The Japanese are known to be one of the longest living societies in the world. According to studies and surveys, almost 25% of the country’s population is at least 65 years old.

If the government statistics is to be believed, Tokyo will have over 3.1 million people by 2025 who are 65 or above.

The Japanese are expected to live up to 73 on an average without any disability or major illnesses. This study was published in the journal The Lancet.

It has been found that it is the Japanese diet and their lifestyle which are the main reasons for this higher longevity.

In fact, the government has a health care system that focuses on keeping its populations healthier and more productive.



Case of Nagano

There is a place in Japan, tucked away high in the Japanese Alps. While the entire country boasts the highest figures in longevity, this place has had a population that has higher rates of heart attacks, strokes and other health problems.

Nagano has very low temperatures and has no access to agricultural land, fish or seafood. It is considered one of the best examples of why the typical Japanese is considered to be at the heart of the longevity of its population.

Traditional Diet

The traditional Japanese diet comprising of rice, fish and veggies is considered to be the main reason why the people live longer here. At the same time easy and cheaper access to healthcare and a good standard of living, especially in the old age, are considered other important factors.

According to researchers, the Japanese lead a life of healthy lifestyle compared to the rest of the global population. This is primarily because of their diet.

Even Wal-Mart was interested in learning about the food secrets of the Japanese. It was due to this reason that it invested in the local supermarket Seiyu.

Tofu is a staple food here. It is a curd that has soya beans (without cholesterol). It has very low calories and high amounts of proteins.

Shiitake mushrooms are another great addition to this diet. The Chinese medicine has been using it for centuries to strengthen the immune system. it also helps in lowering cholesterol.

Seaweed is another part of the Japanese diet. it has nutrients that help in burning fatty tissue.


Salted Foods

Japanese foods have been found to have high level of salt in them. soy sauce, salted dried fish and pickled veggies are best examples because they are regular part of the diet.

The Japanese have the lowest obesity rate in the developing world. this has been attributed to the tradition of eating small portions. The local practice is to eat only up to being 80% full.

The Japanese food, with its nutritional balance, has been improved along with the country’s economic development. This is also considered to be an important factor.

Health Conscious

The Japanese probably go more for regular checkups than almost anyone else in the world. it is almost a standard norm among everyone here.

The government provides mass screening at the workplace, schools and community levels.

Japanese Government’s Study

The Japanese government initiated the recommended food guide program for the country in 2005. After 10 years, the National Center for Global Health & Medicine, Tokyo studied the findings to learn how it had an impact on the mortality rate.

Over 36,000 men and almost 43,000 women in the age group 45-75 were asked to answer questionnaires that evaluated their foods and lifestyle. These participants didn’t have any history of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, liver disease or stroke. The researchers kept tracking them for 15 years.

The conclusion said that the participants took balanced amount of grains, fruits, veggies, fish, meat, soy products, eggs and energy. They were also found to take balanced amounts of dairy products, alcohol, and confectionaries. This balance helped in increasing their longevity and reducing the death rate mostly because of cardiovascular conditions.