Does the Japanese eating style that promises to increase our longevity work or not?

Every so often new diets that come into our lives become fashionable, promising us to change our body and our life. Considering la trend so strong that everything Asian is currently, it is no wonder that the latest fad in diets comes from a country like Japan.

It's about the Okinawa Diet: a type of diet that has become very fashionable in recent years and that is said to increase our longevity. The question is how much is true about it, what is this diet based on and what science says about it.

The secret of Japanese longevity

The inhabitants of the Japanese island Okinawa are said to be the longest-lived in the world and that this is, in theory, due to the lifestyle habits that follow. Among them, of course, is their type of diet.

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Is a diet low in both calories and fat, which prioritizes food based on vegetables and foods such as tofu and soy. Apparently, nowadays the Okinawa diet has happened something similar to what has happened to the Mediterranean diet and it has been "westernized" by including other less healthy foods.

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It is because of that the traditional Okinawan diet seems to be the beneficial, but not the current one.

The Basics of the Traditional Okinawa Diet

This type of diet is based on the consumption of plant foods, soy, legume derivatives and, of course, good fats. quality. For this, this diet recommends consuming about 90 grams of meat and legumes up to date.

On the contrary, the consumption of vegetables is very high. Traditionally, the people of Okinawa consumed mainly green and yellow vegetables. Of course, the traditional diet is very low in ultra-processed foods - in fact it is null in them - as well as very low in added sugar, sodium or saturated fat.

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It is a type of food that prioritizes complex hydrates, moving away from simple ones. In any case, we must remember that we are always talking about the traditional diet and really beneficial, not the one in Okinawa today.

The proven benefits of the Okinawa diet

If we follow this style of eating in the traditional way and as a feeding habit instead of a diet - that is to say, without setting a deadline or a few kilograms of weight as a goal - This type of diet can bring us some benefits.

It is a diet associated with low rates of obesity, as well as a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is not only due to the low amount of calories and unhealthy fats, but also because it is a diet that provides numerous flavonoids with antioxidant effects.

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These flavonoids present in the Okinawa diet will protect us from free radicals and oxidative stress, reducing DNA damage according to some research made regarding this diet. It is because of these benefits that some people indicate that it could help increase life expectancy or, at least, to reduce the risk of mortality.

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Eating guidelines similar to other healthy eating habits

What the Okinawan diet has in common with other healthy eating habits - not diets - like the Mediterranean diet, the real food or the DASH diet, is that is mainly based on vegetale foods, like greens or vegetables, while giving a very low consumption of meat.

In addition, the consumption of ultra-processed foods is avoided, healthy fats are consumed, fleeing from trans, and the consumption of grains and cereals is prioritized integers.

The difference we find with other of these eating styles is that in the Okinawa diet the consumption of pulses is slightly reduced, Ya que Proteins are obtained from foods such as tofu or soy.

Be that as it may, for this healthy eating style, we must make it a food habit for life and it is not a diet that we maintain for a short time.

Original article: Jared  / Images | Unsplash, Pexels

I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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