You are hard pressed to find a obese person in East Asia. Truth of the matter is very few people in East Asia are fat. Because they so slim and healthy, they live a long life. So, what is their secret?
The biggest secret is their diet. The main focus in the East Asian diet is to create wellness. Asians believe creating wellness with your diet is the best medicine. And if you look at them, you will see they are right.
The good news is you can easily incorporate their diet habits to improve the quality of your life. You do not have to follow an East Asian diet, or use their cooking methods. But you can easily incorporate their “rules” toward eating.
1. Attitude Towards Food And Eating
In the Western culture, food is seen as a natural need. Another thing that is different is Western culture treats food and dining as a form of entertainment. In Asia, the attitude is vastly different. Asians pay attention to the quality and quantity of food, but also their attitude towards food. For East Asians, food is seen as a “way to keep them alive”.
2. Portion Size And Variety
The tradition and culture in East Asia commands that you eat in small portions in a variety of dishes. Think about the last time you went to a restaurant. You probably ordered one main course. Well, in East Asia, they order many different main courses, and everyone tries of everything. During their meal, they try different things that results in a balanced meal.
Studies have shown that eating reduced portions can help you lose weight. So, there is your reason for trying to eat smaller but different portions of food.
3. Cooking Methods
We said at the beginning that you won’t have to dramatically alter your way of cooking. After all, Asian food restaurant in the Western world still serve fried foods. However, you need to know that is an adjustment so that the restaurant can appeal to the taste of locals. In East Asia, the most popular cooking method is steaming and/or boiling food. This way, you allow the food to keep most of its valuable and healthy nutrients. And do not add salt or any other seasoning after, your food already has enough salt.
Not many cultures have seafood and fish as a staple and main ingredient in their cuisine. The Mediterranean diet and culture comes close, but it still cannot compare with the Asian cuisine. In East Asian cuisine, seafood is a staple ingredient. Seafood contains polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which are widely praised for its healthy benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids help with the immune system, reproductive system, and vascular system. And we all know omega-3 help with weight loss. The effects of omega-3 fatty acids have been backed up by several studies. So, add more seafood in your diet.
5. Plenty Of Leafy Green Vegetables
Another staple ingredient in East Asian cuisine is leafy greens. And we must say, leafy green vegetables, and veggies in general are an exception in Asian cuisine. While all other dishes are in small portions, Asians consume vegetables in large portions. East Asians also have a different way of cooking and preparing vegetables, making them a lot tastier than the same dish served in Western culture.
6. Drinking Tea Instead Of Water
Asians believe that cold water, soda, or any juice for that matter slows down the digestion of food. Because of that, you gain weight in substantial amounts. The solution to the problem in Asian culture is to drink tea with food. Warm tea is the beverage of choice for East Asians. And they consume it with almost everything. We all know tea has benefits, especially herbal tea. So, try and mix things up. Instead of a soda, juice, or cold water, prepare some warm tea with your breakfast or dinner. Start there, and then you can move to the lunch as well.
7. Fermented Foods
Kefir and similar fermented foods have risen up in popularity in Western culture in the past few years. But we are way behind Asian in terms of consuming fermented foods. most of the dishes in East Asian cuisine include fermented foods. For example, miso soup, natto, soybeans, kimchi, all of these are fermented foods you’ll find in any East Asian cuisine. Thanks to the lacto-fermentation, these foods act as natural probiotics. Consuming them improves your digestion, reduces inflammation in the gut, and helps with weight loss.
8. Healthy Desserts
One of the biggest reasons for obesity in the Western world is consumption of unhealthy desserts. We tend to make our desserts with loads of sugar. And sugar makes you fat. In East Asia, desserts are based on rice, red beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and seaweed. These are all healthy ingredients that result in low-fat, low-calories, and low-sugar desserts. Definitely a much better choice than cookies, cakes, and chips.
Try this experiment. Type any East Asia big city, like Tokyo for example on Google Search. I guarantee you’ll find a picture of people walking on the streets in the first 10 pictures. For Asians, walking is in their nature. They prefer using public transport an walking instead of cars.
Studies have shown that the typical Asian walks a longer distance than the American. And the big reason is Americans get around by car. We all know the benefits of walking, so it is time we put into use.
10. Exercise And Meditation
In the same way there is a different attitude towards eating, there is a different attitude towards medicine in East Asia as well. The Western culture usually focuses on eliminating the problem once it occurs. That is why we have traditional medicine for almost everything.
In East Asia, the focus is on disease prevention. They try to eliminate the root of the problem and the illness before it even occurs. Meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and similar activities are commonly and widely practiced in Asia. They help prevent certain diseases, including obesity. And since all of these activities focus on eliminating stress, they eliminate the root of many popular and common diseases.
With that in mind, what do you think. Can you implement some of these “rules” into your daily life? Implementing just half of them will go a long way in improving the quality of your life.