Home Diet What is The Okinawa Diet: Plan, Food List, and Recipes

What is The Okinawa Diet: Plan, Food List, and Recipes

what is the Okinawa diet

The Okinawa diet takes its name from the Japanese island Okinawa that is one of the places in the world known for the people’s longevity. The island’s cuisine is indeed excellent for combating cellular aging, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, and obesity. This is one system that has a boosted effect on health and wellness.

Unlike the Zero sugar diet plan, the Okinawa diet is low in fat and very low in calories. To select the foods to be preferred, the inhabitants of Okinawa are based on a simple principle: they calculate the energy density of food, in simple words, the caloric value of 100 grams of a product. The foods with a very low density which do not exceed 75 calories per 100 grams and those with the highest density even reach over 350 calories per 100 grams. In this way, the daily diet is stabilized on 1,000 calories with light and healthy foods. No need for diet books or weird diet systems.

For years, scientists have been studying the diet of the Okinawa people to understand their secret to living over 100 years. Scientists and nutritionists have studied the lifestyle of the Japanese island of Okinawa to formulate diets to lose weight with an anti-aging diet. It is a food philosophy that is directly inspired by the diet of the population that lives on the island, seems like this diet helps you live longer.

What is the okinawa diet plan?

The Okinawa diet is based on 80% of vegetarian food, accompanied with fish, rice, soy and green tea, these are the typical products of the Japanese cuisine. They prefer foods such as tea, cucumber, oranges, apples, courgettes, low-fat yogurt, seaweed or potatoes, fish, rice, pasta, legumes, and poultry. Also, they minimize the consumption of the food options whose energy density is higher than 300 calories; some examples are salmon or other types of fatty fish, bread, red meat, dried fruit, pizza, biscuits, nuts, chocolate, butter, oil and all refined cereals in general. This is not a flying fox diet.

According to the authors of the Okinawa dietary program,  the fiber is a really important component; and, is common in the Okinawa people’s diet. Also, there is a high amount of antioxidants (that comes from fruit and vegetables). You may refer to the food pyramid.

Here is a sample meal plan for two days of the Okinawa diet plan, also you can find some tips for your meals during the day. If you are looking for other ways to lose weight, you can take a look at the Yes You Can diet plan.

Day 1

Breakfast: as breakfast, you can have some rice cakes, a soy yogurt, and a source of antioxidants, a green tea. If you don’t like this one you can have some slices of mixed seeds bread, a cup of soy yogurt, one pear, and a cup of green tea.

Snack:  your middle-day snack could be excellent fresh fruit or some raw vegetables. If you want to eat something sweet (sometimes) you can prepare for example a rice cake, that is one typical Japanese dessert. In addition, you can have a centrifuged made with apples, carrots and ginger root.

Lunch: The typical lunch, however, can be a meal of vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli or sweet potatoes, rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. Also are good algae prepared with tofu or added to some vegetables. For example, you can have some brown rice with zucchini and to drink a green tea or maybe your own choice of vegetables (broccoli, green beans, peas, carrots, red peppers) and steamed salmon fillet, one slice of wholemeal bread. This is nothing like the miracle diet.

Snack: for the second snack of the day you can have a soy yogurt or fruit smoothie with lemon juice. This surely will not be a good choice if you are following a Gerd diet menu.

Dinner: dinner is based on protein. For example, you can eat miso soup, shrimp or other steamed fish, accompanied by rice and wholemeal pasta. The fish should be eaten at least three times a week, while red meat is practically absent in this diet. For example, you can have a vegetable soup, omelet with two eggs, one slice of wholemeal bread, green tea or legume soup, a slice of grilled chicken breast, mixed salad, a slice of wholemeal bread, green tea.

Day 2

Breakfast: A native’s ideal breakfast could be like this one blueberry pancakes made with soy milk and fresh eggs, cereals or muesli (oats, rice or quinoa) and three nuts, soy milk or rice milk, an apple, green tea or orange juice with some rice cakes and a green tea.

Snack: yogurt with a teaspoon of honey

Lunch: you can have a salad of carrots, cucumbers with sesame oil and soy sauce then as the source of protein steamed salmon and 30 g of brown rice. Remember some fruit and the green tea.

Snack: yogurt with a teaspoon of honey or a soy yogurt

Dinner: Dinner is best done with fish, at least three times a week, along with whole grains; eat for example miso soup, shrimp or other fish prepared with steamed vegetables, served with rice. For example, you can have a potato, some shrimps and lentils, green tea or mixed vegetable soup, peppers in a pan and brown rice, 1 slice of wholemeal bread, a quarter of a fresh pineapple, green tea. You can have some ideas from the Khloe Kardashian weight loss diet.

