All About Asian Food

Weight Loss Series: Six Asian Foods for a Skinnier, Healthier You

 Thumbnail image for asianwoman2.jpgYou've heard that French women don't get fat, but if you think about it, neither do most Asian women and men. What is their secret? In this special weight-loss series, we will outline the six Asian foods that help you lose weight and feel great about yourself. We have chosen these Asian foods because they are healthy, tasty, economical, and easy to prepare-really!
Read on to discover the Asian food entrees, beverages and desserts (that's right, desserts) that directly contribute to a more vibrant, energetic, and slender you! Without further ado, our first weight-loss Asian food....

Thumbnail image for noodles.jpg 1) Shirataki Noodles. The star of our Asian food weight loss series, these Asian noodles pack an amazing amount of health benefits. Unlike wheat pasta, the low carb, low calorie Shirataki noodles are composed almost completely of fiber. Fiber rich foods like Shirataki noodles absorb water, which means, in addition to major health benefits, you feel more full and satisfied than you would from eating other craze diet foods.  Don't stick to cabbage and celery stalks and feel famished all day long!  Our Shirataki noodles leave you feeling completely satiated, all while packing amazing health benefits. Did we mention they are ready in mere minutes?

       Shirataki Noodles Health Benefits

  • Decreased blood cholesterol levels
  • Possible reduced risk of heart disease
  • May reduce risk of some types of cancer
  • May reduce risk of coronary heart disease

NOTE: Shirataki noodles can be an acquired taste. Eat in small quantities to adjust to the new texture, and consider adding yummy garlic, tofu, spinach or soy sauce to spice up the flavor.
If you take nothing else from this weight-loss series (although we certainly hope you will), consider substituting your typical pasta for Shirataki noodles one or two times a week. Your body will love you!

5 More Great Weight Loss Asian Foods after the jump, so read on....


Thumbnail image for azukimilkkan.jpg2) Kanten. If you've never heard of kanten, it's pretty much the Asian equivalent of gelatin (minus the ground animal hooves, eww!) Ahem. Like Shirataki noodles, kanten's weight-loss charm lies in the fact that it's all-natural, rich in fiber, and contains zero calories (are you sensing a pattern here) but is often considered more appetizing than its konnyaku or kimchi cousins. Basically, Kanten fills you up so aren't starving and scarfing down unwise food choices. And it really works! According to Kanten World, "Women who consume kanten for weight loss on a daily basis reportedly consume up to fifty percent fewer calories on a daily basis than women who don't."

For dieting purposes, you might want to eat some kanten before each meal to fill up and avoid overeating. Kanten also works great as a soup or juice thickener, but our favorite way to eat it is in Anmitsu. Anmitsu is a Japanese dessert that combines Kanten jelly, syrup, and fruit. Healthy and delicious!

             Kanten Health Benefits
  • Lowered Cholesterol
  • Can reduce constipation
  • Packed with healthy minerals including calcium
  • Curbs appetite
  • Rich in nutrients including iodine

NOTE: You may need to ask for Kanten by its Western name, agar agar.

greentea.jpg 3) Green Tea. Ok, we know technically, green tea is a drink. But its weight loss benefits are so considerable, we couldn't help including it in our Asian food weight loss series. In fact, if modern man had access to a miracle cure, green tea would probably be the closest thing we've got. Used as medicine in China for the past 4,000 years, the rest of the world is just catching on to the amazing benefits of green tea.
 For our Asian food weight loss series, we will start with green tea's dietary benefits. The main dietary benefit of green tea is that it helps you burn calories. In general, a person who drinks five cups of green tea a day could burn about 70-80 calories a day. According to this green tea site "According to the research, if a person were to change nothing outside of adding five cups of green tea to their diet per day, then over the course of 43 days one could expect to lose 1 pound. Over the period of one year, one could expect a loss of about 8 pounds." These results aren't as dramatic as those promised from more extreme "crash diets," but green tea is a great, healthy way to slim down and stay healthy without majorly adjusting yoru current eating habits. 
 Now since this is a series about getting skinner and healther, let's talk about some of the other health benefits of green tea. Essentially, green tea's medicinal powers come from its surplus of antioxidents.  According to About Chinese Food, "The secret of green tea lies in the fact that it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue."

   Green Tea Health Benefits
  • fights cancer
  • fights rheumatoid arthritis
  • combats high cholesterol levels
  • reduces risk of cardiovascular disease
  • wards off infection
  • boosts immune system

NOTE: The reason why green tea is more healthy than black or oolong tea, although the all contain EGCG, is because green tea is made by steaming the leaves, which leaves the EGCG in tact. Black tea and oolong tea are made from fermented leaves, so the EGCG is extinguished.

 rice.jpg4) Brown Rice. After so many exotic ingredients, here's a friendly face in our Asian food weight loss series. Though not as shrouded in mystery, good old rice is an amazing dietary food, which is why it's a staple of most Asian food. In fact, according to this article, "In Asian countries, each person consumes, on average, 200 to 400 pounds a year. Americans eat about 21 pounds per person, per year." In other words, if you are looking for Asian food weight loss secrets, the answer could be as simple as "just add rice. "
Why? Though technically a starch, rice is low in calories, sodium, and cholesterol. Rice is super-low in saturated fat, so adopting the Asian style of making rice the centerpiece of the meal instead of the side dish can have major weight-loss benefits. In addition to being a nutritious Asian food, rice is a great comfort food thanks to its bland, starchy qualities. Unlike other comfort foods however, rice is proven to actually boost energy! How cool is that?!

