During these past three weeks spent in Asia, I’ve noticed that the citizens of Japan are generally, as a whole, very healthy. In fact, for the past 20 years, Japan has been ranked number one in the world in both life expectancy and healthy life expectancy rates. Experts contribute this mainly to diet – traditional Japanese food is low in fat and cholesterol, which are main contributors to heart disease.
Now I’m not suggesting that you incorporate tofu, seaweed, fish, rice and miso into your daily diet, but in terms of looking at the health of Japan versus the health of the United States these past few decades as a longitudinal study, cutting down on saturated fats and complex sugars becomes obvious to maintaining good health.
To be transparent, as I ate the aforementioned five ingredients three times a day for a week in Japan, I noticed that the Japanese do like their salt. Heavy salt intake can lead to other issues including high blood pressure, which coincidentally is one of the major risk factors for death among adults in Japan. Nonetheless, this trip has made it exceptionally clear to me what cutting down on saturated fats and sugar can do for my health long term.
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion, Kyoto); Even the train food is healthy and well proportioned (Shinkansen Bullet Train); Typical breakfast in Tokyo