Japanese food, in particular sushi, has also been depopulated in Italy in recent years. Some people go crazy, others can’t stand it, but it seems that eating Japanese food will make people live longer and for this reason many think it is even better than the Mediterranean diet. True or false? We asked Dr. Stefania Setti, Nutritionist of Humanitas Gavazzeni.
“False. In reality, nutritionally speaking – explains the expert – the Japanese diet is a sort of Mediterranean diet revisited in a harmonious and aesthetic way. It should be noted at once, however, that Japanese food is not limited only to sushi and sashimi, which is what we find most commonly in the many Japanese restaurants in Italian cities. In fact, the Japanese diet, like the Mediterranean diet, is composed of a large variety of foods, is very balanced and provides for a moderate consumption of animal proteins, with practically absent meals that include red meat or its processed products such as cold cuts and hams, for example. Typical ingredients of the Japanese diet are cereals and rice, fruits, vegetables, legumes, such as endamame soybean, fresh fish, eggs, a few dairy products, soybeans and their derivatives, avocado and soybean oil, and green tea. All these foods have a reduced content of saturated fats, which are among the causes of cardiovascular disease. The protective effect of the Japanese diet against cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart attack, oncology or chronic liver diseases, for example, or the benefits on longevity, was also mentioned in a study published in the prestigious scientific journal, the British Medical Journal. Obviously, eating Japanese food once in a while is not enough to achieve the health and longevity benefits. Indeed, only by regularly adopting this type of diet, as well as the Mediterranean diet, can we help to reduce the threats to the health of the heart, brain and the whole body in general, and also promote longevity. In addition there is the fact that the Japanese almost eat no snacks and have a lifestyle in which physical activity, balance and harmony of the body play a very important role in their culture.