Brown Rice Health Benefits

  • Reduces risk of colon cancer
  • Helps keep weight off
  • Good source of vitamin B
  • Reduces high cholestoral
  • Reduces chances of getting Type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces risk of heart disease and stroke

NOTE: Brown rice is way better for you than white rice!

 5) Miso.miso.jpg Next up in our Asian weight-loss series is the fermented soy bean paste known as miso. Don't let that description scare you, however! Miso is a distinct and delicious flavor with great dietary benefits. In fact, miso's unique salty taste and buttery texture is actually quite addictive.
In terms of weight-loss benefits, one tablespoon of this flavorful food packs 2 grams of protein and just 25 calories. Considering miso is a mere condiment, that's pretty impressive. If you are in need of comforting food on a cozy day, skip the mac 'n' cheese and opt for soothing miso soup!

The amazing benefits of miso are multifood! Sip some daily, as the Asian do, for maximum benefits.

Miso Health Benefits

  • Reduces risk of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer,lung cancer and colon cancer.
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Has anti-aging benefits
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Packed with nutrients, including zinc and protein

 Thumbnail image for pork-tofu-2.jpg6) Tofu. Many people have a love-hate relationship with tofu, but before you turn away in disgust, check out the many delicious Asian recipes that present tofu like you've never had it before. When eaten in yummy Asian foods (such as the aforementioned miso soup) tofu is transformed and much more palatable then when eaten in the Western fashion. We've gotten you this far haven't we? So hear us out!
 By coating tofu in delicious Japanese seasonings such as soy sauce or sesame oil, you transform the bland bites into something flavorful and filling! Tasty Asian dishes like minced pork with tofu or a Japanese Coconut and Tofu Jelly Cup will change the way you look at tofu, and put all visions of pitas and bean sprouts to rest.Tofu is low in calories and carbs so it makes a great protein-packed addition to salads, or a healthy meat substitute.

Tofu Health Benefits

  • A healthier heart
  • Hormone regulation in women
  • Stronger muscles
  • Boosted energy
  • Great source of calcium and magnesium

Well, that's it for our six part Asian Food weight loss series! We truly believe these Asian foods will help you live a healthier, slimmer and more energetic life! There are no secrets or quick fixes in the above recommendations, just a few responsible changes you make that will have a big long-term impact on the way you look and feel. We have taken care to provide options that are easy to make, economical, and lend themselves to versatile Asian food recipes. Whether you choose to incorporate all these Asian foods into your diet at once, or try a six-month challenge where you incorporate one new Asian food at a time, we are convinced you will see an improvement in your health, wellness, and waistline. Happy eating!


mitch said:

Great article. I'm definitely going to start drinking more green tea.

mitch said:

Great article. I'm definitely going to start drinking more green tea.

Jacki said:

What a wonderful idea!! I love this blog and will keep a copy of it to refer to when ordering. Thank you!!

jetaun said:

I'm thinking about trying some of these suggestions. If it helps, I'm all for it.

Amanda said:

I love asian food and eat it regularly. I want to try kanten as well seeing the benefits. I would recommend it to everyone and already have. =3 Thanks!

christal said:

miso is my greatest find in a long time . I love it , i have some every day. its soooo addicting yumm

Jeff said:

I love miso soup and Green Tea so I guess Im on the right track. Im a bit curious on the Kanten though going to have to do some research on this food.

Jezzles said:

Awesome sauce. I think I'd be up for trying at least most of those. Tea may be a little more difficult, as I'm weaning myself from a Mormon upbringing, and still have to use cream... I'm not sure that you should put cream in green tea. :P I'm sure there are supplements for it though.

Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

Javin said:

As a HUGE fan of Miso Soup, I'm glad to see it on the weight loss list. I've even bought a few pounds of Miso Paste to keep myself stocked. Would love to see even more than just the 6 on here! I know there has to be a ton more!

Rob said:

Thank you so much! I am purchasing a few items right now from you wonderful list. Best wishes =)

sandra said:

I really liked your blog, im always trying to watch my weight.

I'm definitely a believer in green tea! I drink about 5 cups of day and it does make me feel less hungry which means I'll ultimately consume less calories, so maybe that's how it aids in fat burning. Either way, it also has numerous other health benefits.

You start losing the initially week if you are motivated enough. You can reduce the food intake by 30%, taste a lot of water and walk every night for 30 minutes at a quick pace. You should drop a excellent 6 lb the initially week.

I drink Oolong, Pu Erh and green teas instead of sodas and juices, for weight loss and other health benefits. When the weather is hot, they make the perfect refreshing iced tea.

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