Japanese Diet for Longevity
Can food really help us live longer?
Perhaps. Experts say the longevity of Japanese women, who have the longest life expectancy on the planet, is the result of their dietary guidelines - what and how they eat.
The average life expectancy of a Japanese woman is 87 years, compared to 84.8 years in Australia and 81 years in USA. There are also now around 68 000 people living in Japan aged over 100 years old.
The traditional Japanese diet is rich in plant foods, fish, soy foods, seaweed and green tea. They also consume very little processed and discretionary foods, such as chips, lollies and sugar sweetened beverages, and recommend consuming at least 30 different foods each day, whereas in Australia it’s estimated we eat only 15-18 different foods per week. Studies have shown consuming this type of diet lowers risk of death from all causes, which includes cardiovascular disease.
The Japanese tend to eat from smaller plates, reducing portion size, and use light cooking methods, such as steaming and simmering. Be wary of salt consumption with this diet however, as the use of condiments such as soy and oyster sauce and pickled vegetables are often quite high in salt.