7 Best Nutrition Rules – We Can Learn From the Japanese

7 Best Nutrition Rules

Have a seat at the kitchen table and check out these 7 best nutrition rules. Which we can learn from the Japanese. Japan is the most long-lived (83.7 years) country in the world according to the World Health Organization.

Japanese also has one of the lowest obesity rates. In Japan only 3.8% of men and 3.4% of women are obese. Compared to the United States where it’s 37.9% of men and 41.5% of women.

Japanese people live so long and they beat most countries because of their health is their diet. So keep reading to learn how to slim down like the Japanese.

1 – Following Guidelines

Following Guidelines- 7 Best Nutrition Rules

In 2000 the Japanese government published dietary guidelines for the Japanese. A few years later in 2005, the Japanese food guide spinning table was introduced to the public to recommend dietary rules.

The spinning top design was meant to look like a popular toy. And help educate children and the public at large about healthy eating. The government took an active interest in the people’s health and it paid off.

The Japanese food guide spinning top recommends a diet that’s high in carbohydrates from green dishes vegetables fish and meat. The diet recommends that milk products and fruits be consumed in moderation.

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As such the Japanese diet is low in saturated fats and salt. The processed foods like sweets and drinks contain a lot of sugar. The high carbohydrate content of this diet allows the Japanese people to maintain a good amount of energy throughout the day and not suffer from feeling hungry.

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2 – Portion Control

Portion Control - 7 Best Nutrition Rules

The spinning food top guide also has recommendations when it comes to serving sizes. The size of each portion depends on the age and gender of a person.

So the guideline is just an estimate on a regular day. A person should consume 5 to 7 green dishes like rice bread noodles and pasta. 5 to 6 vegetable dishes of different varieties, 3 to 5 fish, and meat dishes to milk products like milk and cheese and to fruits.

Now if this sounds like a lot of food to you keep in mind that the portions in Japan are much smaller than in the United States. For example, when you think of a dish of pasta you might imagine a full plate covered in delicious chicken fettuccine alfredo large enough that you’ll have leftovers.

But when it is Japan their pasta dish will more likely be a small portion. Served in a small bowl and cooked with healthy oils and vegetables. So to slim down like the Japanese start by following their food guidelines and be mindful of portion size.

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3- A Focus on Eating

A Focus on Eating - 7 Best Nutrition Rules

In Japan, it isn’t only important what each person eats but how they eat it. Some Americans have the habit of eating on the sofa while watching their favorite TV shows. Doing this makes the experience of eating compete with the experience of watching entertainment.

In Japan, people sit down at a dining table and they believe they should have their full attention on eating. As such it’s traditional for the Japanese to enjoy their meals.

This means that they are way more mindful about everything they ingest and are not prone to overeating. If they feel full they catch it early on because all their attention is on their food.

Another reason why they eat at the dining table is that dinner usually involves a lot of small plates. Imagine trying to carry and balance all those small dishes on the sofa. If you want to eat the Japanese way, this gives you a great excuse to update your tableware by purchasing lots of small dishes.

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4 – A Focus on Fresh Products

A Focus on Fresh Products

The Japanese diet places a focus on buying locally sourced foods. People are suggested to pay focus on seasonal foods and incorporate those ingredients.

Keeping ready-made food in the refrigerator for a long time and cooking in advance is not something that is considered healthy in Japan. A lot of frozen lunches and dinners tend to be packed with sodium and other unhealthy additives.

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So they tend to stay away from those types of meals. A Japanese person might go to the grocery store several times a week to get fresh products.

If you want to slim down going to the grocery store more often to get fresh vegetable fruits meat and milk will be vital.

5 – Balanced Meals

Balanced Meals

Every meal in Japan is always well balanced and contains products from several food groups. For example, a typical school lunch in Japan consists of rice, meat, or fish, miso soup a glass of milk, and a piece of fruit.

This is a world away from a slice of pizza a hamburger or a sandwich with chips for lunch. If you’re used to having a meal comprised of one particular food group, it’s time to change things up.

The Japanese are great at adding multiple side dishes to their main dish. For example instead of eating something like fish and chips they’d have fish rice a cucumber salad miso soup and green tea all in small portions.

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6 – Variety


The Japanese food might sound restrictive to an outsider, but not to a Japanese person for them variety is key. When it is to be fish they like to eat shrimp, trout, salmon, and tuna.

Fish can be cooked in a variety of ways and the Japanese enjoyed grilled baked fried in soup or eaten raw. When it comes to animal products they enjoy beef, chicken, pork, duck, and eel.

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So they don’t have to worry about boring meals. They also take joy in cooking at home and keeping dishes interesting. This variety is also seen in the way they present dishes setting the table with many beautiful plates is a feast for the eyes.

If you want to adopt the Japanese, focus on the variety you’ll have a good motivator to get creative with the ways you prepare food. And you can impress your guests with the way you decorate and set the table.

7 – Educating Children

Educating Children - 7 Best Nutrition Rules

Do you remember nutrition classes in school in Japan a conscious attitude toward nutrition is formed in elementary school? According to Masahiro Oji, a government director of school health education, Japan follows that school lunch is a part of education.

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As such lunch isn’t just a break but an opportunity to teach children the value of healthy eating. They learn to be self-sufficient as many schools have the children serve each other meals and clean the tables themselves. Also during lunchtime, nobody hurries them to finish their meals.

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According to Weston, a price foundation during nutrition classes school children is encouraged to eat 30 different foods a day and to try to eat 100 different foods every week. With this early education, the Japanese people grow up with a very strong focus on balanced healthy eating.

If you didn’t grow up with such an education there’s always time to learn about it and make the necessary changes in your life.

If you follow the nutritional system of Japanese people, and with a good level of daily physical activity, you’ll see various positive results in your health.

Around a decade after the food guidelines were introduced to the Japanese public researchers from the National Center of global health and medicine in Tokyo ran tests to see if the guidelines were successful. The results showed that the mortality rate for people who followed the guidelines was 15% lower than those who didn’t pay attention to the recommendations.

So as you can see in addition to slimming down you can add a few happy years to your life by following the 7 best nutrition rules of the Japanese way of eating. So tell us will you start practicing these guidelines today? Are you already following any of these tips? Let us know how it’s working out in the comments and don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Thanks for reading.

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