Diet Plans And Menus - The Zen Diet

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The Zen Diet was inspired by Japanese nutritional habits. Maybe they know something we don't know, their life expectancy is definitely one of the world's highest. The meals are low-calorie and are mostly based on fish and soy products. Foods such as cold cuts, meat, and desserts should be avoided. Finish your meal with a piece of fruit. Here are some of the diet principles.

It's important to choose the right fats. Avoid saturated fats such as those found in meat and dairy products because they oxidize rapidly. Reduce your consummation of omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids because they can lead to inflammatory illnesses. In their place you are advised to eat omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. Good sources of omega-3 include fish and some cold-pressed oils such as peanut, sesame, soy, linseed, and olive oil. Eat a lot of fish; it furnishes proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It also helps in the fight against high blood pressure, cholesterol, aging, and strokes. Reduce your meat consumption. Eat soy, whole-grain rice, and cereals. Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Fine choices include sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage, and Japanese pears. Don't forget to consume algae, including nori, kombu, iziki, and wakame.

Advantages of the Zen diet include its alleged help in combating atherosclerosis and premature aging. Other claimed heath benefits include reducing the incidence of cancer, some cardio-vascular illnesses, diabetes, osteoporosis, cholesterol, and some menopause symptoms. Its meals are balanced. The major disadvantage is the absence of meat.

Here are two sample menus:

Menu 1
Breakfast: A glass of soy milk. Oatmeal. An orange.
Lunch: Tomato salad. Tofu and ginger brochettes. Rice with lentils. A soy dessert with raspberries.
Supper: Mussel soup. Chicken with bamboo shoots. Rice with onions. 2 kiwis.

Menu 2
Breakfast: A soy dessert. 2 small slices of whole-grain bread. An apple.
Lunch: A two-egg soy omelet. Cucumber salad with celery rave. A vanilla soy dessert.
Supper: Green salad. Herring filet with herbs. Sautéed carrots and bell peppers. A pear.

Some information in this article comes from a fascinating new book, La Bible des Regimes, written by Jenny de Jonquieres and published by Amerik Media. Her book describes over 80 diets and weight reduction programs. Each diet is presented with 5 menu plans, a detailed discussion of its advantages and disadvantages, and lots more. La Bible des Regimes is available only in French at present.


Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine French wine. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website and his global wine website with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines.

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