Spicy tuna rolls are a popular sushi item consisting of seasoned tuna, spicy mayo, and other ingredients rolled up in seaweed and rice. If you’re watching your calorie intake or macronutrients, you may be wondering how many calories are in 8 pieces of spicy tuna rolls. The total calories can vary depending on the exact ingredients and preparation, but a rough estimate is provided below.
Calories in Tuna
The main source of calories in a spicy tuna roll comes from the tuna. Lean tuna is a good source of protein and is relatively low in fat and calories:
- 3 ounces (85 grams) of canned tuna packed in water has around 93 calories
- 3 ounces of fresh yellowfin tuna has about 111 calories
- 3 ounces of fresh bluefin tuna has around 121 calories
So a typical spicy tuna roll containing around 1-2 ounces of tuna provides about 50-100 calories from the tuna alone.
Calories in Rice
Sushi rice, also called sticky rice or Japanese rice, is the other main component of a spicy tuna roll:
- 1/4 cup of cooked sushi rice contains around 150 calories
- A typical spicy tuna roll may contain 1/2 to 1 cup of rice
So the rice in eight rolls likely provides 150-300 calories.
Calories in Other Ingredients
Spicy tuna rolls also contain other ingredients that add to the calorie count:
- Seaweed wrapper – 5-10 calories per sheet
- Spicy mayo – Around 50 calories per tablespoon
- Sesame seeds – About 30 calories per tablespoon
- Cucumber – Around 5 calories per slice
- Avocado – Around 50 calories per slice
Together, these ingredients likely add another 150-300 calories to the total count.
Total Calories in 8 Spicy Tuna Rolls
Given the calorie estimates for each ingredient above, here’s an approximate total calorie count for 8 pieces of spicy tuna rolls:
- Tuna (8 oz total) – 400-800 calories
- Rice (4-8 cups) – 150-300 calories
- Other ingredients – 150-300 calories
So the total calories for 8 spicy tuna rolls ends up around 700-1400 calories.
This calorie range accounts for different portion sizes between various restaurants and sushi places. The exact calories also depend on factors like:
- Leanness of tuna used
- Amount of spicy mayo and other sauces
- Extra ingredients like avocado or fried onions
Overall though, a typical serving of 8 spicy tuna rolls contains 700-1400 calories.
Nutritional Contents of Spicy Tuna Rolls
In addition to calories, spicy tuna rolls contain other beneficial nutrients:
- Protein – Tuna provides around 20-40g of protein
- Carbs – Mostly coming from the rice, around 60-120g carbs
- Fat – Around 10-25g fat, mostly from the tuna, spicy mayo, and avocado if included
- Vitamin A – From carrots sometimes added
- Vitamin C – From海weed and cucumber
- Calcium – From sesame seeds
- Omega-3s – From the tuna
So while spicy tuna rolls are high in calories, they also provide nutrients as part of a balanced diet.
Ways to Reduce Calories in Spicy Tuna Rolls
Here are some tips for reducing the calories in spicy tuna rolls if you’re looking for a lighter option:
- Choose brown rice over white sushi rice
- Skip the spicy mayo and use Ponzu sauce instead
- Limit avocado to just 1-2 slices per roll
- Opt for cucumber instead of avocado
- Ask for less rice in each roll
- Avoid deep fried rolls
- Skip creamy sauces
- Order tuna tataki or sashimi instead of heavily sauced rolls
Making these simple substitutions can help reduce the calorie count while still enjoying the fresh taste of tuna and rice.
The Nutritional Value of Tuna
Tuna is the star ingredient of the spicy tuna roll. Here is more detail on the impressive nutritional value it provides:
- High in protein – A 3 ounce serving contains around 20-25g of protein
- Low in fat – Around 1-3g of fat depending on species
- Rich in vitamins and minerals – Includes Vitamin A, several B vitamins, potassium, selenium, etc.
- Source of omega-3 fats – Helps reduce inflammation and provide other health benefits
So while tuna contains mercury and should be eaten in moderation, it remains one of the healthier fish choices thanks to this stellar nutritional profile.
