We all read about the health benefits of Korean food. In fact, it’s hard to find press releases about Korean food that don’t put its health at front and center. Now, I’ve stated before that the big backlash going on in America against the awful health food that’s been marketed to the public since the ’80s makes it a bad environment to promote yet another food as ‘healthy.’
Yet the other risky bit about putting all your eggs in the well-being basket is this: what if it was found that the food was not healthy?
The KFDA (Korean Food and Drug Administration) is investigating the salt content in the Korean diet. This is a brave thing for them to do, in my opinion. The findings could be damaging to this national morale that has placed so much hubris on the infallibility of its cuisine.
Korean food is salty. Kimchi is salty. Half the banchan is salty. That’s why the other dishes are so bland. It’s to counter the salt. So the KFDA is going to find if the Korean diet affects Koreans’ blood pressure and is even hinting that high kimchi consumption is the connection with Korea’s high stomach cancer rate (well, actually, a study by Korea’s National Cancer Center supports that statement). Koreans already take in twice as much sodium as recommended by the World Health Organization.
Well, to be fair, every diets have it’s great points and short-comings. It would be interesting to see what the trade-offs would be for adopting a Korean diet or any of the other “health-conscious” lifestyles out there.
I’m not surprised, the first year I lived in Korea I gained weight and wondered why since Korea was known for it’s ‘healthy’ food. Later I realized the food contained a lot of salt and so I’ve cut back on the Korean food to a healthier portion than the massive portions I used to eat.
Of course, Korean is healthy, but like souggy said, “every diets have its great points and short comings.” I’m glad Korea is finally addressing this issue since I feel they should make aware of the high sodium content in those certain traditional Korean dishes.
Korean food does indeed have a lot of salt… just like Chinese food (like orange chicken or fried rice) has a lot of oil and fat… more so than one would think.
The bigger question is… is Western food even more unhealthy???
Between sodium levels in korean food and smoking amongst koreans, I truely believe that there is a correlation to heart disease. Saturated fats levels are on the rise with a higher consumption of animal meat and processed oils such as palm and peanut. Koreans believe that their cuisine is superior to everyone else’s yet when you’re on a “modern” korean diet, it can be far from healthy.
Going back to the old days of rice, vegetables, fermented foods and fish might change things around.