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People do enjoy Western desserts like ice cream and cakes, but they're usually offered in smaller portions and subtler flavors compared to the West.
A cup of Japanese green tea is the perfect end to any meal. It only takes a few small changes to make the Japanese diet even healthier.
Veggies are served simmered in seasoned broth, stir-fried in a small bit of canola oil, or lightly steamed -- all methods that maintain a maximum amount of nutrients. Fish, especially fatty fish -- like Japanese favorites salmon and fresh tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring -- are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their heart-health and mood-boosting benefits, Moriyama tells Web MD.
And though Japan accounts for only 2% of the world's population, its people eat 10% of the world's fish.
"You don't have to shrink all your portions, just portions of high-calorie, high-fat foods," she says. The Japanese diet includes huge amounts of rice -- six times more per person than the average American's diet, Moriyama tells Web MD.
A small bowl is served with almost every meal, including breakfast.
"The magic of Japan-style eating is a healthier balance of filling, delicious lower-calorie foods, presented with beautiful portion control in pretty little dishes and plates," Moriyama says.
In this sauteed dish the burdock combines beautifully with the sweet carrots, red peppers and roasted sesame seeds.
Research shows that when we're served more, we tend to eat it -- whether we planned to and were hungry for it or not.
People eat up to 45% more food when served bigger helpings, scientists from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign report.
In a study from Pennsylvania State University, researchers served women meals that were 25% smaller than average and contained 30% fewer calories according to the principles of energy density.
They ended up eating an average of 800 calories less per day -- all without even missing the extra food. In Japan, food is served on separate small plates and bowls instead of on one big plate.