Is there a lot of sugar in Japanese food?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Is there a lot of sugar in Japanese food?” and discuss the health benefits of Japanese food.

Is there a lot of sugar in Japanese food?

No. There is not a lot of sugar in Japanese food. Japanese food is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. 

Seaweeds are also high in iron and calcium in Japanese cuisine (reducing the need for dairy products, notably). It contains extremely little saturated fat. 

It’s low in sugar because Japanese sweets aren’t as sweet (and aren’t served as desserts), and sugar is only used as a condiment in modest amounts in the kitchen.

Is Japanese food healthy?

Traditional Japanese cuisine emphasises whole foods, with a focus on fish, shellfish, and plant-based dishes, with little animal protein, added sugars, or fat. 

It’s inspired by “washoku,” or traditional Japanese cuisine, which consists of small servings of simple, fresh, and seasonally available ingredients. The Japanese diet is based on a philosophy of long life and excellent health. 

Not only is Japanese cuisine delicious and appealing, but it also provides a lot of health benefits. Traditional Japanese cuisine includes unprocessed meals, refined sugar or foods, and huge amounts of grains and vegetables.  

Weight loss, digestion, longevity, and overall health may all be improved by following this nutrient-dense dietary pattern. Here are just a few of the numerous health advantages of eating Japanese food:

  • Reduced risk of Cancers
  • Lower chance of Heart Diseases
  • Nutrient-dense and beneficial compound-rich
  • Potentially enhances digestion.
  • Promotes Healthy Weight
  • Helps you Live Longer

Reduced Risk of Cancers

Hormone-dependent malignancies, such as breast and prostate tumours, are extremely rare in Japan. This is due to a higher diet of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and high-fibre foods, as well as a lower overall calorie intake.

Lower chance of Heart Diseases

The Japanese diet is full of ingredients that help enhance heart health, which explains why there are so few cases of heart disease. 

Furthermore, Japanese food is deficient in components that cause poor cardiac health, such as saturated fats, modified carbohydrates from processed meals, and low sugar consumption. 

Many Japanese meals contain soy, which is proven to reduce the risk of heart attacks and manage blood pressure. Soy is used by the Japanese as a substitute for red meat, which can be heavy in saturated fats. 

Nutrient-dense and beneficial rich compound

Fibre, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and E are all naturally abundant in the traditional Japanese diet. 

Vegetables contribute to the diet’s nutrient richness and are frequently prepared with dashi, a stock made from dried fish and sea vegetables. This reduces their volume while increasing their flavour, making it simpler to consume big quantities. 

Seaweed and green tea are also abundant in the diet. Both are high in antioxidants, which are healthy substances that protect your body from sickness and cellular damage. 

Potentially enhances digestion 

Fibre, a nutrient that assists digestion, is naturally abundant in seaweed, soybeans, fruits, and vegetables. Insoluble fibre aids in the passage of food through the digestive tract and adds volume to the stool, reducing the risk of constipation. 

These meals also contain soluble fibre, which feeds the good bacteria in your stomach while simultaneously reducing the amount of space available for bad bacteria to grow. 

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced when gut bacteria feed on soluble fibre, which may help to reduce inflammation and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. 

Promotes Healthy Weight

Traditional Japanese cuisine is high in veggies, limited in portion sizes, and naturally low in sugar and fat. All of these variables contribute to a reduced calorie intake. This strategy prevents overeating and may help you lose weight by creating a calorie deficit. 

Research suggests that the traditional Japanese diet’s fibre-rich vegetables, soy dishes, and soups may aid in weight control by reducing appetite and increasing fullness. 

Evidence also suggests that switching dishes during a meal, as is customary in traditional Japanese dinners, may reduce the total amount of food consumed per meal. 

Helps you Live Longer

The traditional Japanese diet, according to many experts, is responsible for Japan’s long life expectancy. In 15-year research including over 75,000 Japanese adults, those who adhered to a traditional Japanese diet had a 15% lower risk of early death than those who ate a Westernised diet. 

This enhanced lifespan is attributed to the traditional Japanese diet’s concentration on whole, minimally processed foods, as well as its low added fat and sugar content, according to experts. 

Why is Japanese Food so Healthy?

The rich umami flavour of Japanese cuisine has been regarded as the fifth taste, distinct from sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. In Japanese cuisine, naturally occurring umami enhances the flavour of vegetables and other nutrient-dense foods. 

Another essential component of the traditional Japanese diet is its aesthetic attractiveness. Small bites with chopsticks are used to eat dishes, as this practice is said to create a rich symphony of flavours. 

The beverages of choice are hot green tea or cold barley tea, with alcoholic beverages such as beer and sake kept for dinner. Snacks are rare and rarely consumed. But here’s why Japanese cuisine is so good for you: 

  • Large Variety of Fruits and Vegetables
  • Healthy Teas
  • Plenty of Protein
  • Healthy Options

Large Variety of Fruits and Vegetables

The Japanese diet includes a wide variety of vegetables that are high in key minerals that help with general nutrition. 

Seaweed, for example, is extremely nutritious, including substantial amounts of iodine that can aid in the maintenance of a healthy thyroid. 

Fruit, which is high in fibre and water content, is also taken in large quantities for breakfast and dessert. 

Healthy Teas

Green tea, which has various health advantages, is commonly served with Japanese meals. Green tea has been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, lower cholesterol, and slow the ageing process. 

It also has half the caffeine of coffee and aids in the breakdown of oils in the digestive tract. Green tea’s high antioxidant content also aids in the creation of a relaxed and focused mental frame of mind. 

Plenty of Protein

Japanese culture recognizes that eating high-quality protein sources contributes to a better lifestyle. Many of the foods in Japanese cuisine are high in protein, which is good for your body. 

Some of the most popular staples in Japanese cuisine include fish, chicken, and even tofu. When you eat a lot of protein, your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and even your blood get stronger. 

Protein also contains a lot of iron, which helps to keep your blood oxygenated so it can continue to flow as efficiently as possible. 

Healthy Options

Another fantastic alternative for healthier eating is teppanyaki, which is also a staple of the Japanese diet. Teppanyaki is quite healthy, even though it is fried. One of the advantages of this cooking style is the ease with which it may be prepared. 

Teppanyaki, unlike other restaurants where everything is deep-fried, does not deep fry any of their meals. Instead, foods are cooked on a flat-top grill in a small amount of cottonseed oil. 

You can effortlessly eat knowing you’re putting the right things into your body with selections like fish and vegetables. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Is there a lot of sugar in Japanese food?” and discussed the health benefits of Japanese food.

Hope this blog was helpful. If you have any queries or questions, feel free to comment below. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.