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Do’s and Don’ts of Sushi and the Low-FODMAP Diet

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For anyone who is gluten intolerant, eating out for sushi can be tricky as you run the risk for cross-contamination from traces of gluten-containing ingredients like tempura.  Consider asking your server to speak to the chef and see if they can make your rolls on a clean cutting board and with a clean knife.  Hopefully they will be kind and patient to you and fulfill your desire!

sushi do's and don'ts for the low-fodmap dietFor those who are not gluten intolerant, you will still benefit from the tips below if you are following the low-FODMAP diet!

Tips for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Sushi

  • Rice is gluten-free and wheat-free and is sometimes mixed with vinegar and/or sugar.  No worries here!
  • The seaweed found in sushi rolls is naturally gluten-free and wheat-free.  Seaweed can be nutritious, depending upon how many servings you have.  One of the most noted benefits is its iodine content, and consuming healthy levels of iodine is beneficial to the thyroid gland, which regulates our hormones.  According to the National  “seaweed is rich in some health-promoting molecules and materials such as, dietary fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.”
  • If you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or Hashimoto’s disease, you need to be particularly wary of dipping sauces for sushi.  Most soy sauces or teriyaki contain gluten.  For instance, the second ingredient in All-purpose Kikkoman Soy Sauce is wheat.  They do make a gluten-free version where the ingredients are water, soybeans, rice and salt.  Ask for gluten-free Japanese tamari soy sauce.  There’s also rolls that are made with eel and you’ve probably noticed the barbecue sauce that comes with those rolls – many times the sauce contains gluten.
  • The fish used to fill sushi rolls is gluten-free and wheat-free as are the vegetables and mayonnaise (mayo is also lactose free).  Just be wary of two things: 1) how many rolls you have with avocado and keep in mind that a 1/4 serving of avocado is allowed on the low-FODMAP diet; 2) whether or not crab is in the roll.  Fresh crab is fine but imitation crab has gluten in it from the wheat starch.  Imitation crab is OK for people that are not gluten intolerant, however, consider limiting it because it is processed and also contains various artificial ingredients.
  • Believe it or not some wasabi actually contains gluten.  Some types of wasabi that have been commercially prepared may have been cross-contaminated or made with coloring agents that contain wheat starch.  “Although processing often removes the gluten protein (from wheat starch), some residual gluten can remain so wheat starch is not considered gluten free in the U.S.” Gluten-Free Living.  It is best to stay away wasabi unless you go to a sushi restaurant that prepares it fresh, otherwise you might be enjoying a mix of mustard, European horseradish, and food coloring. Wasabi is basically Japanese horseradish but to make it fresh, the Wasabia japonica rhizome, or root of the plant would be grated fresh, or a 100% authentic, all natural dried ground wasabi powder can be used, which is then mixed with water to become the paste.
  • Sorry guys, but tempura is made from wheat flour.  I know, I know shrimp tempura rolls taste SO good but anything with tempura does not fit with the wheat-free low-FODMAP diet or a strict gluten-free diet.

And I leave you with this inspirational quote loves!

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  Buddha.

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Sources:  Steamy Kitchen, All About Real Wasabi;

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