What is the Asian Diet? - Step To Health

What is the Asian Diet?

The Asian diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world. Learn about its benefits and some dishes you can prepare at home here!
What is the Asian Diet?

Last update: 29 October, 2021

The Asian diet is a traditional dietary regime typical of Asian countries. It’s considered one of the healthiest diets in the world, since the population that eats it is longer-lived than those who eat the Western diet.

The main ingredients of the Asian diet (which includes cuisines from India, Japan, China, and Thailand) are rice, fruits and vegetables, chicken, fish, seafood, rice noodles, and eggs. There’s no excess of fats or sugars and the cooking is usually grilled, steamed, or sautéed.

In this article, we explain more about the benefits, characteristics, and contraindications of the Asian diet. So, if you want to know details of the Asian diet, read on!

The benefits of the Asian diet

The Asian diet has multiple benefits. We’ll tell you some of them so you can understand a little more how this dietary pattern can make your life longer and keep you healthy and active.

1. The Asian diet promotes weight loss

In a study of overweight people who were given a diet based on seafood, legumes, fruits, and algae over the course of 28 days, it was concluded that there was weight loss and an improved cholesterol profile. In fact, in subsequent investigations, the same participants were found to be in better physical shape. Scientists believe that the effect obtained is due to the change in the intestinal microbiota.

In fact, in countries like Japan, only 3% of the female population is obese. This is supported by a study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Sobrepeso controlado por la dieta asiática.
Obesity and dangerous cholesterol levels could be controlled with an Asian diet.

2. This diet ensures greater longevity

The Okinawa Islands are home to the world’s longest-living people. It’s believed to be due to their diet, as they consume more carbohydrates than protein.

Studies with mice claim that the Japanese diet, in particular, increases longevity and decreases learning and memory problems. Other research indicates that the same pattern is associated with more active years and a better quality of life.

Overall, it’s believed to be because of the way the food is cooked.

Most of it is eaten raw or cooked so that vitamins and minerals are not lost. Also, the dishes are small and varied, in small portions.

We think you’ll like this article: Healthy Snacks for Any Time of the Day

The disadvantages of the Asian diet

While this diet has significant benefits, the Asian diet can have some negative points, such as high salt content. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating only 5 grams of salt per day.

High salt intake leads to problems such as high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

High blood pressure is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently high blood pressure. This can lead to damage to the vessel walls.

With excessive salt intake, the brain releases a hormone called vasopressin, which contributes to the increase in blood pressure. This creates a vicious cycle that increases the risk of premature death and a poorer quality of life.

Asian dishes

Here are some popular and traditional Asian dishes for you to try. You may want to try them!

Dim sum (China)

Dim sum is a Chinese dish that can be made with wheat, rice, and tapioca dough. These little dumplings are filled with meat, vegetables, fish, or seafood.

You can also make mixtures of these ingredients. The dough is closed with the filling inside and can be steamed, fried, boiled, or grilled.

Sukiyaki (Japan)

Sukiyaki is a Japanese dish in the nabemono style, which means that it’s a stew in clay or cast iron pots. This stew is made with thin strips of beef cooked in sweetened soy sauce. It has tofu, fish broth, and vegetables. The ingredients are dipped in raw beaten egg.

Pad Thai (Thailand)

Pad Thai is made with soaked rice noodles stir-fried with eggs, tofu, meat or seafood, chopped peanuts, and vegetables. Fish sauce and other seasonings are added. It’s the national dish of Thailand.

Ramen (Japan)

Ramen is pork, chicken, and vegetable broth. It contains soy sauce, kombu seaweed, and dried bonito or katsuobushi. It’s usually served with pork.

Bibimbap (Korea)

This dish is a bowl of rice with vegetables and meat. Just before you eat it, stir all the ingredients together and sesame oil and add gochujang. It’s delicious!

Bibimbap plato coreano.
Korean dishes like bibimbap combine carbohydrates and protein.

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Tandoori chicken (India)

Last but not least, Tandoori chicken is a typical Indian recipe. It consists of roasted chicken and a special aromatic sauce. It was originally cooked in tandoors, which are bell-shaped clay ovens.

The chicken is marinated with yogurt and a spice mixture called garam masala, which includes garlic, ginger, cumin, paprika, and turmeric.

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  • Masaki Asano. Abdominal Fat in Individuals with Overweight Reduced by Consumption of a 1975 Japanese Diet: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 Jun;27(6):899-907.
  • Masao Kanazawa. Criteria and classification of obesity in Japan and Asia-Oceania. 14 January 2003. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  • Kazushi Yamamoto. The Japanese diet from 1975 delays senescence and prolongs life span in SAMP8 mice. 2016 Jan;32(1):122-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.07.002. Epub 2015 Jul 26.
  • Shu Zhang. The Japanese Dietary Pattern Is Associated with Longer Disability-Free Survival Time in the General Elderly Population in the Ohsaki Cohort 2006 Study. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 149, Issue 7, July 2019, Pages 1245–1251.