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HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES - ASIAN FOODS
MICHELLE COOPER: Next, we're going to talk about Asian food or the Asian diet. When looking at the diet of Asia or the Asian countries, what we find is that they're mostly plant-based.
There's not a lot of meat or animal products in the diet and actually hardly any dairy but Asians don't typically have the high incidence of osteoporosis like we have over here. So when looking at that, we try to figure out what they're doing to ward off all the chronic illnesses that we seem to be seeing in the western part of the nation. And what we found is that instead of getting their calcium from things like milk and dairy products, they eat a lot of soy which gives them the calcium that they need.
They also eat a lot of plant products like tofu. They have brown rice. It's a high-fiber, low-animal fat diet which is actually pretty healthy. That's something that we could try to emulate. If you notice behind me, you'll see a lot of the traditional Thai dishes that are also low in fat. You'll see the miso soup which usually accompanies most of their meals. It gives them a feeling of satiety or fullness. It keeps their hunger at bay yet it doesn't provide them with a lot of fat or calories. A lot of their sauces are low fat: the soy sauce, the peanut sauce. Peanut sauce may have a little bit more fat than the soy but it's from the good fat, the monounsaturated type. So we can take a clue from our Asian countries and try to cut down on our animal products, increasing our plant products; thereby, increasing our fiber while getting the other nutrients that we need.
So if you're calorie conscious or you're trying to control your weight, Asian restaurants would be a good place for you to start and to try to emulate that diet and incorporate that into some of your own eating.