Food less meat, more vegetables in ancient China

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Over the centuries, due to natural, economic and social conditions, the traditional Chinese diet has revolved around vegetables, rice and soybeans, while meat is secondary, according to Lan Tan., owner of a Chinese culinary establishment in Durham, New York.

"I forgot how healthy Chinese food was, until my mother came to visit me from Taiwan," Tan said. "She only uses 150 grams of meat for 6 people to eat".

The truth is so. "The traditional Chinese diet is very healthy," said Professor T. Collin Campbell of the Department of Nutrition, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Professor Campbell is the project director of cooperation between Cornell - China - Oxford on Nutrition, Health and Environment. He has been tracking and studying the eating habits of residents in 100 villages in rural China since the early 1980s.

According to Campbell's study, meat makes up only 20% of the Chinese diet. Thus, their traditional diet is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients.

In rural China, the incidence of terminal diseases such as breast, colon and rectal cancer is much smaller than in the US, where the main food is meat. The proportion of people with type 2 diabetes is also not much.

So what does a traditional Chinese meal include? Shiny Qin, an accountant in New York, recalls her childhood in a village near Shanghai: "The new day usually starts with a bowl of rice porridge. At noon, we have rice and vegetables, Add a bit of meat for flavor. The dinner will have four main courses: At least one of them is green vegetables, tomatoes or sweet potatoes, the other is tofu and some pork or beef.

Với nguyên liệu chủ yếu có nguồn gốc thực vật, chế độ ăn truyền thống của Trung Quốc mang lại nhiều lợi ích cho sức khoẻ. Ảnh: Deutsche Welle.

With ingredients primarily of plant origin, the traditional Chinese diet offers many health benefits. Ảnh: Deutsche Welle.

The Chinese way of stir-frying vegetables, which is also familiar in Vietnam, helps retain vitamins, fiber and minerals. For steamed vegetables, you should also make the soup ripe enough to not lose nutrients.

Stir-frying vegetables is a smart way to combine meat with a variety of healthy vegetables like bell peppers or bean sprouts. In stir-fried dishes, meat should only make up a small proportion.

Not only with stir-fried vegetables, you can add fruit to yogurt, cut carrots, onions, mushrooms or beans into sauces, or simply slice the green leafy vegetables into sandwiches, sandwiches to fit. nutritional supplement, just creates flavor for dishes.

At the end of each meal, fresh fruit is often indispensable for the Chinese. Fruit is not only low in calories but also provides plenty of fiber, folic acid, vitamins A and C, helping to fight many diseases.

The traditional Chinese diet is easy to follow.

"The closer you get to a frugal, plant-focused diet, the more you'll benefit," says Professor Campbell.

Mai Dung (Theo WebMD)

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