Eating in Japan - any tips?

6 posts, 4 contributors

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Brumfoodie DAFNE Graduate
Birmingham Community NHS Diabetes Team
10 posts

I'm off to Japan in a few weeks and have not found many Japanese foods with carb values listed .I know that the standard Japanese rice is low GI and that sushi contains added sugars so I would allow 1CP for each piece. Noodles would be my "safe "option as I think the portions equate to pasta and they are serve with clear soup and vegetables. Is there anyone out there who has any information or links to suitable sites?

QQ DAFNE Graduate
Singapore General Hospital
2 posts

Living in Japan for a few months I find that the food there are generally lower in carbs. If you have difficult calculating the CP, head to their convenience stores to get your food instead. Almost all their food there, including packed bento, contains nutrition labels like carbs and fats.

Look out for this kranji character: "炭水化物". this means carbohydrate content.

Avoid all deserts if possible, high in sugar content.

Brumfoodie DAFNE Graduate
Birmingham Community NHS Diabetes Team
10 posts

QQ - Thanks for the help and advice. I've laminated the kanji for carbs so I can keep it to hand.
The convenience stores are brilliant and I suspect I'll end up using their carbs as a guide for typical quantities. Estimating the carb content of dishes I eat in restaurants will be helped by the plastic versions of the food they sell in restaurant windows . They are so accurate that it will reduce the chance of having an unexpectedly large or small bowl put in front of me.
I agree about the deserts - they seem 90% sugar - but I'm going to treat myself to a traditional "cake" with matcha tea. Last week I found that they are about 3CP each so when we visit a tea room in Kyoto I'll nibble one of the beautiful creations along with everyone else. Very Happy

Brumfoodie DAFNE Graduate
Birmingham Community NHS Diabetes Team
10 posts

The carb content of food in Japan turned out to be pretty simple to estimate. Rice served with a meal was typically 3tablespoons worth -3CP- and noodles were similarly constant in quantity. Portions were small but there was a wider variety of different items in a meal so I got plenty of practice in totalling tiny numbers. I added 0.5 CP to the total of each meal to allow for the sugar included in sauces and pickles served with rice. It seemed to work. Only problem? Eating a fried egg served on a flat plate using chopsticks - but thats another story... Very Happy

JayBee DAFNE Graduate
James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
587 posts

Ooops, I missed this conversation! I've been to Japan twice (once in 2007 and again in 2011) and not had any troubles with food really. Like in the UK, most foods came with labelling which made eating only about as challenging as it is at home. You can get a whole delicious noodle or rice bowl with the carb info in quite a few places!

Sounds like you had a great time! I can't wait to go again myself! ^_^

Gander 7 posts

Sushi is quite easy to estimate actually, particularly maki. As you say there is some sugar in the rice but I find if I have six maki rolls it works out about 70 grams of CHO. Some of the starters are heavily sugared however and best avoided altogether - apart from the seaweed!