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  1. #11
    gn's Avatar
    gn
    gn is offline Junior Member
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    i wonder where, in japan or us/europe the population is more (potentially) primal-friendly in terms of being ready to accept the validity, and implement in practice, basic tenets like "grain free" existence, that is if you take either an average american or a japanese and tell him/her "from now on, thou shall not eat grains", where the incidence of "are you crazy!?"-like reaction would be higher?
    i personally think that for a japanese ditching rice would be much more difficult and even unthinkable than for a westerner to stop eating wheat: everybody eats rice, in huge quantities, almost three times a day, and, however incredible (and sometimes frustrating))) it may be, stays extremely slim

  2. #12
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    Most people here in Japan (Osaka) are indeed thin, or rather, a healthy weight, but I'm not so sure I'd call most healthy looking. A startling number of people seem to have various skin conditions here... I can't help but think it might be related to carb overload as well as the fact that damn near everything has "salad oil" in it (usually soy bean oil... but non GMO as if that made much difference). The Japanese may have had one of the longer life expectancies, but with all the absolute garbage the postwar generation is eating these days that will likely soon change.

    Some typical breakfasts:
    a slice or two of cloyingly sweet thick cut white bread with jam or honey, juice, maybe some yogurt
    a bowl of rice with some sort of sprinkled topping (maybe natto, maybe dried fish, maybe dried salty shiso), juice / tea, and possibly soup

    For lunch and dinner, if rice is served, it is considered the meal and everything else the accompaniment. And, if there's no rice for some reason, you can bet that there will be some noodle of some form.

    The Japanese aren't fat in general, so perhaps rice at least can't be directly implicated as a cause of obesity. However, I'd be reluctant to call the majority of modern day Japanese adults "healthy". Doubly, nay, triply so for the work-a-day men here... admittedly it's a bit of a stereotype, but all too true at the same time: smoking, drinking, not sleeping, working 10+ hour days 6 days a week, no exercise, and a diet of, while perhaps not fattening, nutritionally dead white rice can't be good for one's well being.

    Do the Japanese in general eat "better" than many western nations? Yes, especially the older generations. Are the Japanese the model of perfect health and longevity that CW would have people believe? Not unless your only metric for healthy is "not fat".

    End mini-rant Japan is a fantastic place to live if you can escape corporate servitude somehow, but there are also an unending number of rant worthy topics -- change is a four letter word here

  3. #13
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    I'm happy I found this thread. I'm planning a trip to Japan next spring for three weeks and I was a little concerned about what I am going to eat since rice and noodles are a large part of the diet. Wheat is also very popular. I love fish and seafood and of course beef, chicken and pork. I would assume I'd be okay with the many vegetables, but I know I'll most likely be tempted into trying many 'unprimal' things. I'll try to stick to markets as much as I can, but I like the suggestion of visiting Yakiniku. Are Yakiniku locations all across Japan? I could totally feast on meat! Cheers

  4. #14
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    Faumdano, I felt the same when I was there. I lived in Aomori and Nagano for a total of 3 and a half years, and anytime I hear a Westerner praising the Japanese for their long life span, I remember that the old people there are pretty much death warmed over. Sure you meet a few spry ones but they are definitely the exception.

    There's always some kind of bug going around, teenagers and adults are chronically exhausted, like you said there are a ton of skin problems, and let's not forget the teeth.

    I found out about the paleo diet and the PB through foreigner friends while I was in Japan. If you think it's difficult explaining this lifestyle to a Westerner, the Japanese are almost impossible. Whereas a Westerner might say, "I can't give up bread. I like it too much!" a Japanese would say, "I can't give up rice. I'm Japanese!" It's such a cultural thing. Suffice it to say that I got some truly incredulous looks when I declined rice at a meal.

    It's a bit more expensive to eat Primally in Japan. I had a lot of chicken instead of beef. Good luck finding a nice fatty roast (or an oven big enough to cook it in, for that matter). Your best bet would be to learn to love seafood, from sea urchins and eels on up, and I mean the whole animal, head and guts and all. Vegetables are all right, and you can get olive oil, but I don't remember seeing coconut oil.

    It is true that the ultra-slim physique is "in," but foreigners are expected to be more muscular when they're not outright fat, so don't worry too much about that.

  5. #15
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    I lived in Japan for five years, all pre-primal though, but I've been interested in good fresh food for a long time. Generally the quality of food is extremely high, Japanese are a nation of serious gourmets though that's not always obvious. Most of the beef you get will be from Australia and all-grassfed, and very nice. Seafood selection is probably the very best in the world. Veggies - the cheaper veg is imported from China, the good stuff is grown in Japan. "Grown in Japan" is about as close as you'll probably get to a "good quality" organic-type designation. If it's a shorter trip, I would encourage you to use up some 20% and try all the traditional foods. BTW, no HFCS, and things are far less sweet in general than the US.

  6. #16
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    Sounds like Japan is where the US was 30-40 years ago - plenty of refined foods, but not heavily overprocessed. Health problems that came from polishing the rice (thanks to the European importation of rice polishers in the late 1800s), but not yet the chronic & debilitating diseases we have.

    It would be interesting to hear what a very elderly Japanese would say about the diet and health of his childhood. Was rice always the centerpiece? And when did it become white? (long before even then, I would assume)
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
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  7. #17
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    Japan certainly has its share of debilitating Western diseases. The thing is that in Japan, serious illness and disability are hidden from public view. There are a ton of disabled people who never leave their homes.

  8. #18
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    Yikes, like that thread last week linking to a news article about the astonishing number of alleged Japanese 100+ year olds who actually couldn't be found, at least one of whom died some 30 years ago! Seems they weren't actually that old; it's just that nobody knew where they were, or when they died, if they had.

    I guess I'm referring to the difference between where we were 30 years ago and the crazy obesity epidemic + cancers & heart disease and such hitting very young people instead of only the old. It shouldn't even hit the old, if you eat unprocessed food, but now we're far beyond even that level of national illness.

    I would love to have had a peek into Japan 200 years ago. Such a beautiful culture, at least looking from the outside in.
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Starting: 185 lbs (March '10)
    Current: 132.5 lbs
    Goal: 135 lbs (Hit Jan '13)
    Beating bingeing since 10/31/11 on my Leptin Reset journey

  9. #19
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    200 years ago Japan was a seriously feudal society. I'm sure it was pretty awesome if you were a male with property.

  10. #20
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    LOL, just a "peek," I said!
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Starting: 185 lbs (March '10)
    Current: 132.5 lbs
    Goal: 135 lbs (Hit Jan '13)
    Beating bingeing since 10/31/11 on my Leptin Reset journey

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