A little bit of a different approach for this week’s Food Friday, but it should leave you all hungry. This week is all about Japanese food (something I really want to eat more of).
Personally, I think Western cultures should learn from the Japanese when it comes to what we eat. Although in some cases Japanese cuisine can be really salty, a Japanese diet only contains around 30% fat and Japan has one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world.
Fish is an important part of the Japanese diet, eating on average 100g a day, per person, in forms such as sashimi, sushi and tempura. Because the Japanese eat so much fish, it means they don’t eat as much red meat (which is one of the main contributing factors to heart disease). A basic meal includes a soup (such as miso), small side dishes that may include meat, vegetables (including seaweed), seafood/fish, eggs, chicken and noodles, and steamed rice (which is a staple food). A Japanese diet contains around five times the amount of Brassica vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radish, bok choy) than that of a westerners, which helps with slowing the aging process, along with an assorted range of mushrooms.
Because of this diet, the Japanese live longer than anyone else in the world, and on top of that, only have an obesity rate of 3%, compared to 36% in the USA, 23% in the UK, 24% in Australia and 14% in Germany.
Not only is Japanese-style eating healthier, more filling and full of flavour, the amount of effort put into presentation also makes the food satisfying to the eye. Food is served in small, pretty bowls and plates instead of the average ones that we use in order to encourage the eater to slow down and savour their food, giving the brain time to realise the body is full before the stomach does.
As I mentioned earlier, despite all the great health benefits of a Japanese diet, it does contain a high sodium levels due to foods such as soy sauce and pickled foods. But with these foods eaten in small amounts, or by using varieties that are lower in sodium, you are still able to consume the daily required amount of sodium, without going overboard.
Green tea is a staple beverage in the Japanese diet (along with water). It is full of antioxidants, great for the skin and is considered the perfect drink to have at the end of the day.
Well, all I can say is that the Japanese are doing something right! Hopefully we can learn from this and start reducing obesity all over the world. Hope you guys enjoyed this week’s Food Friday…. Now I’m off to eat a cabbage! 🙂
Note: I am not a nutritionist. All this information comes from hours of research.