Japan enjoys having one of the lowest heart disease rates in the world. Researchers were so curious as to how the Japanese avoided heart disease that they conducted a study into the matter back in 2008. The following excerpt from Science Daily summarizes the results of the study:
The research, published in the August 5, 2008, issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), suggests that the protection comes from omega-3 fatty acids found in abundance in oily fish. In the first international study of its kind, researchers found that compared to middle-aged white men or Japanese-American men living in the United States, Japanese men living in Japan had twice the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids—a finding that was independently linked to low levels of atherosclerosis.
Japanese people eat about 3 ounces of fish daily, on average, while typical Americans eat fish perhaps twice a week. Nutritional studies show that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish averages 1.3 grams per day in Japan, as compared to 0.2 grams per day in the United States.
Japanese cuisine heavily revolves around the use of oily, fatty fish in its dishes, which is the reason for omega-3 fatty acid levels of people living in Japan. Some of the most commonly used fish in Japanese cuisine include:
Bluefin tuna is one of the most sought-after fish in the world because of its elite flavor and texture. In fact, top-grade bluefin tuna has been known to sell for thousands of dollars in Japan’s iconic Tsukiji market during the New Year. According to experts, bluefin tuna can grow up to 10 feet long and nearly 1,500 pounds.
Also known as Japanese yellowtail, Hamachi is a fish known for its bold, tangy flavor and buttery texture. Japanese restaurants in Sacramento often use Hamachi in sushi and various rolls.
Salmon is well-known for having high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent heart disease. The fact that salmon meat also owns a distinct peach color and rich taste makes it one of the best options for sashimi, especially when prepared fresh.
Fortunately, people do not need to go to Japan to gain the health benefits of its dishes. Many Sacramento restaurants such as Mikuni Sushi serve a wide range of authentic and fusion Japanese dishes that can please any palate. With more studies showing the health benefits of eating more fish, treat your heart (and taste buds) to the top fish in Japanese cuisine.
(Article Excerpt and Image fromJapanese Diet Rich In Fish May Hold Secret To Healthy Heart: Omega-3 Fatty Acids From Fish Appear To Prevent Clogged Arteries, Science Daily, July 29, 2008)