Japanese Diet

Fish and vegetables are essential in a Japanese diet
Photo by: Puck Goodfellow, Creative Commons

For quite some time now, Japanese cuisine has been renowned for being one of the healthiest in the world along the likes of Mediterranean food. This comes as no surprise when one looks at health statistics showing that Japanese men and women live longer than anyone else in the world. With the longer lifespan of 79-86 years compared to 75-80 years for Americans, one may infer that the Japanese experience fewer diseases related to unhealthy food intake such as cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

In fact, according to the International Obesity Task Force, the Japanese have the lowest rate of obesity among developed countries at just 3%. Contrast that with the high rate of obesity among Americans at 32%. This glaring statistic in favor of the Japanese is owed to a large degree to the Japanese diet which is composed mainly of vegetables, fish, and tofu.

In order to appreciate the wonderful health benefits of a Japanese diet, one has to look at the components that make it and on how the Japanese traditionally eat. In a nutshell, the effectiveness of the Japanese diet as a weight loss tool is attributed to how the energy and nutrients of food is eaten in a compact and pleasurable way.

Consuming regular and moderate portions of healthy food is the key to this diet. Dishes are served separately on bowls and plates instead of on one big plate as Westerners are accustomed to. The result of this is that you can control how much you eat and just take little bites from each dish instead of being pressured to finish everything from a large plate.

Along with the controlled portions is the quality of the food itself that is served, as well the method that is utilized to prepare the food. A traditional Japanese meal comprises of soup, a bowl of rice, and two to three side dishes that are commonly made up of vegetables and fish. With this combination, the average Japanese is known to eat 26% less calories than his or her Western neighbors.

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