Crisp vegetable stir-fries from China, bowls of steaming noodle soup with mint and coriander from Vietnam, fiery jungle curries from Thailand, and fill-you-up sushi rolls from Japan. These are just some of the Asian dishes that are tempting our taste buds and winning the tick of approval from nutritionists around the globe.
With its emphasis on vegetables, rice, clear soups, noodles, fresh fruit, fish and lean meat; Asian food is light, yet filling. It is generally low in fat, with most recipes requiring only small amounts of vegetable oils for cooking. Sweets are healthier too, with none of the rich desserts and pastries of European cuisines. Traditionally, healthy snacks are eaten between meals to help avoid hunger pangs, and to spread food intake over the day.
Eating for a Healthy Heart
There are many reasons why nutritionists recommend Asian fare for a healthy heart:
- Omega 3 fats from the prawns, scallops, mussels, crabs, abalones and other seafood that is so plentiful in Asia.
- Vitamin E from cashews, peanuts, almonds and other nuts and seeds.
- Phytoestrogens from tofu, tempeh and soy drinks.
- Antioxidants from the many green vegetables, herbs, garlic, onions and green tea.
All these food factors combine to keep blood vessels clear and free of build-up, and to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The total fat in Asian food tends to be low and, because vegetable oils are preferred for cooking, saturated fats are also kept to a minimum.
Fighting Cancer and the Aging Process
The abundance of vegetables, fiber-rich fresh herbs (all lightly cooked or served raw), antioxidants, and phytochemicals in the Asian diet, make it work in your favor to protect against many cancers and slow the aging process.
Diet for Diabetes
Anyone with diabetes should have a repertoire of Asian recipes in their kitchen. This is because those aspects of the Asian diet which make it good for weight control and heart health, also make it a must for diabetes management. Enjoy meals and carbohydrates spaced evenly, fresh fruit for dessert, plenty of flavour without fat, variety and freshness.
Which Dishes are Best?
Healthy choices: Steamed dim sims or wontons, steamed fish with black bean sauce, combination vegetables, chow mein dishes, stir-fry meat, chicken or seafood dishes with vegetables, crab and corn soup, clear soup with noodles or dumplings, san choy bau, tofu tossed with vegetables, plain boiled rice, Chinese green tea, jasmine tea. Eat occasionally: Deep-fried entrees such as prawn cutlets, fried dim sims, spring rolls, fried dishes such as sweet and sour, crispy skin chicken, fried rice, Peking duck, pork spare ribs, fried ice-cream.
Healthy choices: Noodles with fish, chicken or pork, noodle soups, sashimi (raw tuna or salmon), steamboat dishes, teppanyaki-style barbecues, sushi nori rolls, steamed rice. Eat occasionally: Tempura (deep-fried seafood and vegetables).
Healthy choices: Clear hot soup (pho) with chicken or beef, noodle soups, meat, seafood or chicken salads, stir-fry meat or scallops with vegetables, fresh prawn rice paper rolls, grilled pork skewers, chicken with lemon grass, steamed ginger fish, stir-fried mixed vegetables, jasmine rice. Eat occasionally: Coconut-based curries, deep-fried finger foods such as crab cakes and spring rolls.
Healthy choices: Dry curries of meat, chicken or vegetables, lean meat kebabs, tandoori chicken or lamb, dhal, naan and roti bread, boiled rice, cucumber and yogurt sambal, chutneys. Eat occasionally: Deep-fried finger foods such as samosas and bhajias, fried breads such as chapati and puri, pappadums, parathas.
Healthy choices: Thai beef salad, satays, dry curries, stir-fry meat, chicken or seafood with vegetables, clear hot and spicy prawn soup (tom yarn goong), grilled chicken satays, jasmine rice. Eat occasionally: Coconut-based curries such as Thai green curry, deep-fried finger foods such as crab cakes and spring rolls, crispy fried noodles.
Author: Anne Morton
Article Source: EzineArticles.com