The okinawa diet food list

But what do the inhabitants of Okinawa eat particularly? It is a diet very tied to the traditions of the past and the earth where they are consumed in large quantities:

Vegetables: yellow, orange and green, rich in antioxidants and nutrients consumed raw and cooked. In particular, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are full of carotenoids, substances that reduce inflammation, increase growth and development and can improve the function of the immune system, all things critical to maintaining health as we age. Also, they consume a lot of sweet, and the main source of protein comes from soy (tofu). Also the fish which is usually consumed 3-4 times a week and the most common algae are the kombu, the nori, and the hijiki.

Meat: Although the Okinawa diet allows the consumption of meat (for example, beef is usually eaten) it does so in small quantities, especially during parties or special occasions. In the rest of the time, the inhabitants consume mainly vegetable products.

Cereals: to avoid especially those with gluten because of this protein consumed in excess cause digestive problems, inflammation, difficulty absorbing nutrients and allergic reactions. It is more frequently consumed steamed wholemeal rice (although much less than the rest of Japan).

As you see in the meal plan, the Okinawa diet provides a lot of green tea and herbal tea: these are popular drinks in Okinawa.

Dairy products: the inhabitants of Okinawa and most Asian cultures consume very little milk. The alternatives that can be used are coconut milk or almond milk. When they eat milk or dairy products they prefer raw, pasteurization, in fact, makes them lose useful substances.

The okinawa diet recipes

The Okinawa diet recipes are typical of Japanese cuisines, such as sushi, sashimi, miso and miso soup and other dishes based on rice, seaweed, and fresh fish.

Red meat must be banned and replaced by fish. Vegetables must be eaten in abundance, as well as mushrooms and soy.

The miso soup, whose real name is misoshiru, is a typical dish of oriental cuisine, in particular of Japanese cuisine. It consists of broth, tofu, Wakame and miso algae, a creamy consistency, obtained from the fermentation of yellow soybeans.

This soup has very few calories and numerous benefits, due to the presence of vegetable ingredients, rich in vitamins and minerals. Let’s see how to prepare it, following the Japanese recipe.

  • an onion,
  • a carrot,
  • celery,
  • 70 grams of miso,
  • 150 grams of tofu,
  • Two teaspoons of dried Wakame seaweed.

You can easily find all the ingredients in stores that sell ethnic food and in supermarkets, provided with a special department.

Now let’s move on to the preparation. First, wash the vegetables, cut into small pieces and place them in a pot of water, to prepare a broth. Do not add salt and cook for about half an hour. While the broth is cooking, soak the dried Wakame algae. When the stock is ready, add the tofu and cook for about a quarter of an hour. When cooked, remove the pot from the heat and add the miso. Serve the hot soup.

Miso soup: the properties

The miso soup has many benefits, due to the presence of the same miso, algae, and tofu. Miso is rich in proteins, enzymes, vitamins, and lactobacilli. Tofu is an excellent source of vegetable protein; algae contain mineral salts. Enzymes help to restore the balance of the intestinal bacterial flora and raise the immune system. The mineral salts make the alkaline blood, counteracting the excessive acidity due to the diets rich in meat. Finally, it seems that the miso soup has detoxifying properties, enough to have helped the survivors of the atomic bomb to combat radiation. In short, it is really tasty and rich in nutrients! You can also check some potato diet recipes.

Okinawa diet, does it work?

The Okinawa diet, being low in calories, definitely makes you lose weight. Weight loss, however, is not the main benefit. While there are several diets in the market that help you shake off your extra weight, like the Zac Efron weight loss diet, the Okinawa is a completely different story.

  • In this diet more vegetables should be eaten, add mushrooms to your dishes, trying different varieties such as shiitake ones.
  • Remember to choose soy and soy-based foods. Also, pick foods whose energy density is less than 0.7 (water, tea, cucumbers, oranges, apples, courgettes, low-fat yogurt, seaweed) with moderation, foods whose energy density ranges from 0.8 to 1.5 (bananas, potatoes, fish, rice, pasta, pulses, poultry)  reduce to a minimum the consumption of foods whose energy density varies from 1.6 to 3 (fatty fish, bread, lean red meat, dried fruit, pizza, ice cream). The low-fat consumption and the abundance of fiber and Omega 3 (contained in fish, especially in salmon) make it excellent for reducing cholesterol, preventing heart disease and cancer. You can also take a look at the grapefruit diet plan that has been very effective.
  • Avoid red meat; it is recommended to have fish, which should be abundant on tables for at least three times a week. What is also good are legumes;
  • You can consume only occasions foods with energy density is higher than 3 (biscuits, nuts, chocolate, butter, oil).

There are many weight loss systems in the world that have been proven to be effective. You can take a look at what is the BBG diet or even the 21 day challenge diet.