Health-conscious consumers are raving about poke’s nutritional value. This Hawaiian cuisine’s popularity stems from its healthy servings of low-calorie fish, vegetables, and toppings. When it comes to eating healthy, poke tops the list.
As poke restaurants continue to open in new markets, more consumers wonder poke’s health benefits. With so many ingredients to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine the foods that offer low calories, healthy fats, and dietary fiber. This article addresses the nutritional benefits of poke, common ingredients to avoid, and their healthier substitutes that provide nourishment and sustenance.
Poke’s Nutritional Value
Poke’s ingredients are rich in omega-3’s, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, experts believe that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk for coronary heart disease. Some of these benefits stem from the reduction of blood vessel inflammation and blood clots. It also lowers triglyceride levels, abnormal heart rhythm, and the growth rate of plaque in blood vessels. The most common healthy food that includes omega-3’s is fish.
A University of Kentucky report claims that the average American (both children and adults) consumes less than half of their recommended dietary fiber levels. The study further states that individuals who consume high amounts of dietary fiber are at a “significantly lower risk for… coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, [and] obesity.” Increased fiber consumption also lowers blood pressure. Fiber assists with your digestive health and is an important staple of a nutritional diet. Poke’s status as a healthy food is demonstrated by its abundant servings of omega-3’s and fiber.
It’s easy to eat healthy with traditional poke, but what happens when you top it with delicious sauces and toppings? One caveat for poke is its high-calorie sauces and sodium-rich toppings. For healthy alternatives, steer clear of these sauces:
- Soy sauce
- Spicy mayo
And opt for these toppings instead:
- Watermelon radish
- Sesame seeds
- Shredded carrot
By staying knowledgeable of the nutritional facts of your food, you can make better choices that promote healthy eating. Since 75% of Americans are eating diets that are low in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and oils, it is imperative for the public to transition to healthier foods. This report further states that “more than two-thirds of adults” and almost one-third of all children in the United States are “either overweight or obese.” Health.gov recommends increasing health education and creating small shifts in one’s diet. This is how to make healthier decisions when eating poke.
How to Eat Healthy with Poke
Many of poke’s traditional ingredients represent the golden standards of healthy food. As explained above, poke is rich in fish, vegetables, and low-calorie toppings. Here is a guide for how to incorporate your favorite healthy foods into a poke bowl:
Step 1: Choose your base
Quinoa and rice are rich in carbohydrates and calories (but excellent if you want whole grains); we suggest opting for a vegetable base instead:
- seaweed salad
- kelp noodles
- zucchini noodles
- baby spinach
- mixed greens
- shredded carrots
Step 2: Choose your protein
Traditional Hawaiian poke is made with tuna, but restaurants now offer more choices for their patrons. These three proteins are the most common.
Step 3: Additional Sauces and Toppings
- Sliced apple
- Lemon juice
Step 4: Toss Your Bowl and Eat!
Congratulations! You have successfully created your own poke bowl. This recipe can be tailor-made to fit your nutritional needs and dietary restrictions. It is recommended to cycle through these ingredients to ensure that your body receives each of its recommended nutrients.
Poke is a Healthy Food
This list shows the many combinations of healthy foods that can be integrated into a poke bowl. As always, do your own research as a consumer and come up with a fun concoction of your own! A traditional poke bowl has various textures, colors, and taste profiles, so be sure to experiment and incorporate all of your food groups. A popular poke restaurant that offers healthy toppings for their bowls is Uncle Sharkii.
Uncle Sharkii’s customized poke options adhere to healthy food standards. They pride themselves on their healthy servings of protein and passion for delivering an authentic Hawaiian experience. Ironically, Uncle Sharkii originally began as an ice cream shop. Fenny, the co-founder was inspired by her husband’s native cuisine and began offering it to her customers. Demand skyrocketed as her town began sharing their poke bowl experiences. Fenny and her husband Raymond saw the interest in poke and decided to create a designated location for it. They have since foregone ice cream for a healthier food substitute, tea. This couple created the perfect marriage of traditional Hawaiian cuisine and authentic South Asian delicacies. For more information on this poke restaurant, visit Uncle Sharkii.