Asian cuisine is gaining in popularity all over the world, and is well known for its health benefits. Japanese food in particular has become almost synonymous in the West with healthy eating. Stir fries, maki sushi, sashimi – what’s not to love about Asian cuisine?!
Good eating habits that make all the difference
If there’s one food that’s not eaten much in Asian countries, then it’s sugar. Sugar is consumed in the form of fruit, or as complex sugars such as rice – the staple ingredient, especially in China and Japan. The famous Okinawa diet has taken the world by storm, thanks to the reputation of this tiny Japanese island and its inhabitants who live to a ripe old age – many to over 100! Not because they possess the fountain of youth, but simply because their diet is based on low-calorie foods, with large quantities of fruit and vegetables and lots of water and green tea.
In Asian countries, it’s customary to take your time to chew and swallow your food. This facilitates digestion and helps you feel full quicker. Asian cuisine also features a lot of oily fish (a rich source of omega 3s), non-oily fish and shellfish, as well as vegetable proteins. Soya, in the form of tofu, is mainly eaten in China and Japan. And finally, people tend to cook with herbs and spices rather than with fat, least of all animal fat!
So how about you? What are your favourite Asian dishes?