Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, the Japanese are one of the healthiest and longest living populations in the world? So, the next question is: Does eating like the Japanese make us healthier? Well let’s take a closer look below.
Eating Japanese Food for a Longer and Healthier Life
One of the distinguishing features of Japanese cuisine is variety, seconded by the inclusion of a wide selection of vegetables. The Japanese tend to only eat very fresh produce that exhibits all the different natural colors, providing by default a more balanced diet. Colorful vegetables are generally high in fiber, low in calories, and have plenty of minerals and vitamins. Ingredients like seaweed, daikon, and shiitake are common features in Japanese cooking as well as fresh raw fish like salmon and tuna which, are high in omega oils and low in saturated fat.
Balance is the Key
A typical Japanese diet not only consists of colorful vegetables, but also a range of healthy protein choices, including non-meat based proteins like tofu, seeds and beans. Furthermore, red meat is only eaten in moderation and was only recently introduced to Japan in the late nineteenth century. It certainly features in their rich cuisine but is complemented by a range of alternative protein sources.
Smaller Portions More Often
As many nutritionists today will recommend, eating little and often is a good way to boost your metabolism. A traditional Japanese diet will consist of many different dishes of smaller portions, which not only ensures a balanced diet but also encourages you to eat more consciously enjoying smaller servings. The fact that you eat with chopsticks also adds to the digestion process by slowing down how quickly you eat, chewing each mouthful more carefully
All Foods in Moderation
The key to the Japanese healthy diet is eating all foods in moderation. Typically, a Japanese person will eat around 15 to 20 different types of food each day, potentially more by health conscious people. The idea is not to deprive yourself of any of your favorite foods but to balance them with healthy vegetables and tofu. A little tempura or fried fish amongst a balanced diet will not do any harm.
Small is beautiful
Last, but not least you should remember that food presentation is also part of the charm of Japanese cuisine. Food is generally served in small tableware and is often shared whereby each person will add to their plate what they have the appetite for, stopping when satisfied. Etiquette dictates that a moderate amount of food should be placed upon the plate, so that it doesn’t look overloaded with food.
Try eating like the Japanese the next time you want to start a diet and see what happens. That’s precisely what Craig Anderson, a famous Australian comedian, did documenting his experience in a twelve week documented, Miso Hungry.