Traditional Japanese

5 reasons why Japanese Food, washoku, is very healthy

Japanese food, well balanced meal

You must know Japanese food is healthy, right? But, did you know there are 5 reasons why Japanese food is good for your health? Some people don’t care abut what they are eating, but I believe that people are coming to Washoku Lovers (thank you for visiting!) because you care about the food you eat, and your health! We should take care to eat the nutrients we need every day and control the amount of sugar of what we eat regularly.

I watched an incredible documentary movie today, called That Sugar Film. It was unbelievable and shocking.

Sugar destroys our healthy life.  How much sugar do we have every day? How much sugar is appropriate for a day’s intake? Fortunately, I don’t have a sweet tooth thanks to my mum, my first Coca Cola was when I was 16 because she always told me Coca Cola will destroy my bones. I still remember that my first Coca Cola tasted horrible, not tasty at all. I don’t consume chemical sweeteners either. But even I have more than the ideal amount of sugar every day!! Hidden sugars are everywhere in our consumption, not only from confectionary. Watch your drinks, snacks and sauces.

According to the AHA (American Heart Association), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are 9 teaspoons (37.5g) for men, 6 teaspoons (25g) for women  and 3 teaspoons (12g) for children. What do you think about this amount? We actually don’t know how much sugar we consume, and because we don’t normally eat actual sugar, we don’t realise how much hidden sugar is in the processed food and drinks we eat. To put that in perspective, a can of soft drink alone can have as many as 10 teaspoons (40g) of sugar!!!

Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome and diabetes. These cause weight gain, but also decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure and increase the chance of cancer. I’m sorry if I scare you too much, but a high sugar diet impacts mental health as well. When we have sugar, our mood is very happy because sugar increases blood glucose levels quickly just like a drug, and decreases it, again, super quickly. That means mood goes up and down all the time. Imagine, so many kids are eating more than 3 teaspoons of sugar every day…what a nightmare!!

How can you avoid eating so much sugar in your daily meals? Choose Washoku, Japanese food!

Believer me, your life will be changed if you eat washoku every day instead of eating fast foods.

Here is 5 reasons why Washoku is good for you

  1. Washoku is based on flavour from ingredients.  Traditionally the Japanese cooking method is ‘subtraction’ compared to Western cooking methods which favour ‘addition’. The Japanese cooking method is to pull out the most delicious parts of the ingredients through techniques. In Washoku, we get a lot of flavour from all the ingredients we use.
  2. Washoku uses sweet sake, mirin, instead of sugar. We use sweet sake, mirin, as a sweeter for Japanese cooking. Let’s compare the sugar contents: mirin has 58g of sugar per 100g. White sugar is 98g sugar per 100g. The GI (Glycemic Index) of mirin is only 15 compared to sugar which is 110. Low GI also means the energy you get from consuming mirin will last longer and keep your sugar levels stable.
  3. Washoku has a lot of vegetables. Do you get your daily 5 serves of vegetables? Washoku has an emphasis on vegetarian ingredients and vegetables don’t  need a lot of sweet seasoning for cooking. We mainly boil vegetables to cook them.
  4. Taste of Washoku is actually very simple. We don’t have strong punchy flavours in each dish. Not spicy, not oily and not too much flavour in it. We use natural flavour from natural ingredients. The taste is not too strong, but we can eat washoku every day as our daily meal.
  5. Washoku is a well balanced meal. Ichi ju san sai (一汁三菜) is our most standard and typical style of washoku. This style has one main dish, two side dishes, rice and miso soup. We generally have rice and miso soup for every meal whatever it is, plus a main dish with side dishes. As a main dish, we normally have fish or meat as a source of protein. A lot of vegetables, mushrooms and seaweed are used in the side dishes. In these types of foods, we can’t use more than 5-9 teaspoons of sugar! It’s almost impossible to consume!!

Thank you for visiting us:) If you have any questions or feedback, please leave your comment below.

We, Washoku Lovers, spread the word of Washoku – Japanese Food Culture. We deliver a weekly newsletter (free to signup here) and encourage people to cook washoku at home at our monthly cooking class, Washoku Lovers Kitchen.

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