Healthy Eating Tip: Asian Food

The Asian diet has been proven to be the most healthy nutritional plan, as shown by the low rates of heart disease and cancer among Asians.

The Asian plan for diet has proven to be among the healthiest nutritional plans in existence. The success of this type of diet is evidenced by the low rates of heart disease, cancer and other diseases among those practicing this type of eating plan. For the purposes of this article, the term Asian refers to people native to the countries of Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and India.

The basis for this plan is simple. Rather than taking protein from milk and meats, as is done in most Western cultures, the Asian diet uses rice, beans, fish, nuts, grains and seeds as its protein sources. Meat, poultry and eggs are used sparingly. Since meat and meat products are linked to heart disease and cancer, a diet low in these foods naturally leads to a lower incidence of these diseases.

Rice, noodles, breads and grains are used as the main components of dishes that include generous amounts of mushrooms, fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and add to the protection against heart disease while providing extra vitamins and antioxidants. Except in India, milk, cheese and other dairy products are rarely eaten. This is an excellent for lowering fat but the lack of dairy foods can lead to calcium deficiencies. When adopting the Asian diet, the use of calcium supplements is recommended.

Another important component of this diet is soy. Soy foods provide a main source of protein in the Asian diet. Soy foods such as tofu, miso and tempeh can be found more often in supermarkets rather than health food stores. Soy contains isoflavones, which are compounds that can stop the mutation of regular cells into cancer cells. Soy foods also lower cholesterol and are a good source of iron. New to the food market are soy milks, which contain no lactose, and tofu pizza and hot dogs, for those who wish to introduce smaller amounts of soy to their diets.

Finally, the beverages consumed in the traditional Asian diet help in the fight against cholesterol. Most Asians, as a matter of course, consume pots of tea, both green and black, on a daily basis. This tea acts as a mild diuretic, which helps to flush the body of substances and free radicals that cause stroke and heart disease while lowering the level of fluids in the body. Some researchers believe substances in green tea may have strong cancer-fighting properties as well.

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