Healthy Japanese Food Alternatives
It is true that getting used to a different eating style takes time and retraining. Your taste buds may feel the shock at first, but it takes about two weeks to make or break a habit. If any of us can survive at least that long, we will discover a new world in opening up to us with what we eat.
Consider the Japanese diet. There are several different foods that seem to crop up at each meal. It is these foods and their preparation that gives these peoples their longevity.
RICE Many people know about this one. Rice is a big staple of the diet. A bowl of rice is eaten at each meal, forming the basis of the meal. White rice is not as healthy for you as brown rice, so eat brown rice (about a cup and a half). The rice is usually eaten without added butter or salt. It is steamed. For taste you can add a bit of salt or steam with some seasoned broth instead of oil.
FISH This is an even more important staple than the rice. Fish can be eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fish are full of antioxidants like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are instrumental in heart health and boosting immunity. The fish may be eaten in a fillet or whole. Most Westerners donít fancy eating a fish full of guts, but a broiled fillet will give you the same antioxidant benefits. More fish is eaten than red meat which greatly reduces the animal fats in the system.
VEGTABLES We all will benefit from eating more of these. Vegetables are steamed or placed in soups. A vegetable of some kind is eaten at each meal. It is a welcome complement to your rice, especially if you are not used to eating it without any seasoning. For a more exotic take on veggies, you can try some Japanese traditions: seaweed, white radish, lotus root, burdock and bamboo shoots.
SOY We eat a measure of soy here but not in the quantity that is found in the Japanese diet. Edamame are soy beans in pods that are eaten as snacks or in stir fry or here, eaten on salads. It is a good source of plant protein without the added fat. Soups like miso are made with fermented soy paste. Soy is used for everything from meals to desserts.
This is just a short list of the some to the foods that give the Japanese the fuel they need to stay young and healthy. Enjoy your food, eat healthy and remember that with new food dishes comes the freedom to experiment and grow.