We all know that Poke is delicious, but is it healthy? We asked a nutritionist to weigh in on the debate.
Checkout this video:
Poke, a Hawaiian dish traditionally made with fresh raw fish, has been having a moment lately. The bowl-shaped meal has been popping up all over the United States, and for good reason: It’s healthy, filling, and customizable.
But what exactly is poke? “Poke simply means ‘to cut’ or ‘to dice’ in Hawaiian,” registered dietitian nutritionist Beth Warren, author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl, tells SELF. “So when you order a poke bowl, you’re getting diced raw fish served over rice.”
What is Poke?
Poke is a Hawaiian dish that has traditionally consisted of fish that has been cubed and marinated. The fish is then often served over rice. In recent years, poke has become popular in mainstream culture, and as a result, there are now many poke restaurants that have popped up all over the country. While the traditional Hawaiian dish is healthy, some of the poke bowls that are served at restaurants can be quite unhealthy.
The Health Benefits of Poke
Poke has been having a moment lately. The Hawaiian dish—which traditionally consists of cubed raw fish, rice, and veggies—has been popping up on menus all over the country. And for good reason: It’s healthy, filling, and easy to customize. But is poke actually good for you? We asked nutritionist Jenna Braddock, RD, to weigh in.
Poke is a good source of protein
Poke is a good source of protein, providing about 15 grams in a 3-ounce serving. Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps to build and repair tissues, produce enzymes and hormones, and regulate metabolism.
Poke is low in calories
Poke is a Hawaiian dish that’s becoming increasingly popular in the mainland United States. It’s typically made with fish, rice, and vegetables, and it can be a healthy option if you’re looking for a low-calorie meal.
“One of the great things about poke is that it’s a very versatile dish,” says Jessica Crandall Snyder, RDN, CDE, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You can add whatever you like to it, so it’s easy to customize based on your own preferences and dietary needs.”
For example, if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, you can opt for a light poke bowl that’s made with lean proteins and vegetables. “Poke is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health,” says Snyder.
If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, you can add toppings like avocado or tofu to your poke bowl. “These additions will help increase the protein and healthy fat content of the dish,” Snyder says.
In general, poke bowls can be part of a healthy diet if they’re made with nutrient-rich ingredients. “Poke bowls can absolutely be part of a healthy diet,” Snyder says. “Just be sure to choose options that are high in protein and low in saturated fat.”
Poke is rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Poke is a Hawaiian dish that traditionally consists of cubes of raw fish that are marinated in a variety of sauces and then served over rice. Poke has become increasingly popular in recent years as a healthy alternative to other fast food options, but some people wonder if it is really as healthy as it seems.
We spoke to Registered Dietitian Kate Patton from the Cleveland Clinic to get her expert opinion on poke and its nutritional value.
Patton says that poke is indeed a healthy option, especially when compared to other fast food choices. “Poke is a good source of protein and healthy fats, and it is relatively low in calories,” she explains. “It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits.”
Some of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and improving heart health. Patton says that the omega-3 fatty acids in poke make it a particularly good choice for people who are at risk for heart disease.
The Health Risks of Poke
Poke has been having a moment for the past few years. The Hawaiian dish-turned-trend has taken over the mainland, with poke bowls popping up everywhere from California to New York. But as poke bowls have become more popular, so have the questions surrounding their healthfulness.
Poke can be high in sodium
Poke is often made with marinated fish that is high in sodium, which can be a problem for people who are trying to limit their intake of salt. A single serving of poke can contain more than 1000 mg of sodium, which is more than half the recommended daily limit for adults.
For people with high blood pressure, or who are at risk for developing high blood pressure, eating a lot of sodium can be dangerous. Sodium can cause the body to retain water, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, or are at risk for developing it, eating a high-sodium diet can be dangerous.
Poke is also often made with raw fish, which can contain harmful bacteria that can make you sick. If you eat raw fish that is contaminated with bacteria, you could develop food poisoning. Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. If you experience these symptoms after eating poke, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Eating raw fish also puts you at risk for contracting a foodborne illness like salmonella or norovirus. These illnesses can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea, and in some cases they can be fatal. If you eat raw fish that is contaminated with either of these viruses, you should see a doctor as soon as possible
Poke can be high in mercury
Poke can be high in mercury, which is a toxic element. Mercury is found in some fish, including tuna, swordfish, and shark. It can also be found in other seafood, like shrimp, lobster, and crab. Poke made with these fish can have high levels of mercury.
Mercury is a problem because it can damage your nervous system. It can also cause problems for pregnant women and their babies. Some studies have shown that mercury exposure can lead to higher rates of autism and attention deficit disorder (ADHD).
Poke made with seafood that is lower in mercury is a safer choice. Good options include salmon, pollock, haddock, and catfish. You can also ask the person making your poke to use furikake (a Japanese seasoning made with seaweed and sesame seeds) or kimchi (a Korean dish made with fermented vegetables) instead of fish.
Poke is a great choice for a healthy meal. It is low in calories and fat, and high in protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. However, it is important to remember that poke is typically high in sodium, so be sure to watch your intake of salt if you are trying to limit your sodium intake.