5 Healthy Snacks to Eat in Japan

Do you want to manage your weight while touring Japan? Here are some nutritious snacks that can help avoid weight gain.

Great eating opportunities in the land of the Orient

BY LINDSEY GAROUTTE

Walking through the streets of Tokyo or along the beach in Enoshima will surely work up an appetite. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, but what do you do if you get hungry between meals and still want to watch your waistline?

Photo credit: Ben Tan

Some healthy snacks could include foods you normally eat in the United States, such as nuts and granola bars, that are available in most Japanese grocery and convenience stores. However, Japan also has unique snack foods that will satisfy you without breaking your snack calorie budget. Here are five of the healthier options that can be easily found throughout Japan.

1. Rice paper rolls with shrimp and vegetables – 1 roll has 81 calories and 2 grams of fat
2. Edamame – 1/2 cup has just 100 calories and 3 grams of fat
3. Crêpe – 1 plain crêpe is 125 calories and 4 grams of fat (Calories and fat may vary depending on what the crêpes are filled with. So keep calories down with healthier choices such as fruit.)
4. Onigiri or filled rice balls – 1 prepackaged ball provides 160 calories and 1 gram of fat
5. Nikuman or filled steamed buns – 1 bun has 145 calories and 5 grams of fat (may vary depending on filling that often includes pork, onions, and shitake mushrooms)

One thing to notice are the availability of healthy options for go-to food from morning to evening convenience stores. They have fruit and veggie bowls, as well as many prepackaged snacks. For a sweet tooth, one healthy choice is fruit gummies. The Kasugai brand is made with real fruit juice and has only 130 calories and no fat for 9 individually wrapped pieces. For a larger snack or meal on the run, try a bento box with an assortment of seafood, sushi, sashimi, pickled veggies, and rice. Happy travels. iT!

Lindsey Garoutte was a dietetic intern at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. She is a 2008 graduate of the University of Arkansas. Her sister now lives and works in Japan where Lindsey visited her last summer.

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