutritionist Rachel Beller said that Japanese food sushi is a “fake health food”. She claimed that it’s high in calories, salt and sugar, low in fiber, protein and vitamins and if eaten in too large quantities, could have detrimental effects on the development of fetuses and babies. The Shanghai Morning Post spread the story.
Beller explains in her new book that “at usually 290 to 350 calories, sushi has as many carbs as 2 to 4 slices of bread”. She also claims that “we’ve overestimated the nutritional value of sushi up until now. But the main ingredient is white rice, white rice makes up 75% of sushi. If you eat it with soy sauce, you’ll also up your salt intake.” She emphasized the point that “sushi isn’t healthy like everyone thinks, it’s actually really bad for your body.”
The English nutritionist also advises women who are pregnant, lactating or trying to get pregnant not to eat more than two portions of fatty fish per week. Contaminants from pollution are often present in fish with high fat contents and this can have harmful effects on the health of fetuses or breastfeeding babies. Tuna easily contains mercury which poses a risk of damaging the kidneys or nervous system. Moreover, people in general shouldn’t have more than four portions of fatty fish per week but sushi uses a lot of salmon, mackerel and tuna.
Beller also advises pregnant or lactating women to avoid sea-food and crustaceans. Shrimp, crab and scallops can easily be contaminated by virus and bacteria. These types of ingredients are also highly present in sushi.
Comments from Yahoo! Japan:
Only foreigners would eat it specifically because they think it’s healthy.
It’s as if they said stuff like yakitori was really healthy.
Please just stop dropping all these arbitrary judgments.
It’s fine as long as you also eat vegetables.
Are there idiots abroad who live off eating sushi 3 meals a day? w
The fact that Japanese people like sushi doesn’t mean we eat it every day. The whole world recognizes that Japanese food as a whole is really healthy.
Well just don’t eat it then.
Always finding some kind of a fault with Japan (笑). Is it unhappiness or envy or something which makes Chinese commies act like this? grr…
No matter what food it is, if you only eat that, you’ll have an unbalanced diet.
It’s stupid to think that you’ll get healthy off eating sushi, but it’s also stupid to deliberately report that you won’t in the news.
Well… it’s not as if the whole country is yelling out “eat this please” like [Korea is doing] for Kimchi
Everyone knows pregnant women need to watch their salt intake!
Sushi is something you eat once a month. You don’t eat it every day.
Everything needs to be eaten in moderation. Everyone knows overeating one thing is bad for your health.
Sushi is a health food? It’s the first time I hear this. It’s definitely really yummy though.
We eat it cause it’s good.
And that’s all.
No one thinks it’s good for their health.
Seems that you lot just decided it was healthy yourselves and eat it because of that.
Is there no tasty food in the UK?
If that’s what you think, is it better to just stop eating all together? It’s useless to try and find one single food with perfect nutrition.
I never heard sushi was a health food. Yeah, if you eat too much it will have effects on an unborn baby, but if you eat too much of anything it’ll be harmful (笑). Anything with raw ingredients has risks in and of itself. What the fuck are you talking about, you idiot.
I dunno what the standards of sushi are like in other places, but it’s probably the case with the standards of imitation sushi abroad.
Chinese people shouldn’t eat it then. You should definitely practice what you preach you anti-Japanese idiots.
You don’t need to eat it!
So you say it looks “gross” but it’s tastier than English food.
Mind your own business.
But Japanese people don’t think sushi is healthy, right? Don’t we just eat it because it’s tasty?
Goes without saying that luxury food always has lots of calories in it (*bitter laugh*). It’s bad for you if you eat it more than you a couple of times. But Japanese people don’t eat sushi every day.