Japanese Diet, Cuisine and Health

Japan is at the top of the list for life expectancy and health. There are strong regional variations although the diet in recent decades has become more westernised and the variations in diet are becoming less distinct throughout Japan.

A wide variety of dipping sauces accompany most meals. Udon is a thick wheat flour noodle and yakisoba is a buckwheat noodle. Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat.

Despite the increase in dairy, egg and meat consumption in recent decades, Japan (according to the National Health and Nutrition Surveys) still consumes a predominately plant-based diet.

Hookaido had the lowest percentage of plant-based foods at 74.5% in 1980 and 82.2% in 2012. In 1980, Kanto II had the highest percentage at 78.2% with Hokuriku topping the list in 2012 with 84.5%.

Australia and the US consume approximately 30% of their diet from plant-based sources.

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