How many calories are in a Whole Foods sushi roll?

Sushi rolls from Whole Foods Market can make for a convenient and delicious meal or snack. However, many people wonder about the calorie content of these pre-made sushi rolls. In this comprehensive guide, we will examine the various factors that affect the calorie count of Whole Foods sushi rolls and provide estimates for the calorie content of popular options.

An Overview of Calories in Sushi Rolls

When determining the calories in sushi rolls, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Type of rice: Short grain white rice is standard, while brown rice or sushi rice may be lower in calories.
  • Fillings: Fish, vegetables, avocado and other ingredients affect calorie content.
  • Portion size: Sushi rolls may vary in the number of pieces per roll.
  • Additions: Ingredients like mayo and fried tempura can increase calorie count.
  • Accompaniments: Soy sauce, wasabi and ginger are low calorie, but spicy mayo can add more.

In general, a standard sushi roll made with white rice contains around 200-300 calories per roll. However, this can vary greatly depending on the factors above.

Calories in Whole Foods Sushi Rolls

Now let’s take a look at some popular sushi rolls from Whole Foods Market and their estimated calorie counts:

Vegetable Rolls

  • Avocado Roll: Around 300 calories for 6 pieces
  • Cucumber Roll: Around 275 calories for 6 pieces
  • Asparagus Tempura Roll: Around 350 calories for 6 pieces

Vegetable rolls like avocado and cucumber provide the lowest calorie options for sushi. However, tempura batter and frying can increase calories.

Fish Rolls

  • Tuna Roll: Around 300 calories for 6 pieces
  • Salmon Roll: Around 325 calories for 6 pieces
  • Yellowtail Roll: Around 275 calories for 6 pieces
  • California Roll (crab and avocado): Around 325 calories for 6 pieces

These are traditional rolls filled with lean proteins like tuna, salmon and yellowtail. The addition of avocado and crabmeat does increase calorie counts slightly.

Specialty Rolls

  • Spicy Tuna Roll: Around 350 calories for 6 pieces
  • Shrimp Tempura Roll: Around 400 calories for 6 pieces
  • Dragon Roll (eel and avocado): Around 375 calories for 6 pieces
  • Caterpillar Roll (eel, avocado, cucumber): Around 425 calories for 6 pieces

Specialty rolls have more unique flavor combinations and ingredients like spicy mayo, fried shrimp or cream cheese. This leads to higher calorie counts in most cases.

Lower Calorie Options for Whole Foods Sushi

If you’re looking to reduce calories for your Whole Foods sushi rolls, here are some tips:

  • Choose vegetable rolls like cucumber and avocado
  • Select lean protein fillings like tuna and yellowtail
  • Avoid tempura batter and frying
  • Limit spicy mayo and creamy sauces
  • Opt for brown rice or sushi rice
  • Use reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Fill up on extra vegetables like edamame

With some simple swaps, you can enjoy delicious sushi from Whole Foods while still watching your calorie intake.

Factors That Affect Calories in Sushi Rolls

As we saw, there can be quite a range when it comes to calories in sushi rolls. Here is more detail on the key factors that impact the calorie content:

Type of Rice

Short grain white rice is the traditional rice used in sushi. A 1/4 cup serving of cooked white rice contains around 150 calories. Using sushi rice seasoned with rice wine vinegar adds minimal calories. Opting for brown rice can reduce the calorie count slightly, with around 110 calories per 1/4 cup.


  • Tuna: 25-30 calories per ounce
  • Salmon: 45-50 calories per ounce
  • Shrimp: 20-25 calories per ounce
  • Avocado: 50 calories per ounce
  • Cucumber: 5 calories per ounce
  • Asparagus: 5 calories per ounce

In general, lean proteins like tuna and shrimp provide the lowest calorie fillings. Vegetables add volume with minimal calories. High fat foods like avocado and salmon come in a bit higher for calories.

