“It’s Good for your Health”

8 12 2009

by Randy Pulayya

After a few months in Korea, it became apparent that people love to take care of themselves. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world it is always important to spend time taking care of yourself. Everything from what we eat and drink to products that we put into our body has a lasting effect and will catch up to you in the end. The next three posts will give you an idea of how Koreans are so health conscious.

Korean food is much healthier than American food. It has less fat and more vegetables. One of the first things that we recognized in Korea is that there are very few obese people. Koreans always say “it’s good for your health.” It’s true. All of their food, if cooked and prepared properly is good for you. Their diet consists of everything from beef, pork, chicken, fish, octopus, squid, tofu, kimchi, cabbage, radish, collard mustards, lettuce, onions, ginger, ginseng root, other types of herbal roots and of course rice and noodles.

A Korean meal consists of a main dish, banchan (side dishes) and soup. The main dish is typically a fish or meat item. Banchan, or side dishes, includes kimchi, pickled cucumbers, pickled radish, white radish, tofu, etc. (There are countless items that can be included in the category.) At the end of the meal, you have to ask for soup. The most common soup is called doenjang jjigae (된장찌개), which is made from soy bean paste. Doenjang is a traditional Korean food that is fermented from soy beans. It has been a fixture of the Korean diet since the beginning of time. Recently, it has received great attention from western medicine for its nutritional and medicinal value. Doenjang is effective in preventing cancer. Soybeans, the main ingredient of doenjang, contain high quality proteins in the form of amino acid, which aid in digestion.

After three months, I have lost more than 16 pounds! I came to Korea and wanted to lose between 5-10 pounds but without even trying, I lost even more. I accomplished this by just eating the food and walking 20 minutes to and from work everyday. This is proof that Korean food is so much healthier than American food.