9 Principles Of Nutrition That Make Japan One Of The Slimmest In The World.
Japan is one of the slimmest nations globally, with a per capita calorie consumption of 2,349 calories (the average for all countries is 2,849). However, the Japanese people eat a relatively high diet in fat and carbs. It’s not rare to see Japanese men and women well into their 60s and 70s with low body fat and minimal visible muscle loss.
The Japanese diet is based on rice and fish, supplemented with vegetables and small amounts of meat or dairy products. Japanese people eat small meals throughout the day and avoid eating between meals. A typical meal consists of rice or noodles with fish or meat and various pickles.
The main difference between the Japanese diet and our Western diet is that we eat larger portions more often. Our meals are usually based on animal products such as meat, eggs, and cheese, which contain large amounts of fat, whereas, in Japan, they eat mainly fish which contains little fat. The Japanese also tend not to add salt when cooking their food.
It’s all down to the principles of nutrition that the Japanese have followed for centuries.
Here are some of them:
- The Japanese diet is based on the principle of “five colors and seven nutrients.”
The five colors represent five kinds of foods (green, yellow, red, white, and black), and the seven nutrients are protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin C.
Green Food includes vegetables such as spinach and green pepper, whole grain rice, seaweed, and soya beans. These foods are rich in fiber, which helps digestion and prevents constipation. They also contain antioxidants that prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
Yellow Food includes fruits such as bananas and papayas. These foods are rich in carbohydrates that provide energy for our bodies when we exercise or do physical work after eating them. Vitamin A contained in yellow food helps maintain good vision and skin healthiness by preventing acne outbreaks when consumed regularly.
Red Food includes tomatoes and red pepper (capsicum), which contains lycopene – an antioxidant that prevents cancer cell growth in our body when consumed regularly over time. Red food also contains beta-carotene.
White Food includes rice which is the staple food of Japan, and it is consumed with almost every meal. Other white foods include tofu (bean curd), bread, and milk products such as cheese and yogurt.
Black Food includes Sesame seeds commonly used in cooking in Japan; they are high in calcium which helps prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones).
Green vegetables such as spinach or broccoli are rich in Vitamin A and C; yellow-colored vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A; deep-colored fruits such as oranges or tomatoes contain Vitamin C; white fish such as cod contain more protein than other types of seafood; dark-colored fruits such as blueberries contain Vitamin C but very little fat, so they are suitable for weight loss.
- Avoid saturated fats like butter and cream.
They raise cholesterol levels in your blood, which can lead to heart disease. Instead, use rapeseed oil, which contains unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid (LA). These lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing heart disease or stroke.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
These contain vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidant chemicals, which protect your body from damage caused by free radicals – unstable molecules that react with other molecules causing oxidation (rusting) within cells in our bodies, leading to premature aging and disease.
- Eat plenty of fish.
The Japanese diet is known for its emphasis on fish, which is a good thing. Oily fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of several chronic diseases. The Japanese consume about four times as much fish per person compared to Americans. One of the most common varieties eaten in Japan is sardine, which is very high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.
- Chew your food well.
Chopsticks are used because they force you to take smaller bites than a fork or spoon would allow. This means that you have more time to chew and break down your food before swallowing, which will help your body process it better.
- Always serve yourself.
Serving yourself ensures that you’re not overeating or eating too quickly. It also gives you time to reflect on how hungry you are and what foods you want most at the moment (because, let’s be honest: sometimes we want more rice when we should be eating more veggies).
- They rarely eat fast food or junk food because it is expensive and not readily available.
Fast food is not very common in Japan because it is too expensive to buy regularly and has little nutritional value. When Japanese people visit fast-food restaurants, they typically order the teriyaki burger instead of beef burgers which are more commonly eaten elsewhere in the world. Japanese people often go to foreign-style fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. They may also go there to try something different from their regular diet.
- They drink lots of green tea containing caffeine and antioxidants that help burn fat more quickly.
They drink lots of green tea containing caffeine and antioxidants that help burn fat more quickly. It also lowers cholesterol levels and keeps blood sugar levels balanced.
- The 80:20 ratio.
This rule is called the ‘hara hachi bu,’ which means ‘eat until 80% satisfied. This simple phrase is one of the basic tenets that make Japan one of the slimmest countries in the world. Its focus on eating for health and longevity is far more important than eating for pleasure or in response to cravings. The rule aims to maximize satiety while keeping portions smaller, which leads to eating less overall, and it also helps with digestion.
Our bodies are slow to send signals to our brains telling us we’re full after eating (it takes roughly 20 minutes). Many people are unhappy with this delay and allow it to ruin their meals by overeating while waiting for those signals to kick in. The 80% rule will enable you to take control over your body’s natural processes and not let food control you. It can also help prevent overeating at night—when most people tend to overeat!
When it comes to eating healthy and maintaining a fit figure, Japan is an example we can all learn from. The Japanese have the highest life expectancy globally, with people living to be older than 85 years of age. What’s their secret? It turns out it’s not only about what they eat, but how they eat it.