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.

 

Base

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.

 

Protein

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.

 

Vegetables

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.

 

Add-Ons

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.

 

Sauce

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.