How the Japanese Diet Reduces Risk of Heart Disease & Stroke

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. While poor diet is one of the key risk factors associated with heart disease, studies show when caregivers encourage their senior loved ones to adopt alternative diets, such as that of the Japanese, it can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

What’s in the Japanese Diet?

The Japanese diet traditionally consists of mostly grains, vegetables, and fish. On average, the Japanese eat five times more vegetables and twice as much fish as those following a traditional Western diet. Outlined in an official capacity by the Japanese government in 2005, the “spinning top” food guide advocates moderation in addition to nutrition. Water and tea reside at the top of the food guide, followed by the rest of the food groups in order of daily dietary recommendations:
  • Five to seven servings of grains (rice, bread, noodles, pasta)
  • Five to six servings of vegetable dishes
  • Three to five servings of fish and meat (meat, fish, egg, and soybean dishes)
  • Two servings of dairy
  • Two servings of fruit
By following this food guide and consuming snacks and sweets in moderation, the Japanese maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. Additionally, the Japanese also practice healthier cooking habits, such as using water instead of oil and limiting portion sizes. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

What Are the Specific Physical Effects of the Japanese Diet?

According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, the Japanese experience few incidences of cardiovascular problems due to their low intake of saturated fats and their preferred consumption of soy and fish. To reach this conclusion, medical risk factors for heart disease and dietary variables were examined in Japanese residents living in Japan and Japanese immigrants living a primarily Western lifestyle in Hawaii. Results indicated the Japanese in Japan had much lower body mass indices, lower levels of both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), higher polyunsaturated-to-saturated fatty acid ratios, and greater consumption of omega-3 fatty acids than the Japanese living in Hawaii. If you need help ensuring your loved one gets proper nutrition, consider hiring a home caregiver to take over on occasion. In Palm Beach, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

How Does the Japanese Diet Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Issues?

The results of this study indicate dietary variables play a significant role in lowering risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke. The Japanese diet is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and heart-healthy nutrients and low in Western diet staples such as processed food and red meat. Fish is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent plaques from forming. When plaque levels are reduced, the risk of heart disease and stroke are also lowered. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in a variety of soy products. By following a well-balanced Japanese diet, seniors can ensure their cholesterol and blood pressure levels remain low, thus drastically reducing their risk of heart disease and stroke. These results indicate adopting a Japanese diet promotes longevity and significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare services. Palm Beach, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call us today at (561) 429-8292 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.


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