HEALTH TIPS

Eat like an Okinawan!

The Okinawans, the indigenous people of the Ryukyu islands in Japan, are famous for having the longest life expectancy in the world. This is attributed to the kind of lifestyle and diet they live by.

Moderation is their rule of thumb.

Okinawans only eat up to 80% full. They call this principle Hara Hachi Bu. Since the brain is 10 to 20 minutes behind the stomach by reaction, the feeling of 80% full is actually being 100% full. This means that when you eat up to a 100% full sensation, you are actually overstuffing yourself!

One of the major principles of the Okinawan Diet is to build meals on a featherweight foundation. Foods classified as featherweights possess 0.0 to 0.7 caloric density. These are the unprocessed whole foods such as vegetables and fruits, water-rich foods like soup, and low-fat foods.

Low caloric density foods will help you feel satiated, so, you are able to get rid of the hunger pangs. Featherweights are eat-as-much-as-you-want foods without the risk of weight gain. Another major benefit from eating featherweight foods is that they also provide the daily recommended dosage for anti-oxidants.

Here is a list of top featherweight foods with their corresponding caloric density:

TOP Featherweight Foods

Water 0
Tea (Jasmine, Green, Black) 0
Cucumber 0.1
Lettuce 0.1
Summer squash 0.2
Asparagus 0.2
Bitter melon 0.2
Bean sprouts 0.2
Celery 0.2
Daikon Japanese white raddish 0.2
Hechima Loofa gourd 0.2
Spinach (boiled) 0.2
Swiss chard (boiled) 0.2
Tomato 0.2
Bamboo shoots 0.3
Bell pepper (red) 0.3
Broccoli 0.3
Grapefruit 0.3
Mushrooms 0.3
Salsa 0.3
Snap beans 0.3
Soup chicken with rice 0.3
Vegetarian soup 0.3
Soymilk 0.3
Strawberries 0.3

The Okinawan diet is rich in complex carbohydrates and plant-based foods, and lower in fat, as compared to the Western-style diet. The Okinawans eat way more veggies than most people do. They also love whole grains, tofu, fish, and other legumes. They eat very little sugar, and very little meat and eggs. Like other Japanese, Okinawans don't eat much dairy. They do drink alcohol, but women stick to one drink a day, while men average twice that.

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