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 Diets and Nutrition 

The Japanese diet-

Green tea, fish, and vegetables? It is Japanese food time. One of the diet books on the market is "Japanese women don't get old or fat; Secrets of my mother's Tokyo kitchen" by Naomi Moriyama. Continues below  


The title was a draw for us for two reasons:  Having lived in Japan, I know that while Oriental women age differently than western women, they do get old. The second reason I was intrigued was that after reading the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" - by Mireille Guiliano - this title sounded too similar. To my surprise, I liked the book.

Japanese diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world. Japanese people are by far some of the skinniest and healthiest people on the planet. This is changing, though, as their diet is becoming similar to ours, but their traditional diet has many lessons for all of us.    

Naomi Moriyama, the book's author, writes in a very simple, easy format; it is a pleasure to read her book. In her book, she describes the Japanese diet along with a bit of her culture. 

The Japanese diet is not easy to follow for most westerners (despite the popularity of sushi) but many of the principles are worthy of being considered. These are some of Moriyama's major points:

1- Japanese eat small amounts of many foods in each meal. Americans, on the other hand, appear to eat big amounts of the same food in each meal (e.g. pasta).

2- Japanese cooking is very light. They use broths to flavor the food instead of heavy sauces. One of these broths is dashi - it is sold in many gourmet stores or you can make it yourself. 

3- Japanese eat rice, instead of bread. Rice is better than cheap bread full of sugar, but not superior to all breads.

4- Japanese eat a heavy breakfast. The breakfast in Japan is a complete meal similar to dinner, along with fish, rice and miso soup.

5- Japanese do enjoy desserts, but not very often and in a smaller amount. 

6- No diet. The author says that Japanese women do not think of diets. However, in our own research, this is not quiet accurate anymore, but by all means, they are very skinny.

7- Japanese walk a lot. While they do manufacture a lot of automobiles, walking or going on a bike is very much a part of daily Japanese life. Many old buildings do not have elevators and Japanese regulation does not require elevators for building with up to four floors - which means, plenty of opportunities to burn calories. 

8- Japanese eat fish, a lot of vegetables, rice, soy, noodles, tea, and fruits.

9- Japanese bring beauty and harmony to the table. They use pretty sets of small dishes with different purposes. 

10- Do not overeat. Stop eating when you are 80% full.  

Although to switch to a Japanese diet completely does not sound reasonable for many people, some Japanese dishes and principles are easy to incorporate in our lives and they can help us lose weight and enjoy food.  A good book to read. 

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