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The Role of the Japanese Traditional Diet in Healthy and Sustainable Dietary Patterns around the World

Science Group, Global Communications Department, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., 15-1, Kyobashi 1-Chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8315, Japan
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Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10020173
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 3 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Nutrition and Metabolic Syndrome Management)
As incomes steadily increase globally, traditional diets have been displaced by diets that are usually animal-based with a high content of “empty calories” or refined sugars, refined fats, and alcohol. Dietary transition coupled with the expansion of urbanization and lower physical activity have been linked to the global growth in the prevalence of obesity, overweight and life style-related non-communicable diseases. The challenge is in how to reverse the trend of high consumption of less healthy food by more healthful and more environmentally sustainable diets. The increasing recognition that each individual has specific needs depending on age, metabolic condition, and genetic profile adds complexity to general nutritional considerations. If we were to promote the consumption of low-energy and low salt but nutritious diets, taste becomes a relevant food quality. The Japanese traditional diet (Washoku), which is characterized by high consumption of fish and soybean products and low consumption of animal fat and meat, relies on the effective use of umami taste to enhance palatability. There may be a link between Washoku and the longevity of the people in Japan. Thus Washoku and umami may be valuable tools to support healthy eating. View Full-Text
Keywords: healthy dietary patterns; Washoku; umami; glutamate; taste; Japanese cuisine; traditional diets; vegetables; taste receptors; dietary guidelines healthy dietary patterns; Washoku; umami; glutamate; taste; Japanese cuisine; traditional diets; vegetables; taste receptors; dietary guidelines
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Gabriel, A.S.; Ninomiya, K.; Uneyama, H. The Role of the Japanese Traditional Diet in Healthy and Sustainable Dietary Patterns around the World. Nutrients 2018, 10, 173.

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