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Sliced Raw Fish (sashimi), Full of Special Nutrients

Posted May. 27, 2001 10:08,   


The number of people who are eating sliced raw fish (sashimi) is increasing due to the cow disease as well as foot-and-mouth disease. While sashimi is favored as meal and hors-doeuvres in Korea, it is spotlighted as `healthy food` in the U.S. and Europe. Foreign presses have often featured specials on sashimi as healthy food. How good is sashimi to human body?

- Nutrients: Sashimi is composed of 18~20 percents of protein, 70 percents of water, fat, minerals, and vitamins. Fish contains 10 percent of fat, whereas pork has 30 percents and beef has 20 percents of fat. Especially, red fish contains less fat. Compared with meat, fish contains much less fat. However, it has much more unsaturated fat which is good for the body. Unsaturated fat prevents the cholesterol composition and lowers the cholesterol level. Fish contains lots of EPA, a kind of unsaturated fat which prevents the geriatric diseases, such as heart disease and brain stroke. Since blue fish contains lots of DHA, it is good for the brain development during the infant stage and for the prevention of memory failure. Fatty acid called Omega 3 is helpful to prevent the cardio vascular disease. In terms of nutrition, red fish contains more vitamins and iron than blue fish, but no big difference in protein content.

- Good for Health: Sliced raw Mackerel is one of the representative sashimi that is good for the physical strength. Mackerel sashimi prevents arteriosclerosis by lowering cholesterol level and provides good nutrients for the brain development. However, it would be good for those who are easily agitated or have high blood pressure level to avoid Mackerel sashimi.

Sea bream, among the white fish, is known to be good for children since it contains lots of calcium. Because calcium changes the physical constitution to low alkali, it prevents the aging of cells and coagulates the blood. White fish also appeases the central nerves, helps intestine activities, and intensifies the phagocytosis. People who have allergies can eat white fish as well.

Since sashimi contains high protein, it gives less stress to the liver. Due to this reason, sashimi goes well with alcohol. When one eats sashimi, it is more tasteful to paste the mustard to sashimi first, then, put it into the soy sauce, rather than to dip sashimi into the soy sauce mixed with mustard.

- Right season for fish: Fish that is in-season is tasty. Although sea bream and tuna are known to be good throughout the year, sea bream is much less tasty after the spawning season (end of May ~ end of June). Tuna is tasty in winter.

Sea bass, black sea bream, and abalone are good in fall. Flat fish, gizzard shad, mackerel, and sardine are good in winter. Yellow tail, saury, scallop, and octopus are popular in winter and spring. Although many people avoid sashimi because of septicemia, germs that cause septicemia are found in some of shellfishes, and are found much less in fresh fish.

Healthy persons are not easily affected by septicemia. However, people with hepatitis and diabetes, alcohol addicts, and elderly people need to avoid sashimi in summer.

(Advisors: Professor Jin Yang-Ho, Division of Tourism Science, Kyonggi University

Ahn Joong-Ho, chef of the Japanese Cuisine, Lotte Hotel)