Asian Food Pyramid

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Asian food pyramid reflects the traditional diet, based on foods of plant origin, followed by the inhabitants of Asia and is currently enjoying the support of many experts. Recent studies show that people who follow the traditional Asian diet, have a lower risk of developing one of the very common disease in Western countries such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, degenerative disease.

Asian pyramid was created as an alternative to American pyramid, including in the same category the proteins of animal and vegetable source. It has many common points with the Mediterranean pyramid, because both are based on plant products, recommending limiting consumption of red meat (once a month). However, the Asian diet may prove more beneficial to health, because it recommends consuming less fat.

Rice and rice products, millet, bread and products that undergo minimal processing are at the bottom of the Asian pyramid. Rice provides 25 to 85% of the calories intake of 2.7 billion people is the most cultivated plant in the world.

The following three categories, equally important, are vegetables, fruits, and oilseeds. These should be eaten daily. Daily servings of dairy products, fish and seafood are optional. Eggs and chicken, along with sweets, should be eaten no more than a few times a week. Red meat can be consumed in small amounts every month. Drinks, usually from vegetable sources – tea (especially black or green), sake (rice alcoholic drink) and wine – can be consumed daily in moderation.

Although many Asian countries do not include dairy products in their diet, the incidence of osteoporosis is relatively low. In fact, Western countries, where the calcium comes from dairy products, faces a higher level of osteoporosis.

Basic foods in Asian diet:

1. Cereals and pasta: Rice, millet, bread, pasta rice
2. Fruits: pineapple, banana, mango, mandarin, watermelon, grapes, pears
3. Vegetables: Carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, bok choy (cabbage variety), bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, leeks, green leafy vegetables
4. Legumes and oilseeds: soybeans, beans, tofu (soy cheese), nuts, peanut
5. Vegetable oils, fish and seafood, chicken, pork or beef

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