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While the cubed raw fish dish poke has been a staple in Hawaii for decades, it has only recently infiltrated the rest of the country—via customizable poke bowls. But is this trendy specialty a better choice than a spicy tuna roll?
That depends, according to Monica Auslander Moreno, a Miami-based R.D. If you get sauce-slathered fish over a mound of white rice, the bowl might be worse. Instead, opt for bases like kale or quinoa, and ask for half greens and half rice.
A sushi roll, meanwhile, is often filled with nutrient-devoid rice. “Quinoa has the same calories and carbs but more protein, fiber, vitamins, and nutrients,” Moreno says. The roll’s spicy mayo is a problem, too. “Most sushi restaurants are not making homemade mayo, so it’s probably got soybean oil, a processed nasty chemical.”
Request your poke plain and add lemon, wasabi, or pickled ginger for flavor. Also, pile on healthy toppings like fresh mango, avocado, cucumber, onions, and edamame.
In the end, the bowl might be higher in calories compared with the roll, but you’ll get a better nutritional profile and fewer empty carbs.
The Winner: Poke Bowl