Sunday, 10 August 2008

eat like the japanese to lose weight

Japan has one of the world's lowest obesity rates in the world. Only 3 percent of Japanese women are obese, compared to 13 percent in France and 33 percent in the U.S., according to the International Association for the Study of Obesity.

The Japanese also are global longevity champs, particularly the people of Okinawa -- home to the world's largest population of centenarians. Dr. Bradley Willcox, co-author of "The Okinawa Diet Plan," has been conducting a 25-year investigation of this long-living population.

Compared to the way we eat in America, the Japanese diet is much lower in calories -- primarily due to the dominance of high-water, high-fiber and low-fat foods

The Japanese achieve this "low calorie-dense diet" by eating a tremendous amount of plant foods, particularly vegetables, which pack the diet with disease-fighting antioxidants and other phytonutrients, such as flavonoids.

Instead of french fries -- the most popular vegetable in the United States -- the Japanese eat a wide range of veggies, especially those in the cabbage family, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and kale. These cruciferous vegetables, named for their crosslike petals, contain substances that may protect against cancer.

Moriyama writes about aspects of the Japanese diet that may be linked to lower rates of heart disease. The Japanese eat more fish than red meat -- which keeps their diets low in saturated fat and rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

They avoid trans fat (and a ton of extra calories) by eating fruit at the end of their meals instead of cookies, cakes and pies. Instead of super-sized sodas, the Japanese regularly drink antioxidant-rich green tea, which may offer heart-health benefits.

Other countries could well take note of this. There are around 1 billion overweight adults worldwide, of whom 300 million are clinically obese. The World Health Organisation has described obesity as a ‘worldwide epidemic. Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, osteoarthritis, and diabetes . The UK National Audit Office study from 2002 estimated that obesity cost the NHS £500 million a year, and the cost to the country overall has been put at up to £7.4 billion per annum.

1 comment:

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