If the information in this book has helped
you in any way, we'd love to hear about it. Please send your
story to Jason@theasiandiet.com
The Asian Diet has been named a Top Diet by US News and
Every year, US News and World Report ranks the best
diets. In 2013, The Asian Diet made it on the list. They refer to it
as the “Traditional Asian Diet” because there is not just one specific
Asian Diet and because the diet is Asia is changing lately as the
Western diet is creeping into their culture (with disastrous effects).
But my book, The Asian Diet: Simple secrets for eating right, losing
weight, and being well, was a main source that US News and World
Report consulted in evaluating the Traditional Asian Diet. 22 experts
evaluated 29 different diets. Read the whole article here at
http://health.usnews.com/best-diet . Here’s what they had to say
about the Asian Diet.
Overall, this diet plan was ranked at #11, but came in 4th
among plant-based diets. One reviewer wrote “the nutritional balance is
better than most other plant-based or vegan diets”. Some of the
negative aspects the reviewers pointed out reflect their interpretation
of the traditional Asian diet and do not reflect the Asian Diet as it is
explained in my book. I will discuss them later.
Will it help you lose weight?
Probably. Research suggests people in Asian countries who follow this
dietary pattern weigh less than their Western counterparts. That’s
likely because it’s high in healthy foods that keep hunger at bay: whole
grains, vegetables, and bean products, for example.
Is it good for cardiovascular health?
It’s likely. Asian diets are low in fat, especially the saturated
variety, and high in fiber, due to an emphasis on fruits and veggies,
whole grains, and rice. And they’re in line with the medical community’s
widely accepted definition of a heart-healthy diet that keeps
cholesterol and blood pressure in check and heart disease at bay.
Is it good for prevention or control of diabetes?
The diet appears to be a viable option for both. Studies have shown
that this type of diet can improve glucose tolerance as well.
Is it safe? The experts
found no possible harmful effects of following this diet plan.
Is it nutritious?
Absolutely. Following the Asian Diet, you should have no trouble
staying within the recommended amounts for: Fat, protein,
carbohydrates, salt, fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin B-12, and
vitamin D. No supplementation is necessary when following the Asian
Is it easy to follow? The
authors said that if you don’t like rice, noodles, legumes, and
vegetables, then it may be hard. But, it is hard to be healthy if you
are avoiding vegetables. We don’t just feed our tongues, so one of the
things we need to do in order to improve our health is to increase the
variety of foods that we eat. If you don’t like vegetables, suck it up
and eat some anyway.
Will I be hungry? No. With
so many fiber packed foods, and with no calorie cap, you shouldn’t go
New review sent in by the editors of a website
The Asian Diet is a straight-to-the-point and reliable book about dieting and weight loss. The problem of obesity in America is worsening to a point where a quarter of the adult population is medically obese. The book tells us that there is a historically proven eating habit that can remedy the problem. If we were to point out a flaw in the book, it would be the title. There is a preponderance to fall back to Chinese Cuisine. Not that we're complaining. The Chinese culture has the oldest continuous record of food recipes and faithfully handed down the generations. The book also mentions Traditional Chinese Medicine, which to the Western culture boils down to tea drinking and acupuncture. There's a lot more. On our side of the spectrum, cosmetic surgery presents a quick and largely cosmetic solution to obesity. Bariatric and lapband surgeries are dangerous and presents a lifestyle that is extremely difficult to maintain. Get the copy of the book now before it's too late! - www.tummytuckcost.com
Excerpts from an email received 12/2/2010
"I have just completed* The Asian Diet and wanted to tell
you that, in my opinion, this is one of the most important books I have
ever read in my 76 years, I use the word "completed" because I believe
it was just that - a course of study and understanding of the principles
you present....As a survivor of five (5) types of cancer (it runs in my
family on both sides) and a long-time diabetic with A1C readings usually
around 5.4, I have always tried to surround myself with positive energy
and maintain good eating habits...As an avid fan of Asian cooking, I am
absolutely delighted to know that my penchant for Japanese noodles and
white rice can once again be on my grocery list. ... I am so glad you
included the section on green tea in your book, because I started
drinking at least 6 to 8, 8-oz. glasses each day since in my early 30's,
when I had my first encounter with cancer. I love the ritual of loose
leaf tea. Since reading (and rereading) your book, I have lost a total
of seven pounds...I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you
for such a marvelous book. I am a native of Chicago and only wish I had
had knowledge of you before I moved.
