Japanese Diet isn't a weight loss diet per se but rather a healthy eating programme that mimics the normal traditional diet of Japanese people. In many respects it's as far away from the normal meat, protein and carbs heavy Western diet as you can get as the Japanese Diet consists of oily fish, low in saturated fats but high in Omega-3 fats, high in fibre and high in vegetables, with little red meat consumed.
How the Japanese Diet works
There is no great mystery to the Japanese Diet. It is simply a healthy eating plan that promotes a diet that is high in fibre, high in Omega-3 fats (the good fats) and low in saturated fats and processed carbohydrates.
Japanese people have, traditionally, very low levels of chronic diseases including dementia, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease (CHD), strokes and cancer. Many health experts and nutrition experts put this down to the traditional Japanese Diet.
Advantages of the Japanese Diet
The Japanese Diet isn't a 4 week diet and weight loss plan. The Japanese Diet is a way of eating that improves health, lowers the risk of heart disease and as a consequence aids weight loss and weight management. As such the Japanese Diet promotes the idea of all round health and sensible eating and weight loss rather than rapid weight loss and yo-yo dieting.
The Japanese Diet is very palatable. The foods used by the Japanese in their diet ranges from fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes. This means that the Japanese diet doesn't get boring as the possibilities of food combinations and meals is almost limitless.
The Japanese Diet is easily digestible due to its high fibre count. That means that eating the Japanese Diet makes you feel full and so you are less likely to snack on high fat / high sugar foods.
One key concept t of the Japanese Diet is that of ''hara hachi bunme" - which roughly translates into eating until you are about 80 percent full. This means that the typical Japanese Diet has less calorie consumption than a typical Western diet - as much as 25 percent less calories than the average American diet.
Disadvantages of the Japanese Diet
This is perhaps a little unfair but the Japanese Diet does require the user to be handy around a kitchen. This is less than a disadvantage of the Japanese Diet but rather a disadvantage of someone used to cooking microwave meals or eating high fat take-aways.
Also, someone converting to the Japanese Diet might find that they crave Western foods like Pizza, sweets and red meat after a while. But to be honest, eating a Western treat meal every now and again wouldn't be the eat of the world as long as the vast majority of your new diet was predominantly based on the Japanese Diet.
One area of the Japanese Diet that does show some risk is the high salt content of many Japanese sauces, including soya sauce and pickles. Research into dietary salt content has shown links between stomach cancer and high blood pressure. However, having said this is a negative aspect of the Japanese Diet, there are a rather of low salt options of Japanese food and meal condiments.
Japanese Diet - The conclusion
All in all the Japanese Diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world. All aspects of healthy eating and weight management are present, including high oily fish intake, high fibre foods, fruit and vegetable consumption as well as limits in red meat consumption.
The Japanese Diet is nutritional balanced and would allow someone to lose weight steadily without the need to yo-yo diet. The Japanese Diet is excellent. Nevertheless, bear in mind that any eating plan, however healthy, can promote weight gain if too many calories are consumed. So if you are going to adopt the Japanese Diet don't eat too much oily fish and not enough high fibre vegetables as fat, however healthy, stills carries more than twice the amount of calories per gram than protein and carbohydrate foods.
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