Benefits of Tuna for Health and Fitness
Here are some of the evidence-based health benefits of tuna:
- Helps build muscle and recover from exercise thanks to high quality protein content
- Provides nutrients for healthy hair, skin, nails, and bones like selenium and Vitamin D
- Omega-3s help reduce risk factors for heart disease and stroke
- May benefit brain health and reduce age-related cognitive decline
- Lowers inflammation which is linked to conditions like cancer and autoimmune disorders
Adding tuna like in spicy tuna rolls to your diet a few times a week can provide excellent health and fitness benefits.
Potential Concerns with Eating Too Much Tuna
While tuna provides great nutrition, there are a few potential downsides to be aware of:
- Mercury content – Larger tuna tend to accumulate more mercury, which can cause neurological problems in excess.
- Sustainability concerns – Some tuna species like bluefin are overfished. Opt for skipjack or other sustainably caught tuna.
- Allergies – Tree nut and sesame seed allergies are issues if rolls contain these.
- High sodium – Many rolls contain a lot of added salt from soy sauce and spicy mayo.
To enjoy tuna safely and ethically, opt for low mercury skipjack or albacore tuna no more than twice a week.
Healthy Spicy Tuna Roll Alternatives
If you enjoy the flavors of spicy tuna rolls but want to change up the nutrition profile, here are some healthy alternates to try:
Spicy Salmon Roll
Salmon provides similar nutrition to tuna with high quality protein, omega-3s, and an array of vitamins and minerals. Go for wild-caught Pacific salmon when possible.
Spicy Crab Roll
Crab also contains lean protein with less mercury concerns compared to larger fish. Opt for sustainable crab like Alaskan king or Dungeness.
Spicy Scallop Roll
Bay scallops add variety while providing protein, Vitamin B12, iron, and magnesium.
Spicy Shrimp Tempura Roll
Shrimp packs lean protein and vitamin B12. Opt for lightly fried or tempura shrimp to reduce oil and calories.
Spicy Tofu Roll
Tofu adds plant-based protein and is lower in calories. This is a great choice for vegetarians.
Mix up your sushi routine by trying these lower-calorie and mercury-free spicy sushi rolls for a nourishing and delicious meal.
Tips for Preparing Healthy Spicy Tuna Rolls at Home
You can also make healthier spicy tuna rolls right in your own kitchen with a few simple tips:
- Cook sushi rice with a dash of rice vinegar instead of a sugary sauce
- Use real tuna and whip up your own spicy mayo with Greek yogurt
- Add extra veggies like cucumber, avocado, carrot, and green onions
- Use brown rice or cauliflower rice instead of white sushi rice
- Swap out part of the rice for riced cauliflower to reduce carbs
- Brush rolls with sesame oil instead frying tempura style
- Season tuna with spices like chili powder, paprika, or ginger
Making sushi at home gives you control over the ingredients and portions for a healthier meal.
Is spicy tuna roll fattening?
Spicy tuna rolls contain around 700-1400 calories for 8 pieces, so they are high in calories. The fatty ingredients like tuna, avocado, spicy mayo, and fried tempura mean these rolls can be fattening if consumed in large amounts. Going easy on spicy mayo and frying along with watching your portion size will keep the fat and calories under control.
Is spicy tuna roll good for weight loss?
Spicy tuna can be part of a weight loss diet in moderation. Tuna provides lean protein that helps you feel full. But the high calorie count means portion control is key. Keep rolls to about 8 pieces or less per meal, load up on low cal veggies, and avoid frying and creamy sauces to keep spicy tuna rolls waistline friendly.
Is it safe to eat spicy tuna rolls while pregnant?
It’s generally safe to eat spicy tuna rolls in moderation during pregnancy as long as the tuna is low in mercury. Consume no more than 2-3 servings of low mercury tuna like skipjack per week. Avoid rolls with raw fish or seafood like sushi and sashimi to reduce any parasitic infection risks.
Spicy tuna rolls can contain 700-1400 calories for 8 pieces depending on the restaurant preparation and exact ingredients. While high in calories, these popular sushi rolls also provide protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals from the tuna along with other nutritious ingredients.
Enjoy spicy tuna in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Be mindful of portion sizes as well as your intake of mercury-containing fish. Pair rolls with lower calorie sides like edamame, seaweed salad, or miso soup. If weight loss is a goal, also limit extras like creamy sauces, avocado, and tempura frying when possible.
With mindful consumption, spicy tuna rolls can be incorporated into an overall balanced and nutritious diet.