ADVERTISEMENT - ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
According to the Get America Fit Foundation, roughly 60 million Americans that are 20 years or older are obese and another 9 million American children are overweight. Now that is a lot of overweight people!
The main culprit in this obesity problem can be attributed to the fact that most Americans live completely sedentary lives (approximately 25%) and do not or refuse to work out. But how much of this issue is also caused by the diets that we eat? The old saying still holds true, “you are what you eat.”
Personally, I feel that Asian food is much more health conscious than American style food and there are a lot of reasons why.
1. Rice is the Star of the Show
Many people don’t realize that in Asian cuisine rice is the main dish and all other meats, seafood, vegetables, and/or soups are all considered side dishes. On the other hand, in American style meals, meat is typically the star of the show and is supported by a rich cast of potatoes/rice and vegetables. Studies show that eating too much meat, such as beef, chicken, bacon, ham, etc., can increase our bad or LDL cholesterol levels. Check out this interesting article from WebMD about 9 Surprising Foods That May Raise Your Cholesterol.
2. Portion Control for Asian Food
Maybe you guys haven’t noticed, but Asians tend to eat with something called chopsticks! Chopsticks are huge in that they really help people eat with portion control. Instead of using large forks and spoons to pile food into our mouths, Asians usually just continuously pick and nibble on food with chopsticks. The good thing here is that at the end of the day, chopsticks can only pick up so much which can help us eat at a slower pace. Thus, gives time for our stomachs to shoot a signal to our brains to tell us to stop overeating.
3. Natural or Slow Cooked Foods
For the most part, whenever Asian families cook food, it is almost always a meal that is actually prepared in the kitchen and consists of natural whole ingredients. Rarely will you ever find cans of Chef Boyardee or Stouffer’s fully cooked ready to eat lasagna meals that you can nuke in the microwave. Those kinds of foods are jam packed with preservatives, sodium, and/or other crazy chemicals that we can barely pronounce. Eating and preparing slow cooked meals is not only healthy, but can also encourage family activities and participation.
4. Snacking Differently
Asians tend to shy away from eating greasy or overly sweet snacks on a regular basis. Eating Dunkaroos, Ritz Crackers, Doritos, Bagels, or anything that has crazy refined carbs and grease are really a product of the American food industry. After meals, Asians like to dabble in “dessert” or snacks, such as sliced apples, oranges, chestnuts, and the occasional red bean buns that all pack nutritional punch. Treating yourself to snacks shouldn’t always be a gut bomb.
There’s a reason why Asians are naturally skinnier than their Western counterparts. Metabolism could be one answer, but a major difference in average body weight is definitely driven by lifestyle and eating habits. In order to stay thin like Asians, we need to learn to uphold the same dietary standards. Check out more health, weight loss, and well-being tips at www.asiandieting.com.