Most Sincerely, Susan V" (full name withheld)
Laura Cone, a writer for Yahoo!
Associated Content gives The Asian Diet 4.9 out of 5 stars. Read the
Why We Must Override Our Natural Instincts
By Andrew Rader, LAc, MS
Published in Acupuncture Today
January 2010 issue and viewable
...The choices can be broken down into what to eat and
how much. Again, because we in the Western industrialized world can have
these choices, we can consider them a blessing or a curse. To this end, I
will refer to a new book, written by Jason Bussell, an acupuncturist from
The Asian Diet is a book many of us wished we had written.
Bussell wrote it after realizing that he was repeating his advice over and
over to his patients regarding diet and lifestyle. Now he hands them his
book and has them read it. He has assembled the kernels of what he
considers the most important principles regarding diet and lifestyle. He
readily admits that these are his opinions, culled from his own
understanding of Chinese medicine and more recent sources such as
T. Colin Campbell
Pitchford, to name a few.
As a society we have become so focused on the
constituents of food that we have lost the older wisdom of simply seeing
food as whole foods. Jason Bussell notes that since this focus on
nutrients began, we have become more obese and less healthy. Our ancestors
would never have turned down yams or an egg because they were watching
their intake of carbohydrates or were worried about their cholesterol.
They would find a way to balance or offset meat with berries or herbs.
They would eat colder foods in the summer and warmer foods in the winter.
They didn't need studies to figure this out.
Many cultures use chicken soup as a basis for bringing sick people back
to health. We know these things instinctually. So how did we suddenly give
up our collective wisdom around diet and lifestyle, and turn it over to
the folks in white lab coats? The people who peddle industrialized food
know that our reptilian brains crave salt, fat and sugar.
Engineering Our Food
Food engineers can take anything, put salt, fat or sugar
in it, and we will want it. They can create synthetic compounds that fool
us into thinking we are eating sugars (think saccharin). They can create
salt substitutes (MSG). If the compounds are not wholly synthetic, they
can be derived from natural sources, then isolated and concentrated to
levels never seen before on the planet (high-fructose corn syrup). They
can take a naturally occurring fat and put it under tremendous heat and
pressure to create wholly new compounds (trans fats). All of this has been
in the last 75 years. As consumers, we do not have the savvy, nor the
government protections, to shield us from this very focused onslaught. We
are on our own to fend for ourselves. Essentially we must assume that
anything new is unhealthy until proven innocent. This is called the
Fortunately we have other sources to guide us, such as
the collective wisdom of our ancestors, which has been handed down
generation after generation. In the West we do not have much in terms of a
written lineage regarding health and lifestyle. However, Chinese medicine,
which has at least 2,000 years of written history, has been preserved and
utilized through today. Bussell has quotes from these texts in his book,
which helps to give us some perspective when juxtaposed against some
front-page news story that says that
food is no different from nonorganic. When it borders on the absurd,
we just have to find a sense of humor and respond. If someone tells me
organic has no more nutritive value than nonorganic, I ask them, which
they would rather eat: an unadulterated orange or one has been dipped in
There are two aspects to Chinese Nutrition – the theories
about healthy eating which can benefit anybody, and the specifics of food
as medicine, used to treat illness. This slim, approachable book is all
about the first – it aims to explain the main concepts of healthy eating
as understood by Chinese medicine.
The book is divided into small chapters, some only a page or two long,
each on a different topic. So there are chapters on 'soups', 'sugar
substitutes', 'feeding our children', 'supplements', 'tips for losing
weight' and so on. This makes information easy to find, but consequently
there is a bit of a lack of flow to the book as a whole.
Some of Bussell's suggestions are at odds with conventional Western
nutritional ideas, but are perfectly consistent with Chinese thought. For
instance, he advises restricting cold and raw food, and favouring cooked
and warm. This is because cold and raw food takes more processing by the
body, and uses more Qi to digest. The same goes for rice, where Bussell
takes the unusual step of advising white rice over wholegrain. Again, this
is because white rice is much easier to digest and so ultimately provides
the body with more Qi. This last point may seem unusual to those familiar
with western nutritional advice, but reflects Bussell's Chinese training.
In China, wholegrain rice is only fed to animals!
And these are not hard and fast rules – following the overall theme of
'balance and moderation' which Bussell advises for all areas of diet, we
are recommended to eat mostly cooked warm food, and more white rice than
wholegrain, but to ensure that we eat a little of everything, including
raw food and wholegrain rice, from time to time. He says 'every food has
something that nothing else can give us' and 'too much or too little of
any one thing is not a good thing' and so he recommends a far wider
variety of foods than most of us are used to.
