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The Asian Diet: Slim Down, Live Longer

Diet Secrets, Rice Diet, White Rice

“The Asian Diet,” by Jason Bussell talks about the “ancient principles of moderation and balance” that help people live longer and lose weight.

I tried a version of the Duke University Rice Diet outlined in Woman’s World magazine for my five days on a diet review, and did not have a lot of success so I thought it would be interesting to try the Asian Diet instead.

The Duke Rice Diet, a low-sodium diet, calls for the consumption of a lot of fruit, and is really intended for people who are obese. The Rice Diet emphasized more brown rice, but the Asian Diet suggests white rice.

To see if I could lose a few vanity pounds, I tried the Asian Diet for my five days on a diet experiment. Since I love Thai food and Japanese restaurants, I knew it would be easy.

I read Jason Bussell’s “The Asian Diet,” book and followed his suggestions. It’s an interesting book that helps answer the question, “Is white rice bad for you?” White rice is a staple of the Asian Diet and Asian people are generally trim.

Which is better brown or white rice?

White rice has definitely been given a bad name in recent years. According to Harvard School of Public Health researchers, people they studied who had five or more servings of white rice a week had a 17 percent increased risk of Type II diabetes. Meanwhile, people who had two or more servings of brown rice a week reduced their risk of diabetes by 11 percent. Those are pretty convincing statistics.

But I think it has to be taken in context. People on the Asian Diet generally have a small amount of meat and a lot of vegetables with their white rice. Overall, their diet would not be high on the glycemic index.

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According to author and licensed acupuncturist Jason Bussell, white rice is the best of the grains. He says white rice is made by polishing off the germ layer, which does contain fiber. However, he said the brown rice may exacerbate constipation and slow down metabolism. He compares to eating brown rice with its bran layer to eating a walnut without taking off its shell.

Meanwhile, white rice is easier to digest, gluten free and the most hypo-allergenic. Since white rice does have a high glycemic index, he does suggest eating it in moderation.

Here are a few tips from the Asian Diet from his book:

No 1: Avoid artificial sweeteners.

No. 2: Eat cooked vegetables more than raw.

No. 3: Limit juice.

No. 4: Chew food thoroughly.

No. 5: Drink green tea, but avoid dairy.

No. 6: Fill up on soup and other liquid.

No. 7: Eat fruit in moderation.

No. 8: Eat mostly cooked vegetables and whole grains . Eat all kinds of meats in smaller amounts.

No. 9: Eat white rice as well as other grains.

No. 10: Avoid ice cold drinks that impair digestion.

As a major ice tea drinker, it took me a while to get used to the idea of drinking hot tea. I opted for a lot of soups and stews which curbed my appetite. If you want to prevent winter weight gain, this is a great diet.

I had white rice at my favorite Thai restaurant and a lot of coconut milk curries such as green curry. I limited dairy, and used herbs such as homegrown basil. I also ate Japanese foods.

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After five days on the Asian Diet, I lost 1 pound and felt a lot more energetic and healthy. I give the Asian Diet 4.9 out of 5 stars.

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