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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Mar-18-17, 13:30
violetgrey violetgrey is offline
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Default Myth about Asian diets being healthier

I live in a city with many Chinese people. The oldsters are nearly all bent over their walkers with severe osteoporosis. My daughter married a half Japanese man who was brought up to eat polished white rice daily, as well as other Japanese food habits. They also pretty much live on noodles. He's lost several older relatives to cancer of the stomach and bowel. Yet they continue with the tradition of feeding polished white rice and noodles to the kids, despite trying to buy everything else organic (meats, vegetables, fruits).

I suspect that all the books and articles I have read about Chinese and Japanese diets being healthier are completely skewed. I see no evidence of it just looking around. Everything I read about soy tells me it's harmful and yet it's also still being promoted as a good source of protein. My daughter feeds her kids tofu dogs which I consider frankenfoods. They are called veggie dogs and there's not one vegetable in them. They are made of wheat and heavily processed soybeans.

Could experts stop trying to convince us that the Asian ways of eating are healthier? I put Japanese and Chinese in the same category as they both emphasize noodles and rice. There is so much printed about their healthier emphasis on a lot of stir fried vegetables with just a touch of meat for garnish. So yes, they don't get as obese as we do on the standard American diet, as they do not eat as many junk foods, but they do not get healthy. I have no data on how many died from stomach cancer before they emigrated from Japan, or how straight are the backs of old people living in China on a traditional diet with nothing Western added.

It's just that the myths are still written about and they bother me. How is polished white rice better for health than Froot Loops????
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Mar-18-17, 13:39
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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I have a feeling that their incidence of diabetes is pretty high with all of those carbs as I have noticed many are in Keto Acidosis because they are giving off the smell. One waitress at a restaurant where we go has it so bad that I can't stand the smell that is so strong it lingers in the air for quite a while when she leaves. I see the waitresses who eat at a corner table filling their plates 3/4th with white rice and I can't help wondering....so I'm with you!
Those tofu dogs sound awful!
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Mar-18-17, 14:47
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Kristine Kristine is online now
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I don't think it's fair to judge diets looking through the Westernized lens. The habits of Asians back home are probably quite different from those of immigrants, and there's probably a wide range among immigrants (and 2nd/3rd+ generation) in terms of similarity to diet back home vs once they're assimilating. Of course, there are a myriad of diets, too. Urban vs rural, impoverished vs more affluent, just like everywhere else. These conversations get borderline-racist and based on stereotypes.

I'm pretty sure there's not as much soy consumed in Asia as you'd think from stereotypes. Most of it is fermented in the form of soy sauce, or small quantities of tofu here and there. This was definitely the case for my Malaysian room mate. They're not packing away the Yves veggie dogs, I'm pretty sure.

They also aren't ruining their metabolism with breakfast cereal and cola (yet), so the rice and noodles aren't killing them (yet.) It will, as Western culture permeates. It's already obvious in 2nd/3rd+ generations over here.

In the case of the Japanese, they seem to "respect" food and meals more. It's rude to mindlessly eat while you're walking down the street, in class, traveling, etc. Gee, I'd love to see that here. You eat in your house at your table, in the lunch room at school/work, on the premises at which you purchased the food/drink, in your car if you park somewhere, and nowhere else. I bet people visiting from Japan must think we're gross for needing garbage cans on every street corner so that people can throw away their food packages, because they can't get from point A to point B without eating. They must sit on public transportation, surrounded by people eating and drinking, thinking we're animals. Imagine the dent we'd put in the obesity crisis with that change in etiquette alone.

BTW, I don't know where the OP lives, but I marvel at the health of the older people in Toronto's Chinatown. Not that these observations are worth much, of course. By definition, you're only seeing people who are healthy enough to go out in public on their own. There's no way of knowing the ratio of healthy to unhealthy.
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Mar-18-17, 15:28
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristine
I bet people visiting from Japan must think we're gross for needing garbage cans on every street corner so that people can throw away their food packages, because they can't get from point A to point B without eating.
This phenomenon did not become common in North America until the 1980s. It probably started with the less fat, more carbohydrates dietary guidelines that left people hungry all the time (and fat), instead of satiated and thin pre ~1977. Now people eat & drink from disposable containers all over the place. I was watching some house hunters on HGTV and the 20 something wife had a 20-oz disposable cup of coffee with her the entire time, gesturing with it and setting it down on homeowners' unprotected wooden furniture as if it was a natural thing to do - I was ready to scream! It would be like marching through a person's home with muddy shoes.

