Want the secret to healthy slimming? At Asian Inspirations, we’re not fans of fad diets or giving up the good things in life, so when we want to revamp our eating habits, we take a leaf out of the Japanese way of eating. Based on the book, Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat by Naomi Moriyama, discover seven secrets to a healthy, wholesome life.
We’ll start with an easy one: make it a goal to cook more meals at home. By preparing your own meals more frequently, you can control the amounts of salt, fat and sugar that are added to your dishes, and you can choose quality seasonal ingredients over processed foods.
There’s a reason the Japanese are the masters of seasonal cuisine: they recognise that produce is at its absolute healthiest when it’s in season, and so they harness these extra nutrients and vitamins in their cooking. If you’ve ever had a hard, flavourless tomato in the middle of winter compared to a juicy ripe one at the height of summer, you’ll know what we’re talking about.According to Naomi, “Japanese supermarkets are cathedrals of freshness. Food is not only dated, it’s timed – Japanese women buy fish, meat, vegetables, or prepared meals that are timed by the half hour they were packed that day.”
Another standout element in the Japanese diet is their reliance upon seafood and seaweed. Start by aiming for two fish dishes per week (try this easy recipe for salmon steaks with wasabi), and then try adding seaweed to soups and salads. You’ll be amazed by the difference in your hair and skin.
Japanese people enjoy the longest lifespan of any community on Earth. Along with the power of fish and seaweed, discover these virtuous Japanese ingredients, such as sweet potato, shiitake mushrooms and soybeans, which may just offer the secret to a long life.
Rather than forgoing carbs entirely, the Japanese diet encourages the consumption of low-GI grains, such as rice, over high-GI breads and pastas. And the same goes for desserts, too, so try skipping the sugar-loaded pudding in favour of fresh, fibre-rich fruit.
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, but to learn from the Japanese way of life, ditch the sugary cereals or butter-laden pastries in favour of a savoury, satisfying meal that includes miso soup, pickles, rice and lean protein, such as fish or eggs.
This last one may seem obvious, but many Western cultures have fallen into the unhealthy habit of over-eating. Follow the Japanese practice of cooking less, putting less on your plate, and putting your fork down once you feel 80% full, and you’ll enjoy a healthier, longer life – chances are, you’ll lose a few kilos too!
For more tips on harnessing the Japanese way of life, read about seven Japanese eating habits that help you stay healthy, slim and fit.
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