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How Eating a Japanese Diet Promotes Senior Health

By Lauren Robison, 9:00 am on

A recent study read by the New Hampshire home care professionals at Home Care Assistance suggests that it may be wise for seniors to take a cue from Japanese dietary guidelines. In fact, considering such guidelines may help seniors reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other ailments that can affect life expectancy. In addition to dietary recommendations, there are other elements of a typical Japanese diet that can help seniors make wise choices.

Lessons from the Spinning Top

While the traditional food pyramid long-touted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture can serve as an useful dietary guide, the Japanese government believes similar benefits can be achieved from the spinning top, the symbol associated with their food guide. The Japanese food guidelines go beyond simple dietary recommendations by also suggesting that:

  • Well-balanced meals should include a staple, main dish, and side dish
  • Daily food intake should be tracked to better monitor your diet
  • Meals should include local food products and some new and different dishes
  • A healthy rhythm should be established by adhering to regular meal hours

Reduction in Stroke Risk and Mortality

Japanese researchers assessed the success of the dietary guidelines based on input from men and women ranging in age from mid-forties to mid-seventies. Researchers noted a 15 percent reduction in the mortality rate among those studied during the 15 years that the participants were followed, an association attributed to a reduction in deaths from stroke and similar conditions linked to blood-flow issues. Stroke ranks behind cancer and heart disease as the third leading cause of death among seniors.

The Japanese dietary guidelines allow for a fairly diverse and flavorful diet. The Okinawa diet, based on dietary habits of an area of Japan with an exceptionally high life expectancy, is a variation that includes a mix of green and yellow vegetables, pork, soy, legumes, and less polyunsaturated fats. Portion size is also carefully monitored.

At Home Care Assistance, all of our customized care plans include the use of the Balanced Care Method, designed to promote the same health and longevity experienced by the elderly in Japan. Using the Balanced Care Method, our caregivers help seniors maintain a healthy diet, social and mental stimulation, and emotional wellbeing.

To learn more about BCM or any of our care services, including dementia and Alzheimer’s care New Hampshire families trust, give us a call at (603) 471-3004. Our friendly Care Managers can answer your questions and schedule a free in-home consultation.