Portion Size

A typical sushi roll contains 6-8 pieces. Mini rolls may have fewer pieces, reducing calories. Large specialty rolls may have even more pieces, increasing calories. In general, a standard 6-8 piece roll contains about 200-300 calories.

Fried Ingredients

Tempura battering and frying ingredients like shrimp or vegetables can significantly increase calorie content. For example, an order of 6 tempura shrimp can add around 200 calories. Even small amounts of fried ingredients boost calories quickly.

Condiments and Sauces

  • Soy sauce: 5 calories per teaspoon
  • Wasabi: 5 calories per teaspoon
  • Ginger: Negligible calories
  • Spicy mayo: Around 90 calories per tablespoon

While soy sauce, wasabi and ginger add minimal calories, spicy mayo and creamy sauces can have a major impact. Just a tablespoon of spicy mayo adds nearly 100 calories.

Nutritional Profile of Sushi Rolls

Beyond just calories, sushi rolls can also provide a range of beneficial nutrients. Here is an overview of the typical nutrition profile of sushi rolls:

Sushi rolls made with fish or shellfish provide high quality lean protein. For example, a tuna roll may contain around 15-20g of protein.

Healthy Fats
Ingredients like salmon and avocado provide omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. These types of fats are beneficial for heart health.

The rice in sushi provides carbohydrate energy, along with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Around 30-40g of carbs may come from a standard sushi roll.

Vitamins and Minerals
Fillings like tuna, salmon and vegetables contribute B-vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, iron and zinc. Seaweed wrap contains iodine, vitamin K and antioxidants.

The sodium content of sushi rolls depends on ingredients and accompaniments. Soy sauce contains sodium, but skipping it and sodium in fillings can reduce total sodium.

Tips for Enjoying Sushi Rolls While Managing Calories

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind to enjoy delicious sushi rolls while still watching your calorie intake:

  • Opt for lean protein fillings like tuna, shrimp or yellowtail
  • Choose vegetable-focused rolls like cucumber and avocado
  • Limit fried and tempura ingredients
  • Go easy on sauces like spicy mayo and sriracha
  • Use a light hand with soy sauce or skip entirely
  • Fill up on low calorie starters like edamame and miso soup
  • Split larger rolls or orders of multiple rolls with friends
  • Select brown rice or sushi rice to reduce calories slightly
  • Balance your meal with a side salad or light dessert

By making smart choices, you can satisfy a sushi craving while still keeping your calorie consumption in check.

Common Questions about Calories in Sushi Rolls

Are vegetable rolls lower in calories?

Yes, vegetable-focused rolls like cucumber and avocado provide some of the lowest calorie options for sushi rolls. Fillings like cucumber, carrots and asparagus are very low in calories, so loading up on veggie rolls can help reduce calorie intake.

Do specialty rolls have more calories?

In most cases, specialty rolls do end up high in calories compared to classic rolls. Unique ingredients like fried shrimp, spicy mayo, mango, cream cheese and avocado boost calories. Opt for specialty rolls occasionally as a treat, and balance them out with lower calorie choices.

Is brown rice better than white rice in sushi?

Brown rice does contain slightly fewer calories and more fiber than white rice. However, the difference is fairly small. Opting for brown rice can provide a modest calorie reduction while adding extra nutrition.

What about sashimi, sushi bowls or nigiri?

Sashimi and nigiri with fish or veggies over rice contain fewer calories than most rolls. A sushi bowl with brown rice, vegetables and lean protein is also a great lower calorie choice.

How many calories should I aim for in a sushi meal?

A good target is 500-700 calories, depending on your diet. This would provide room for one standard roll, a side like seaweed salad, and potentially an appetizer like edamame. Splitting rolls also allows you to try multiple options while controlling portions.

The Bottom Line

Sushi rolls from Whole Foods can range from around 275 calories for simple vegetable rolls to over 400 calories for specialty rolls. Fillings, fried ingredients, portion size and accompaniments all impact the calorie content. By making smart choices like opting for lean proteins and veggies, limiting sauces and splitting rolls, you can enjoy delicious sushi while managing calories.

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