Myth or Fact:
Poke bowls are healthy and low in calories
Besides being delicious, poke bowls can be quite healthy. That said, the quality of health benefits correlate to ingredients and portion sizes. In other words, you can overdo it on poke bowls and increase the calories to 500+, just like you can overdo it on anything else; especially when you go heavy on the sauce and toppings.
Start your poke bowl by adding a base ingredient, which enhances texture and furthermore, turns your bowl into a more filling and nutritious meal.
Options for a base include sushi rice, quinoa, soba noodles, shredded cucumber or lettuce and mixed
greens. Aim for shredded cucumber or lettuce (without “feeling bad” for putting too much) for a free
base; or go for quinoa and brown rice as a filling, fibrous starch to make it a full meal.
Salmon, tuna, yellowtail, sea bass… Pretty much all the fish they offer to top your poke bowl, would be a great high protein choice. However, avoid any tempura fish as that adds unnecessary calories and fat to your poke bowl.
There’s really no such thing as an unhealthy vegetable but you should load up accordingly as some vegetables are pretty starchy.
Carrots, cucumbers, radishes, asparagus, mushrooms, jalapeno, seaweed salad and peppers- all free vegetables.
Sweet potato, beets and corn- limit the starchy vegetables to 2 tablespoons as a vegetable, or use 1 cup as your starch for the meal.
There is no shortage of “extras” one can add to a poke bowl including avocado, nuts and caviar.
Ingredients like avocado and almonds are nutritious, but high in calories. 1⁄4 of an avocado or 10 almonds is considered to be a full fat for your meal, so use your judgment when sprucing up your bowl.
Nothing brings your poke bowl together like the right sauce, but this is also where one can easily go overboard. Soy sauce for example, is a popular ingredient that contains loads of sodium that instantly bloats you. We’re not saying you have to leave it off, just that you should apply it sparingly and choose light soy sauce. Try avoiding sweet sauce which is loaded in sugar and spicy mayo which is full of fat. For a healthier option, stick with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon, demonstrating proper restraint with the oil.