Photo: iStock: Yuuji

Keto diet meets Japanese food


Japanese food and carbohydrates go together like sushi and soy sauce. However, those wanting to explore different eating habits might stumble across the ketogenic (or keto for short) diet. The keto diet is one that is high in fat and incredibly low in carbs but it’s more than just cutting pasta and bread from your meals. The aim of keto is to keep your carbs under 20-50 grams (for reference, one medium-sized apple contains around 20 grams of carbs.) 

While the most common reason to follow the keto diet is for weight loss purposes, keto can have multiple health benefits. Research suggests it can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and heart disease, helps people to manage diabetes by improving their insulin sensitivity and lowers cholesterol.

It’s hard to believe that these benefits could derive from such a high-fat diet. By replacing your carbohydrate intake with fat, your body is put into a metabolic state known as ketosis, in which your body produces ketones (by-products of fat breakdown) to use for fuel.

While the keto diet is much less commercialized in Japan than in the west, many traditional Japanese dishes are more keto-friendly than you might think.

Please be advised I am not a nutritionist; this content is based on my own experiences and research.

Keto-friendly Japanese dishes

Many Japanese dishes have an abundance of fresh vegetables with every serving, all of which change with the season. Below are a few classic Japanese dishes that are suitable, or can be tweaked, to match the keto lifestyle.


Photo: iStock: kazuma seki

Fans of the beloved Japanese chicken dish will be delighted to hear that yakitori (skewered grilled chicken) remains very much on the menu. Yakitori is an ideal high-protein and low-carb dish. For flavor, choose the salt option as it contains less sugar than tare (soy basting) sauce.

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Good luck getting them to give up rice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The keto diet really does work well in keeping you healthy. It causes the body to make and burn ketones, which is produced when glucose (produced when eating sugar, gluten, and carbs) levels drop. You're basically running on energy from burning fat.

Sugar and carbs spike insulin - which eventually causes insulin resistance, which is the major culprit in causing diabetes as well as weight gain and bloating. I've also read a lot of literature claiming that cancer feeds on sugar too.

I've been on the keto diet and it's kept me pretty healthy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

None of that muck for me, please...I am having the Potato Carbonara.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites