Asian Diet For Better Health And A Slimmer You

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Most Asians Are Generally Slim

Coming from Malaysia, an Asian country, where we don’t see many overweight people around, I was just shocked when I landed in UK more than 6 years ago to see a lot of big-sized people. Screaming ambulance is a frequent occurrence. I was told that most of it is a heart attack or stroke case.

There’s constant reports of increasing obesity in this nation which is causing much concern to the government. It is reported that adults are overweight, children are overweight and even pets are overweight. We don’t see that many in Asia. Asians are generally slimmer and healthier. However in recent years we find an increase in overweight Asians due to the increase of fast food chains.

Overweight and Obesity is on sharp increase in the West

Figures suggest 90 percent of Western children could be overweight or obese by 2050. That’s worrying. Since coming here, I found that it was not too difficult to understand why. It’s the food and the lifestyle. These are just my findings based on the majority of Asians. I have 8 good reasons here.

Reasons Asians are slimmer and healthier

  1. Asians do not drink milk by the gallons.
    They drink a lot of lemon/lime drink, barley drink, soya drink, Chinese tea, and a few others. Osteoporosis is not common. This shows that trying to get calcium from milk for strong bones is not true. Asians eat a lot of fruits and vegetables which give them good source of calcium and other minerals that their body need.

    A Chinese friend of mine who doesn’t drink milk, one day went to check her bone density at a clinic. A Western lady was also there for the same check. The results - my Chinese friend has high bone density while the other lady has low bone density even though she drinks a lot of milk.

  2. Asians do not consume a lot of meat.
    For Asians, meat is very often sliced and stir fried with vegetables for the whole family. Meat is consumed in higher quantity only during festive occasions. Eating steak for a meal is usually on special occassions.
  3. Asians eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
    Local fruits are always in abundance and cheap. Asians generally do not eat salad which if stir fried is only a meager spoonful.  In other words, the amount of fiber consumed by Asians many times higher.
  4. Asians consume very little cream, butter or cheese.
    Even if they do, they eat in moderation, definitely not everyday. In the West, desserts is generally eaten everyday. They are eaten in big portions, with a generous serving of cream, custard, sweet toffee sauce or ice cream. Overall, Asians consume way less animal fat than the Westerners. Fat consumed usually comes from the oil for cooking and some butter to spread on bread if we do eat bread.
  5. Asians do not consume a lot of flour products.
    Bread, cakes, desserts, and pasta are eaten in moderation or sometimes not at all. Rice and rice products is the staple food of most Asian nations. Most Asians eat rice for lunch and dinner.  Some even have rice for breakfast. Rice doesn’t contain gluten like flour and is a healthier option. They do noodles occasionally.
  6. Asians live a more active life.
    Asians are more active, sweat a lot and drink a lot of water because of the heat. The weather has an important role here I believe. My experience living in UK explains that. Most days are so cold that you don’t feel like going out. Many people just stay at home, watch TV and munch chips. My family has to schedule in time and discipline to stay active through sports and gym a few times a week to exercise and sweat regardless of the weather.
  7. Asians do not indulge in chocolates.
    Asians are not brought up from young to eat chocolate. Besides, good quality chocolate is expensive and they melt easily in the heat.
  8. Asians do not drink a lot of alcoholic drinks.
    In Asia, generally only the rich or those in business drink. Often times, wine is served during wedding receptions. The high cost of alcoholic drinks makes it not affordable for many people.

In fact, Asians do eat a lot, generally eating 3 full meals a day and other delicacies in between, even late night suppers for many. Considering all the factors above, I would say that an Asian diet is still a better diet for health compared to the Western diet which is high in fat, sugar, dairy and flour.

It is actually so easy to swing over to the Western diet as they are actually very delicious but for health, I would rather continue to emphasize and live out the Asian diet and lifestyle as much as possible. So far, I’m happy to keep everyone at home slim and healthy. You may wonder what did I do. These are what I did: I have to be a very good cook, to be able to cook all the special Malaysian food that my family likes. I have to keep reminding my family of the importance of a healthy diet. I have to live a very active life. It’s all about maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

To know a typical meal in my family, Simple Healthy Asian Meal (coming soon) will explain it all. You may want to consider including Asian meals into your diet for a slimmer you and better health. It is simple and easy to cook. Everyone can learn to cook a simple Asian meal. Cooking is a skill that can be easily learned. It’s important to keep learning and keep smiling.

Thought of the day…..

It’s amazing how pervasive food is. Every second commercial is for food. Every second TV episode takes place around a meal. In the city, you can’t go 10 feet without seeing or smelling a restaurant. There are 20 foot high hamburgers up on billboards. I am acutely aware of food, and its omnipresence is astounding.

Adam Scott

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Divina  on February 7th, 2010

I agree with you on this post. But sadly, it’s changing right now. The Philippines are eating like the North America right now with supersized plates. The media is also good in persuading people to eat their food. Something has to be done. You and I have work to do. :)

kate the bake  on March 7th, 2010

Hi Mary,
You have made some very interesting points. The point about the weather with regards to the UK diet is relevant and maybe more so for you living so far north, not that we on the south coast have escaped the cold weather this year.

Mary  on March 7th, 2010

@Divina - Thanks very much for adding. It’s changing everywhere, sadly :( Just yesterday I heard from a friend that a lot of people in China are fat these days…..the days where most Chinese look slim are over. Fast food, ready cooked meals and lack of exercise are the main reasons behind. Totally agree with you…we have work to do….homecooked, healthy food :D

@Kate the bake - Thanks very much for adding. Yes, it’s freezing cold up north. Sometimes it’s so tempting just to stay in and skip sports, or even just lie in bed. But then a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle is important. I need to be an example to my children too. So far I think I’m doing well :D

Isa  on February 16th, 2012

So true I lived in singapore for many years and always ate well and had no dairy or wheat products, my weight was always less than when back in the uk.

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