Have you ever wondered what the Japanese approach to keeping fat off their body is? The Japanese are known to have the highest longevity in the world, with the average male life expectancy being 80 and for females being 85 years old. They also have the highest number of centenarians in the world. (People who are over the age of 100)
In particular, the largest number of centenarians are located in an island area towards the south of Japan called Okinawa. This has lead to many people wanting to research their diet and lifestyle in the hope of discovering what their approach to staying healthy and keeping fat off is.
By learning about their habits and lifestyle we may be able to keep fat off our own bodies!
The overall japanese approach to keeping fat off involves 2 things: Active lifestyle and food variety.
For the Okinawans (and Japanese in general) exercise is a part of normal daily life. Whether it be riding a bike, walking from place to place, martial arts, dancing or gardening all these activities lead to a healthy and active lifestyle.
They are also health conscious as local governments, schools, and workplaces all provide screening making regular checkups the norm in their society.
For the japanese it is a guideline to “eat 30 different types of food every day”. Eating such a diverse range of food would improve the likelihood of obtaining all the nutrients the human body requires. The most common foods eaten by the Japanese can be summarised as follows:
Seafood is a fantastic source of nutrients that include: vitamin A & D, phosphorus, omega 3 fatty acids and selenium. Even though the Japanese make up 2% of the world’s population, they consume 10% of the world’s seafood. Common seafood eaten in Japan are salmon, tuna, mackerel and shellfish.
Vegetables are nutrient dense and low in calories. The Japanese eat a variety of vegetables but the most common eaten is kombu seaweed. The Okinawans have a unique purple sweet potato which contains vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids and lycopene.
Rice is eaten at every japanese meal, and is a japanese staple. It contains little to no sodium and fat and when eaten in moderation provides a clean energy source.
Although eating soybeans is not a common thing in Japan, soybean products make their way into almost every meal in Japan. This includes soybean products such as miso, tofu, edamame and natto beans. In particular plain tofu is a food that is high in protein but low in fat and calories.
Salt (One thing to avoid)
Japanese cuisine uses a lot of sauces such as soy sauce & teriyaki sauce which are high in sodium. High sodium can lead to high blood pressure so one must be conscious of the amount they are consuming.
By maintaining an active lifestyle and eating foods such as fish, vegetables, rice, soybean products and avoiding salt you will be able to use the japanese approach to keeping fat off on your own body.