Your love for sushi could be putting your health at risk, here is what you should know

Are you a sushi enthusiast? Here is what you need to know about the dangers of eating too much sushi and discover healthy ways to enjoy the beloved Japanese dish.

Is your love for sushi putting you at risk? The truth about eating too much raw fish
© Riccardo Bergamini/UNSPLASH
Is your love for sushi putting you at risk? The truth about eating too much raw fish

Not too long ago, a story about a woman who had to be rushed to the hospital because she ate too much sushi surprised the internet.

Discover our latest podcast

24-year-old Danielle Shapiro had gone to an all-you-can-eat buffet and loaded up on a whopping 32 sushi rolls which gave her gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Luckily in her case, it wasn’t particularly the sushi that caused the problem—it was just because she had eaten more than her body could handle.

However, given that sushi has now become one of the most popular foods in the world, Shapiro’s story has us thinking about whether or not there are real consequences of eating too much sushi.

Read more: Woman hospitalised after visit to all-you-can-eat sushi buffet goes wrong

The risks of mercury poisoning

In the past few years sushi has gone from being a cherished Japanese dish that uses only the freshest ingredients, to something that is readily available in most Asian buffets. And while it does seem like a relatively healthy food to eat when you’re going out, you should know that when it comes to sushi, moderation is key.

Sushi  Louis Hansel/UNSPLASH

First of all, fish contain certain traces of mercury and mercury poisoning can cause symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and in worst case scenarios organ failure and brain damage.

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to get mercury poisoning from eating fish, it just means that you should be careful about how much you’re eating. Dietician Claire Martin tells Women’s Health that fish like tuna, sea bass, and swordfish have higher quantities of mercury and you should be eating them only twice a week. She said:

You should moderate your consumption of these types of fish in sashimi, nigiri or otherwise. I wouldn't eat these fish more than twice a week.

You can eat fish like salmon, crab, and shrimp more often since they have lower levels of mercury.

Read more:How Long Can You Keep Fish and Seafood In The Freezer?

You could get tapeworm infections

There have also been cases where eating too much sushi led to another condition—tapeworm infections.

Salmon  Oxana Kolodina/UNSPLASH

In 2018, a man from California had a 5 ft tapeworm that came out of his body and it was linked back to his diet. He apparently used to eat salmon sushi every single day and he’s not the only one.

The Guardian reported that in 2017, a 32-year-old Portuguese man was taken to the hospital because of abdominal pain. Doctors found that it was caused by a worm that was ‘attached to his gut wall’ and they suspected that the parasite was inside the sushi that he had eaten.

But you should know that getting tapeworm infections from sushi is very rare as the process of flash-freezing fish usually kills parasites and tiny larvae. If you do end up getting infected, it is easily treatable with medication.

Read more: 4 Foods You Should Avoid if You Want to Reduce Your Risks of Cancer and Diabetes

Sources used:

The Guardian: Popularity of sushi has brought rise in parasitic infections, warn doctors

Tesco issues urgent recall over popular food item with 'possible health risk' Tesco issues urgent recall over popular food item with 'possible health risk'