Obesity is not a prevalent issue in Japan, and their culture tends to stigmatize individuals who are overweight unless they are elderly or facing health conditions. In contrast, Western societies like America embrace the concept of body positivity, where people openly celebrate their larger body sizes without facing criticism.

In extreme cases, some individuals in Western countries rely on scooters for mobility due to their excessive weight. The food chains in these countries also contribute to the issue of obesity.

While this perspective may not be comfortable to hear for residents of Western countries like America or England, there are valuable lessons that can be learned from Japan’s approach. Below, we will delve into their food culture and other cultural aspects for a better understanding.

Food Culture And Health In Japan

Although Japan shares a similar food system with other countries, their methods of preparation and presentation differ significantly. Let’s explore some of the key foods and cultural aspects that characterize Japan.

1. Fish and SeafoodSeafood Delivery in Sydney | Live, Fresh & Frozen Seafood Online —  fishme.com.au

Seafood plays a significant role in the Japanese diet, distinguishing it from the emphasis on chicken and other meats in Western cultures. During my visit to Japan, I noticed that eel was a prominent ingredient in many dishes.

Eel, which is a sea serpent, offers a delectable taste and is rich in essential vitamins and minerals. The Japanese prioritize consuming traditional foods that have been part of their indigenous cuisine, which allows them to maintain a balanced and nutrient-rich diet.

The regular consumption of seafood in Japan ensures an adequate intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, fish oil is generally considered beneficial for overall health.

2. less Fried foods and More Boiled foods

Fried foods, being rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, have the potential to promote inflammation in the body, unlike the beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. In American culture, there is a strong affinity for fried foods, which contributes to their higher consumption. On the other hand, while the Japanese do have their own fried dishes such as Shrimp Tempura and their unique style of fried chicken, they generally have a more limited use of frying techniques. Consequently, some Japanese foods may appear less flavorful compared to their Western counterparts. For instance, sushi typically consists of seaweed, rice, and fish without additional frying or seasoning.

The Japanese culinary tradition involves a significant emphasis on boiling and consuming soups, including popular dishes like ramen. By incorporating a lower amount of Omega-6 fatty acids into their diet, the Japanese have a reduced risk of inflammation and associated health issues. Personally, I have experienced various stomach problems, including gastritis, which were exacerbated by my previous diet. Balancing the intake of fatty acids in Western diets to resemble the Japanese approach could potentially lead to improved health outcomes similar to that of the Japanese population.

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In Japan, a significant emphasis is placed on consuming a variety of vegetables alongside meat-based meals. The Japanese have a heightened awareness of the nutritional value of food and prioritize obtaining essential nutrients. Their focus is on ensuring that meals are not only flavorful but also highly nutritious.

In contrast, Western cultures tend to prioritize the taste and enjoyment of food over its nutritional content. The Japanese mindset revolves around the idea that food should provide nourishment, while Westerners often prioritize the sensory pleasure of eating

4. Seaweed and Iodine9 Healthy Foods That Are Rich in Iodine

Seaweed holds great significance in the Japanese diet, comparable to how cows rely on grass for sustenance. This marine plant is abundant in iodine, which is vital for thyroid health. In Japan, seaweed is commonly consumed alongside sushi and ramen dishes. Besides its distinct salty flavour, seaweed is highly nutritious and provides a sufficient iodine intake, helping to prevent thyroid-related issues. Moreover, seaweed is rich in essential minerals that play a crucial role in maintaining overall bodily health.

Other Culture

They Walk Everywhere

The urban layout of Japanese cities was intentionally designed to prioritize walkability. This emphasis on walking has fostered a strong walking culture in Japan, resulting in narrower neighbourhood streets. This cultural aspect encourages people to engage in physical activity by walking, contributing to the maintenance of lower body weights and the burning of calories.

In contrast, countries like the United States have urban structures that promote car dependency. While public transportation systems such as trains and buses exist, the widespread use of cars leads to reduced physical activity. Americans rely less on their bodies for movement compared to the Japanese, as the design of American cities often necessitates car ownership. Unlike Japan, which caters to both car owners and non-car owners, the United States tends to prioritize car usage as a primary mode of transportation.