Again, following the common Chinese view, he goes to lengths to promote
green tea drinking, proclaiming it 'the greatest beverage in the world'
and claiming that 'quitting smoking and drinking green tea are on the same
order of magnitude in terms of their respective health benefits.' The
properties of green tea which elevate it to this status, according to
Bussell, are that it is fat-burning, improves bone density and stimulates
both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
For each of these suggestions, and the others in the book, plenty of
explanation is given as to why, and how it fits in with Chinese thought.
He is clearly an experienced practitioner and is used to fielding
questions from people who are new to this way of thinking; in this book he
answers all the obvious concerns about what at first can appear unusual
The chapters on 'lifestyle' and 'attitudes' may not seem to fit in a book
on diet, but Chinese medicine is a holistic system, in which the mental
and emotional realms influence and interact with the physical. Bussell
uses these chapters to talk a little about how one's attitudes and
lifestyle can influence health, using concepts from Buddhist thought.
The final chapter gives a breakdown of the actions and effects of 168
common foods, arranged in alphabetical order. It suffers from the
inevitable Chinese bias – including Chinese foods such as musk melon and
lotus root, but has no entry for common Western foods like parsnip, broad
bean or tuna. Nevertheless, it gives a glimpse into the way that food is
seen and understood using the Chinese system – this is the information
that practitioners of Chinese Nutrition use to make dietary
recommendations. For instance, Lamb is listed as sweet and warm and
effects the Spleen and Kidney channels. It boosts the Qi and warms the
centre and can be used to treat lower back pain, postpartum chills and
The main thrust of the information in the book is all about balance,
moderation and variety. Bussell uses plenty of analogies and illustrations
to explain the dozen or so main points to a healthy diet – cooked food is
better than raw, vegetables are better than fruit, simple is better than
processed, dairy isn't so good, and so on.
The tone throughout the book is chatty, informal and colloquial.
Absolutely no prior knowledge is assumed. While this certainly stops it
from becoming too dry or technical, I found it to be too much, and even
slightly patronizing in places.
This is not the most detailed book on Chinese nutrition and diet. Yet it
is slim, accessible and reasonably priced. It is clearly not a book aimed
at the Chinese health professional, but rather a lay guide. It might suit
a complete newcomer to the subject, or someone who wants to know how to
improve their diet without having to learn too much theory or work through
a larger book.
Simple Secrets for Eating Right, Losing Weight, and Being Well
by Jason Bussell, MSOM, L.Ac.
by Michael Abedin
A long time ago, humans found themselves here on
the planet. A couple of hours later, they found themselves here and
hungry, so they started eating things…Jason Bussell,
Imagine a system of healthcare in which you paid your
doctor a monthly fee to keep you healthy, one in which you’d stop paying
him if you got sick, and might even get a refund. The Chinese
came up with that idea a few millennia ago, and it served them pretty well
until the Communists came along. By the time of the Cultural Revolution,
though, Chinese medicine had about a four thousand year foothold, and most
of its principles survived – including the notion that the first thing a
physician should do before reaching for herbs or acupuncture needles is to
restore balance, especially in lifestyle and diet.
In fact, lack of balance in lifestyle, diet, and
attitude is one of the biggest pathologies in Western culture from the
point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (Bussell calls it Oriental
Medicine, which has a cooler abbreviation – OM.)
Are you nuts?
Bussell had a degree in psychology and worked in
psychiatric wards before he decided to become a full-fledged doctor, and
it paid off – based on everything he heard, it seemed like he’d have to be
crazy to be a doctor in the American healthcare system. That’s when he
discovered OM, and he’s now an acupuncturist and herbalist, a
self-proclaimed white guy practicing Oriental Medicine.
The Asian Diet
what its subtitle says – simple secrets about health based largely on
diet, not a collection of magic bullet cures. Some of the secrets won’t be
anything startlingly new to anyone who’s spent any time learning to eat a
Balance and moderation are good in all things,
Dairy isn’t such a good thing, although not just
for the reasons you’d think – it can actually reduce calcium levels in
your bones. (Eggs, by the way, aren’t dairy products.)
Simple foods are better than processed.
Exercise every day (not too much) and don’t get
Vegetables are good.
