When comparing healthy eating habits, no country is admired more for their near-ideal habits and diet than Japan.
Low in dairy and refined sugar, the Japanese culinary lifestyle mainly focuses on veggies, rice, fish, and meat. Their average meals are combinations of veggies with broths and sauces, ladled on heaping piles of soft rice. Full of omega-3-rich fish, whole grains, healthy fats, beans, vegetables, and more, their food is fulfilling and enriching, not just for the body but for the soul.
But this isn’t to say that the Japanese don’t love to snack. In fact, their snacks are famous around the world. Yet, the Japanese continue to exceed in terms of global health— but why is that?
The Secret Behind Japanese Diets
Putting aside the use of healthy ingredients, what makes the Japanese diet so healthy and fulfilling is not just that it eliminates refined sugar and empty calories. The Japanese practice moderation in food and that’s something the overall global population often forgets to focus on.
Japanese society values balance in all things, including diet and nutrition. With food, they try not to overstuff and eat just enough that they feel full—it’s ingrained in them from a young age. Not to say that their society is pressured to eat less, but with Japanese culture, it’s often the case that they eat portions that give them something from each food group.
The Right Plate Size
If you go to any Japanese restaurant, food is often served in portions according to the number of people at the table. They give you enough food that you can finish in one sitting. But in any other country, such as the U.S., food is often oversized and excessive, so it’s impossible not to leave the restaurant without a takeaway container in hand.
The Japanese do not believe in wasting food. By utilizing the idea of moderation, their traditional meals follow the concept of ichiju-sansai. Translated to one soup, three sides, their small plates combine to create one complete meal. These plates separate their food into a serving of rice, two vegetarian dishes, miso soup, and a portion of protein dish. As a result, they get everything they need without feeling stuffed to the gills.
What We Can Learn
With Japanese cuisine, moderation in serving sizes, and complexity in flavors is the name of the game. And that’s what many health officials encourage others to follow as well.
So, why not start?
Japanese cuisine offers something for everyone. According to your flavor palette, take the chance and try changing your diet to the Japanese way. Start cooking Japanese meals. Order Japanese ingredients and groceries online from SFMart! We offer a number of Asian grocery items, straight from the source.
Begin your journey toward optimal health the Japanese way!