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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!

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