5 Japanese Dishes to Avoid if You are on Diet

High Calorie but Super Delicious Japanese Foods!

What’s your favourite Japanese food? Generally, Japanese food is well known as being “healthy”, “low fat” and “great for diet”.. but does that mean you can pick any Japanese dishes when you are on diet?? In fact, many Japanese dishes are high in calories and contains large amount of fat, especially these which are very tasty and addictive!

So today, I’m writing an article specially for those who is looking after their diet, so they know which Japanese food to avoid. But remember, even if you are on diet, these dishes are extremely tasty & absolutely worth trying! 😛

Let’s check out the best (or worst?) guilty pleasure dishes in Japan!


1. Tonkatsu

100g pork loin Tonkatsu: 400 kcal

As we all know, deep fried dishes are the worst nightmare for dieters. They are unhealthy but taste so good. Japan has one significant deep-fried dish that we can’t simply take our hands off.

Tonkatsu is a pork loin covered with breadcrumb and deep-fried, usually served with miso soup, rice, shredded cabbage and high-calorie thick & rich sauce. Katsudon might be even bigger guilty pleasure. It’s a derivative dish comes in a rice-bowl topped with Tonkatsu and covered with eggs which adds higher cholesterol to your body.

There are usually two kinds of Tonkatsu served at restaurants: Loin (Rosu Katsu in Japanese) and Fillet (Hire Katsu in Japanese). To make your guilt sightly smaller, you can go for pork fillet that has less fat.

>> Best Tonkatsu Restaurants in Tokyo

2. Curry Rice

Medium size curry rice: 600–700 kcal

Curry is one of the most common house-cooking dishes in Japan, and it’s everyone’s favourite. It’s easy to make, delicious and makes you full!

Comparing to spicy Indian or Thai curries, Japanese curry is much less spicy. It’s milder and sadly much more unhealthy.. Japanese curry contains high amount of fat, especially the roux is high in carbs, sugar and fat. Moreover, it’s usually served with rice.

Curry Rice can be served with many different toppings, and the worst combo for dieters would be with Tonkatsu. Curry Rice+Tonkatsu is called Katsu Curry, and it’s the most tempting calorie monster 😀

3. Tempura

Medium size prawn tempura (1pc): 70 kcal

Tempura is one of must-try significant Japanese dishes, and could be on everyone’s list, but it is indeed deep-fried. Tempura dishes can be enjoyed at many restaurants in Japan with various price range.

The most tempting yet vicious Tempura dish could be Tendon, a rice bowl dish topped with tempura and sauce, which adds extra carbs on top of this oily dish. But the combination of tempura, rice and sauce is so magical!

When you try Tempura at a high-end restaurant, they usually cook Tempura with fresh and fine quality oil and with the technique, Tempura dishes are cook crispy without absorbing much amount of oil, so I’d say it’s not as bad as other deep-fried dishes.

>> Best Tempura Restaurants in Tokyo

4. Tonkotsu Ramen

Per serving: 700 kcal

Ramen has recently recognized as the most famous and popular Japanese dish worldwide along with Sushi and Tempura. Ramen is a nation dish and everyone loves it in Japan, but unfortunately it’s not generally healthy.

Ramen dish contains a large amount of carbs, sodium and fat, and the most popular Ramen flavour, Tonkotsu (creamy pork broth) holds the worst amount of them. Make sure not to bottom up the soup if you really want watch out your diet.

Recently, there are more Ramen restaurants that have alternative Ramen dishes on their menu for vegans/vegetarians or healthy eaters.

>>Best Ramen in Tokyo
>>Best Vegan/Vegetarian Ramen in Tokyo

5. Karaage (Deep Fried Chicken)

1 pc (30g): 70 kcal

Karaage is Japanese style fried chicken dish, regularly served at home, in Izakaya and convenience stores. Karaage is marinated in garlic, soya sauce and batter, then fried deeply.. Like everyone knows, chicken and deep-fry are the best & worst combination in the whole world!! Simply, it’s a calorie bomb that you can’t stop munching once you taste!!


Although these dishes might not be the best for your diet, but they are extremely delicious and very much tempting!! It is important to sometimes spoil ourselves with delicious treats, and be happy and mentally healthy.. don’t you agree?? I think it’s absolutely fine to eat what we like as long as we control limit! So let’s enjoy Japanese food wisely while travelling 🙂

For more amazing places to eat Japanese food, here are some more articles for you to check out!

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