HealthyPosted on 21.03.2014

Healthy Takeaway The Vegetarian Edition – Curry VS Sushi

This week, we’re going veggie. It’s a creamy veggie Korma vs some seductive vegetable Sushi. What’s your favourite?

Naughty – Vegetarian Curry

On the face of it the main ingredients – the veggies – are low in fat, high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. But this is another case where the way they’re cooked, and what’s added later on, that makes this a naughty option.

Most curries begin with super-healthy onions and garlic, but then they’re fried in a very generous amount of oil, and that’s what bumps up the calorie and fat content.

Try matter paneer – You can’t go wrong with peas and potatoes!

By choosing the vegetarian option, rather than going carnivore when you eat Indian, you are cutting the fat you take in – vegetables are virtually fat-free, while meat (especially red meat like lamb) is much higher in fat, especially in the saturated fats that increase our heart risk. But the calorie and fat difference between a meaty and veggie curry might not be quite as much as you might expect. So while going veggie is definitely the healthier option, you should still consider it a ‘treat meal’.

And if your veggie curry is a creamy korma, it’ll be enriched with ground almonds and cream – which both increase the fat content (although almonds do contain healthy unsaturated fats). Veggie Thai curries are also super-rich and high in fat, thanks to the coconut cream they contain.

Nice – Vegetable Sushi

Veggie sushi is virtually fat-free, and much lower in calories than most other takeaway choices. It’s based around rice. Now, in an ideal world I’d like to see it made with brown rice, as that’s much higher in fibre, richer in nutrients and all-round healthier than refined rice. But I know, that just wouldn’t work in sushi, where you need sticky white sushi rice. And rice is a starchy carbohydrate, and starchy carbs are our bodies’ preferred source of energy – much better for us than sugary foods.

Sushi comes wrapped in nori seaweed, which is ultra-healthy – high in minerals, especially iodine. We don’t hear much about iodine, but we need it to keep our thyroid glands healthy.

So healthy. So delicious.

Where traditionally sushi usually contains fish, veggie sushi is based around strips of vegetables, and sometimes tofu. I recommend cucumber, avocado or pickle sushi. They’re all low-fat, and while vegetables are higher in fibre and packed with plant compounds, tofu is made from soya beans, so it’s rich in protein, which helps keep you sustained and helps to balance your blood sugar levels between meals.

One watchpoint, though, is that sushi can be high in salt, so if you’re trying to cut down on the salt you eat (for example if you’re  watching your blood pressure), you’ll want to make sure you don’t have sushi too often, and avoid other salty foods for the rest of the day.