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Learning From The Japanese Lifestyle To Prevent Disease

Although the most recent events in Japan regarding the nuclear tragedy may reduce their life expectancy, if you want to prevent disease via diet and lifestyle, look no further than the Japanese who are at the forefront of disease prevention.

Japan has a lower rate of cardiovascular disease, lower total mortality and higher longevity than most countries in the world. This is attributed to a variety of foods and lifestyle factors. It is exciting because it is a way of life we can adapt without moving to Japan. If we take the diets and lifestyle factors that the Japanese lament, we too can have their long healthy life. The low rates of heart disease were studied extensively and not determined to be due to genetics.

The life expectancy of Japanese women jumped to 86.1 years and 78 years for men with an overall life expectancy of 82.6 years. However, there is a possibility that recent events causing nuclea pollution may dramatically lower life expectancy within the coming decades.

According to Ministry figures, the closest country to Japan is Hong Kong, where overall life expectancy is 79.4 years for males and 85.1 years for females.

The single most important factor to their low rate of heart disease is their intake of n-3 fatty acids found in fish. Interesting to note, the Japanese smoke more than Americans yet their heart is not affected.

The Japanese, due to the high intake of marine n-3 fatty acids, have a lower rate of atherosclerosis to complement the lowest rate of heart disease in the world. At the American Dietetic Association National conference in 2010, “The Great Fat Debate,” took place. The debate included discussions on the Japanese.  Although they have a high intake of fat, the type of fat they eat is the healthy kind.

Along with fish and fish oil, flaxseed is also a reputable source of n-3 fatty acids.


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