In 2016 The World Health Organization has named the Japanese as some of the healthiest people on the planet, claiming they live, on general, longer lives with full health. There are, perhaps many different factors that may contribute to this, including genetics, climate and lifestyle, but many believe that a Japanese diet could be one of the central elements. So, what is so healthy about Japanese cuisine?
A diet packed with variety including different types of vegetables is one reason why a Japanese diet is very nutritious. It is commonplace for the Japanese to eat fresh produce when it is in season, opting for a range of colors on their plate. Colorful vegetables tend to be those high in nutritional value, and eating a range of different colors is just one way of ensuring a balanced diet. Shiitake, daikon, and seaweed are just a few of the commonly found vegetables in Japanese cuisine, which are naturally low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
The choice of protein is a major characteristic of Japanese cuisine. For centuries, tofu, fish, and beans were the proteins of choice, and continue to be the main staple even today. Red meat was only introduced to the Japanese community in the late 1900’s, and is eaten in moderation. You will therefore find that the source of protein in a Japanese diet will come from a variety of vegetable, fish and meat-based proteins. Raw fish is also a popular choice, which is usually very lean and full of protein.
Smaller portion sizes go a long way to helping weight control and improving the range of food types you eat in one day. Eating little and often is frequently recommended during weight loss programs and nutritional diets. In Japan, the average individual generally eats between 15 and 20 different types of food each day in smaller portions. The top nutritionists recommend that we should try to consume 30 different small food portions each day for optimum health, so the Japanese are already well on their way to achieving that goal. Using chopsticks also helps to slow down how fast we eat and forces us to add smaller portions into our mouths, which will help digestion and the assimilation of the nutrients from the food into your body.
A Little of What you Like
A healthy Japanese diet begins with moderation, which means you can still eat those guilty pleasures like tempura shrimp or fried fish. The Japanese tend to balance these kinds of food types with colorful vegetables, which is not only good for your stomach but also looks nice on your plate.
Why not try eating like the Japanese for a month or more and see what happens. You may be surprised by the results that occur. Comedian Craig Anderson, has recently filmed a documentary called “Miso Hungry”. The documentary tracks Craig’s weight as he goes to Japan and eats like the locals for twelve weeks. Take a look at the video below.