The importance of presentation
In Japan, food is sacred, and therefore respected. Thus, before each meal, the Japanese join their hands and say: ” I get food to live. Similarly, food is served with delicacy: They are arranged in small mountains, never flat; for example, we will raise a slice of fish with a small piece of turnip “, explains Dominique Loreau. No need for meditation courses to eat mindfully on a daily basis. Presenting the dishes well only makes them more precious and encourages people to eat slowly, savoring each bite. The use of chopsticks contributes to this, because they barely grasp more than a hazelnut…
Eating meals without rushing ensures better digestion and better assimilation of nutrients. This also and above all allows you to really feel the signal of satiety, which takes about twenty minutes to be evaluated by the brain: you eat according to your hunger and no longer out of greed.
Small quantities, big variety!
” Alone or with family, the Japanese eat on a plate of small individual quantities, which avoids any temptation to refill. “On the tray, personal bowls (one for soup, the other for rice) for each member of the family, with capacities adapted to the ages of life: ” A small bowl for a child, a larger one from the age of 20, then again a smaller one for grandparents. »
The typical and ordinary meal? A bowl of rice, a bowl of miso soup (fermented soybeans), a small ramekin of tsukemono (vegetables fermented in salt), another of vinegared raw vegetables and a small plate of a main dish simmered with root vegetables and vegetables leaves, legumes, fish or tofu. The whole is subtly flavored with aromatic herbs and condiments.
This food variety gives pride of place to plants – in Japan, it is recommended to consume at least 350 g of vegetables per day (compared to around 250 g in France) – and thus contributes to a perfect nutritional balance. Also note the daily consumption of root vegetables (turnip, gobo, Japanese radish, etc.), particularly rich in vitamins and minerals, and fermented products (miso, pickled vegetables, etc.), essential for good intestinal health.
Frugality, yes, but…
Long poor, the Japanese have learned to eat a bowl of rice and a few bites of dried fish. But this “forced” frugality, which has become cultural, has nothing to do with the restrictions that Westerners impose on themselves to lose weight. You want to know more ? Listen No salads!the nutrition podcast of female version, which demolishes the received idea according to which, to lose weight, it is enough to eat less.
Less meat, more vegetable protein
” Miso soup, soy sauce, tofu (plain, fried, sautéed) are among the daily foods. The Japanese consume a lot of soy, which is one of their main sources of protein. Contributions supplemented by fish, adzuki beans or mushrooms. Meat, on the other hand, is a “pleasure” food that we appreciate from time to time, to spice up soups and broths, for example. »
The key is a variety of vegetable protein intakes (soya, mushrooms, rice, etc.), which, in addition, provide fibre, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and antioxidants. Moreover, by preferring fish and shellfish to meat, the Japanese reduce the sources of saturated fats and limit cardiovascular diseases.
From broth to all sauces
” I think that the great secret of good health and slimness of the Japanese is dashi, a kind of “light” broth that serves as a base for many preparations. ” Recipe : ” Kombu seaweed and dried shiitakes are soaked overnight in 1 liter of water, and possibly a dozen small dried fish. The next day, we filter and use the water to prepare miso soup, cook vegetables or rice. »
Hypocaloric, dashi enriches culinary preparations with proteins, vitamins and minerals released by algae and mushrooms.
A very unsweetened snack
If Japanese women rarely snack, they can sometimes have a snack with friends during the day. On the menu ? ” A green tea with very little sweetness, often based on red beans or fruit-flavoured agar-agar (seaweed) jelly. In a tea room, you can also enjoy a slice of apple pie, but in all cases, the pastries come in miniature format, which you can eat in three bites. »
Also to discover: This Japanese cheesecake made with only 3 ingredients is a hit on the Internet
Is it necessary to remind it? Snacking promotes weight gain and tires the digestive system, which is constantly in demand. On the other hand, a snack tasted with pleasure boosts morale and avoids getting tired before dinner time. As for green tea, it is full of antioxidants that protect the body from cellular aging.
To each his own bento
A compartmentalized box to take your meal with you: this is the principle of bento, a classic of Japanese culture, acclaimed by both schoolchildren and their parents when they have lunch at work. There are a multitude of sizes, which makes it possible to eat out a balanced meal, adapted to the needs and appetites of each one. A person with cholesterol will have their bento reduced in fat, while another concerned about their line will prepare a bento of small capacity and will limit their portions of rice.
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Here are 7 tips for adopting the Japanese diet
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