Eating less .....
Japanese style. I just had two quotes/sayings to share today. The first is one you may be familiar with:
Hara hachi bu: (腹八分), or hara hachi bunme (and sometimes misspelled hari hachi bu), is a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they are 80 percent full. Roughly, in English the Japanese phrase translates to, "Eat until you are eight parts (out of ten) full", or "belly 80 percent full".
Here is an interesting article, hat tip Sanjeev. It's mostly about the amount and type of fat in the diet, but has a whole lot of information. Perhaps some day I can revisit this or it might find its way to being referenced in various posts. In any case, it concludes with:
In this context, the Japanese way of eating, “eat more kinds of foods, but in smaller amounts,” appears to be the most important instruction for our health.
I think part of the problem in countries like the US is that we are far more conditioned to "clean our plate" than we are to hara hachi bu. My parents' generation grew up through the Great Depression. Mine was raised in a culture of thrift -- getting the most for your $$ -- and finishing what you were given on a plate. But my generation was more affluent than the one before and we were ripe for the supersizing and all-you-can-eat marketing, etc. I'd dare say we "invented" food fads -- how else to explain Starbucks? Energy drinks? Even fancy bottled waters. I don't blame any one factor, rather each factors in more or less for some portion of our population.
The second stuck out at me because the current trends in nutrition be it down the vegan trail or the paleo trail or low fat or low carb ... all involve restricting the types of foods we eat. Harry Mavros has left a smattering of (excellent!) comments here of late, most recently here, that seem to speak to this. We humans are omnivores and extremely adaptable ones at that who seem to be able to thrive on all manner of diets. If we strive for diversity in our diets we minimize the potential exposure to "toxins" (hormetic effect even?) and maximize our potential for meeting our nutrient requirements (e.g. avoid deficiencies and thus avoid the need to supplement) ... probably with less food.