The secret of Japan’s high life expectancy is the country’s government-endorsed food guide that encourages a nutritious and healthy diet, a new study suggests.
The average Japanese eats rice, vegetables, fruit, fish, meat and foods that are high in carbohydrates, the Independent reported. They also try to stay away from saturated fats and any type of processed food.
Such a diet is the result of the recommended food guide which was initiated by the Japanese government in 2005.
To check if the proposed eating habit had made an impact on Japan’s mortality rate, scientists from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo studied its effect on the citizenry more than 10 years after it was introduced.
The research team took and analyzed the responses of 6,624 men and 42,920 women aged 45 to 75 to the food and lifestyle questionnaires that they had prepared.
All the test subjects, who had no history of cancer, stroke, heart or chronic liver diseases, were tracked for 15 years.
They found that the participants who religiously stuck with the food guide had a 15% lower mortality rate. These subjects were further observed to be less likely to have cerebro-vascular diseases, some of the top causes of death in the world.
“Our findings suggest that balanced consumption of energy, grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, soy products, dairy products, confectioneries, and alcoholic beverages can contribute to longevity by decreasing the risk of death, predominantly from cardiovascular disease, in the Japanese population,” the study concluded.