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Diet and Culture. Asian Diet American Diet French Diet Middle Eastern Diet. Diet and Culture. Asian Diets Juliana Yee. This is the U.S. Food Guide Pyramid developed by the USDA. Especially note differences such as the placement of Meat on the pyramid, as well as Fats, Oils and Sweets. .

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Diet and Culture

  • Asian Diet

  • American Diet

  • French Diet

  • Middle Eastern Diet

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Diet and Culture

Asian Diets

Juliana Yee

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This is the U.S. Food Guide Pyramid developed by the USDA.

Especially note differences such as the placement of Meat on the pyramid, as well as Fats, Oils and Sweets.

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Research shows:

Plant-based rural diets

in Asia are linked to

lower rates of certain

cancers, heart disease,

obesity and osteoporosis.

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Rice, Noodles, Bread, Millet, Corn and other Whole Grains

Rice provides 25 to 80 percent of calories in the daily diet of 2.7 billion Asians

The percentage of starch component amylose preferred by Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China: 10-18% (low)

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Red Yeast Rice

  • Heart-Healthy Benefits:

  • lowers levels of LDL (bad cholesterol)

  • Increases levels of HDL (good cholesterol)

  • Lowers levels of triglycerides (unhealthy fats)

Active Ingredient: Mevinolin.

Restricts the liver’s production of cholesterol. Also, Mevinolin is chemically identical to the cholesterol-lowering compound lovastatin, which is sold as the prescription drug Mevacor.

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Fruits, Legumes and Vegetables

  • The main sources of protein in the traditional Asian diet

  • Also contribute to fiber, vitamins and minerals

  • Legumes offer a variety of beneficial isoflavones (primarily found in soybeans) which promote bone health and reduces risk of both cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.

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  • Generally consumed in low amounts in diets of east and south Asia.

  • The plant-based, dairy-free diets of much of Asia are associated with low incidence of osteoporosis

  • Asians are generally intolerant to milk

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Health Benefits: Green Tea

  • A natural phytochemical in tea, called EGCG, can block several enzymes necessary for the reproduction of cancer cells.

  • Polyphenols in tea can inhibit cell damage linked with cancers of the skin, lung, colon, liver and pancreas.

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Food Guide Pyramid

  • An outline of what to eat each day for good health

  • Focuses on fat and sugar

  • Conveys 3 main messages:

    • Eat a variety of food in each group

    • Balance food intake

    • Eat in moderation

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Builds and maintains tissues

Muscles, organs, and some hormones


Eggs, dairy products, meat, nuts, beans

Amino acids

Essential amino acids

Must be supplied from foods

Limiting reactant

Complete proteins

Meats and dairy products

Complementary proteins

Fruits and vegetables


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Proteins (Continued)

  • Recommended daily allowances

    • 0.42 g/lb body weight

  • Excess protein

    • Common in US

  • Protein deficiency

    • Abnormalities of growth

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Chief source of energy for all body functions and muscular exertion


Whole grains, fruits, vegetables


Sugar and white flour


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Carbohydrates (cont)

  • Atkins diet

    • Little amount of carbohydrates consumed

    • Stored glycogen is broken down for energy

      • Water is released and excreted

  • Recommended daily values

    • 60% of daily Calories

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Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products

Recommended daily allowance

30% of daily Calories

Actual daily amount

40% of daily Calories


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Heart Disease

25% of Americans have a cardiovascular disease


High blood pressure, increased weight, and high cholesterol levels

Heart-Healthy diet

Low in sodium, cholesterol, and fat


Leading cause of preventable death

64% are overweight

30% are obese

Obese children

Less exercise, more fattening foods

Risk for heart disease, heart failure, stroke, cancer

Nutrition-related Diseases

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French Diet

By John B.

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Typical French Diet


-Some meats and “charcuterie”



-A variety of Cheeses


Meals often include a small green salad, and finish with cheese as dessert.

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Wealthy French diet

  • Rich and creamy sauces

  • Pastries

  • Sweets

  • Fats

  • Cheeses

  • Breads

  • Pates

  • Wine

A typical meal served in American “French” restaurants is very similar to that consumed by the wealthier classes.

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French Traditions

-Breads, Crossants and


-Strong coffee


-France is probably more famous for its wines than any other country in the world.

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French Food Pyramid

It is very similar to the American Food Pyramid

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Primary Religions in the Middle-East

While looking into the Middle-Eastern diet, I decided to explore the effect of religion on diet. In some religions there are dietary laws prohibiting certain foods. In Jewish and Muslim dietary laws, the main restriction is pork. Since the majority of the Middle-Eastern population consists of Muslims and Jews, my main focus became this question: what are the benefits and disadvantages of a diet without pork?

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The Middle-East consists of mainly third world countries. Because of this lack of wealth, many people cannot afford to buy food in large quantities as Americans do so often. In order to make their food last longer, they use methods of food preservation, including smoking, salting, spicing, and candying. These methods not only help prevent the food from spoiling, but cover up the rancid taste when it does. This prevents enzyme reactions and microbial growth by the addition of certain chemicals.

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  • Encarta Encyclopedia







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Bibliography cont’d.

  • www.News.cornell.edy/science/Dec95/st.Asianpyramid.htm