Most food-smeared food containers are not recyclable and I've never seen anyone wash a plastic container at the mall so they could put it in a recycling bin instead of the garbage. You'd think in this day and age the planet huggers would be refusing to use them, but they are some of the worst offenders and don't even clean up the mounds of garbage after their rallies and protests. Meanwhile old ladies like me prefer to eat and drink off ceramic/glass with real cutlery that we have been reusing for decades, and when travelling bring our own mugs and food in reusable containers.

Last edited by deirdra : Sat, Mar-18-17 at 15:45.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Mar-21-17, 14:44
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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If you haven't read Denise Minger on The China Study, enjoy:

The China Study: Facts and Fallacies

It was used as the definitive proof that low fat & vegetarian diets were the path to health. But... not so fast.
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Jun-15-17, 09:20
LCdave LCdave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violetgrey
I live in a city with many Chinese people. The oldsters are nearly all bent over their walkers with severe osteoporosis. My daughter married a half Japanese man who was brought up to eat polished white rice daily, as well as other Japanese food habits. They also pretty much live on noodles. He's lost several older relatives to cancer of the stomach and bowel. Yet they continue with the tradition of feeding polished white rice and noodles to the kids, despite trying to buy everything else organic (meats, vegetables, fruits).

I suspect that all the books and articles I have read about Chinese and Japanese diets being healthier are completely skewed. I see no evidence of it just looking around. Everything I read about soy tells me it's harmful and yet it's also still being promoted as a good source of protein. My daughter feeds her kids tofu dogs which I consider frankenfoods. They are called veggie dogs and there's not one vegetable in them. They are made of wheat and heavily processed soybeans.

Could experts stop trying to convince us that the Asian ways of eating are healthier? I put Japanese and Chinese in the same category as they both emphasize noodles and rice. There is so much printed about their healthier emphasis on a lot of stir fried vegetables with just a touch of meat for garnish. So yes, they don't get as obese as we do on the standard American diet, as they do not eat as many junk foods, but they do not get healthy. I have no data on how many died from stomach cancer before they emigrated from Japan, or how straight are the backs of old people living in China on a traditional diet with nothing Western added.

It's just that the myths are still written about and they bother me. How is polished white rice better for health than Froot Loops????



I thought the studies/research/observations indicating the healthy diets were from the Okinawans before 1950's not today. I have observed Chinese and the Japanese today eat a lot of western processed food and will of course suffer from the same health issues as anyone else.
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Jun-15-17, 13:04
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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My introduction to Chinese food was in those ubiquitous Chinese-American restaurants back in the early '60s. I'd swear everything had sugar in it! Being a sugar addict, I still miss it. I would get a contact high from smelling it when friends & I used to go to an Asian restaurant.
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Aug-26-17, 09:18
alex18092 alex18092 is offline
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Default Myth about Asian diets being healthier

I lived in Japan for 4 years, and I just have a couple of observations. There isn't really an "Asian" diet, like their isn't a "European" diet. It varies dramatically by country.

Just from my travel experience, China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam cuisine all vary dramatically.

Japanese cuisine tries to focus on the original flavor of the main ingredient. That is why you won't find many dishes with heavy flavored sauces. Chinese cuisine seems to do the opposite, and Chinese cuisine is seen in Japan as very oily. Vietnamese cuisine has a strong French influence (Vietnam used to be a French colony and it shows in its cooking), and so on.

One thing I noticed though when I lived in Japan. The portions are smaller. When you go to Starbucks, the largest size is tall, which is the smallest size in the US. It is hard to eat a lot, since the portion sizes are smaller.
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  #9   ^
Old Sat, Aug-26-17, 18:25
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nawchem nawchem is offline
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I live in a Vietnamese neighborhood and my landlord has been here 5 years and cooks for a Vietnamese restaurant. The Vietnamese people have small bones, small muscle and small fat. Most of the home cooked food comes from the yard. Lots of citrus fruit, herbs, leafy greens and grapes. When I've eaten with them the meal is finger food you grab herbs and greens and mix it with meat every bite.

The rice and the dumplings go to the restaurant.

You go to McDonalds you see lots of chubby Asians there.
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  #10   ^
Old Sat, Aug-26-17, 20:03
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gonwtwindo gonwtwindo is offline
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Maybe I'm getting the big A but I don't remember Asian diets being touted as the healthiest, just the Mediterranean.
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