Is an Asian Diet Healthier?

A bowl containing rice topped with stir-fried broccoli, beef, yellow and green squash, tomatoes, peppers, and green onions with white sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

There are several aspects of Asian food that, according to some experts, often make it a healthier alternative to Western food. (Image: Robyn Mackenzie via Dreamstime)

There is a notion that an Asian diet is mostly healthier than the common Western diet. Is this really true? And if yes, what makes the Asian diet healthier than the regular Western diet? There are several aspects of Asian food that, according to some experts, often make it a healthier alternative to Western food.

Traditional Asian foods mainly use cooking techniques like steaming or stir frying.

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Less deep fried food

While deep-fried food is America’s most favored food, it is less common in the authentic Asian kitchen. Traditional Asian foods mainly use cooking techniques like steaming or stir-frying.

Chinese dumplings in a bamboo steamer with a bowl of dipping sauce in the middle.
Traditional Asian foods mainly use cooking techniques like steaming or stir-frying. (Image: Bbbar via Dreamstime)

These techniques can either eliminate or even reduce fats in the foods, and lower the number of calories the dish has.

Less red meat

Red meat, and everything you can prepare using it, is quite high in saturated fats, which can elevate “bad” cholesterol and lead to heart and artery-related diseases. An Asian diet uses fewer red meats and focuses more on lean proteins, like fish and tofu.

An Asian diet uses fewer red meats and focuses more on lean proteins, as in this dish of dried fish and tofu with steamed veggies.
An Asian diet uses fewer red meats and focuses more on lean proteins, as in this dish of dried fish and tofu with steamed veggies. (Image: Mosessin via Dreamstime)

Fish contains less saturated fats than red meat, and tofu contains none at all.

Less simple carbohydrates

American food is usually very saturated with simple carbohydrates. Foods like white bread, hamburger buns, and other products made with white flour are packed with simple carbohydrates. These so-called bad carbs can contribute to a rise in blood sugar levels.

The elevated release of insulin into the blood to lower blood sugar levels can contribute to diabetes and weight gain.

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