Other secrets, however,
may border on heresy for anyone who’s made the search for a pure and
perfect diet into a substitute for the religious upbringing that they
thought they’d cast aside years ago:
White rice is better than brown, and shouldn’t be
lumped with white flour and white sugar as part of the Evil Triumvirate
of White Foods. (The brown rice craze started with the original
Japanese macrobiotic movement, which used rice with most of the hull
Vegetables are better than fruit, and fresh fruit
is better than juice. Juice is actually kind of thick and sticky in the
body, just like it is outside of the body.
Cooked foods are better than raw – even
vegetables. Digestion is more important than nutritional value, and
cooking actually starts the digestive process. Fermentation (pickling)
is a form of cooking, prominent in Asia.
Fill your tummy about half full of solids and a
quarter full of liquids (water or green tea) with each meal.
The biggie? Eat animals – ones that had a pretty
good life before they became food, like everything eventually does.
Don’t just eat muscle tissue, though, eat all the parts, and eat small
amounts of mammals, not just fish and chicken. Think of it as sort of
homeopathic, if you need to – and remember that moderation and balance
are the keys.
Like any book about food,
The Asian Diet has a section at the end with recipes and the
benefits of different foods, and this is where Bussell will most likely
open up a whole new market for the idea of a healthy diet from the
Alcohol, it seems, is good
for treating hemorrhoids.
The Asian Diet is published by Findhorn
Press, a prestigious publishing house that had its origins in a spiritual
community in Scotland in the early 1960’s, and is available at bookstores,
Michael Abedin is publisher and editor of Austin
All Natural, a print and online publication in Austin, TX. (512)
Support a Local Author and
Support your Health
by Christy Bonstell, Chicago beauty and health examiner for Examiner.com
Jason Bussell is the president of the Illinois
Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and one heck of a writer
to boot. Bussell, who was interviewed by Examiner.com about a year ago,
recently released a book called "The Asian Diet." The book is not about
dieting, it's about respecting food and the way your body uses that food.
Supplements, lifestyle and other subjects that affect your health,
happiness and weight are also addressed. The book is easy to read, chock
full of helpful information and is actually fun to sift through. If you've
been looking for a way to improve your eating habits that may actually
last a lifetime, this book is for you.
Wonderful Refreshing Book!, June 25, 2009
Sun Wind Pinon
I bought this book for someone else but one peek inside and I was
hooked. Read it cover to cover and am keeping it to refer to. (yes, I had
to buy another for my friend!) What a wonderful book.
The information is clear, common sense, gently put across, and not
complicated. It rang very clear and positive for me and has helped me to
make some important changes in a diet that I thought was pretty good but
now see very logical flaws.
Thank you Jason Bussell! This one is a treasure.
"Enjoyable Read!" A review by internet
journalist Graeme Thompson
A weight loss book that doesn't offer to change
your life in a month? Seriously? In America?
What I liked most about this book is that it takes the long view. The
point is to bring your life into balance by changing your lifestyle
generally, including diet and attitude. It doesn't offer quick fixes, and
Mr. Bussell repeatedly reminds the reader there isn't really any such
Indeed, it's quite possible to read this book as cultural criticism. Why
does dairy have so much power in the US? Why do we eat so much meat? Why
are we the single culture that loves to ice our drinks?
Money drives much of our culture. There is money to be made in creating
problems. Then money is made with promises to fix the problems. Many of
the book's better points are made when the author looks at American
culture through the lens of Chinese thinking. You don't have to be
interested in weight loss to find the conclusions compelling.
Essentially, America is a young nation, and our culture is based on young
ideas. We're excited by excess, and we're continually reeling from one new
trend to the next, while older countries look on: sometimes in amusement,
sometimes in horror.
What does this have to do with why you're fat? The author asks that you
give the question some honest thought. Think about the typical commercial
for an antacid that promises you can continue to eat fried food because
their product blocks the pain signals your body is sending you. Isn't that
typically American to be told, "You shouldn't adapt your diet! Why take
care of yourself when you can have more french fries!?"
Does that really make sense to you? It may *appeal* to you, but is it
advice you'd give someone you care about?
The book is written in a conversational style that's pleasant. There are
instructions, of course, but the author doesn't nag. Instead, we're
reminded to take the long view of everything, including diet. Dump the
microwave and the fast food, and take control of your life by relaxing,
getting enough sleep, and eating real food.
Bussell encourages making small changes for the better now, because even
if you backslide, over time your progress will snowball into a better
quality of life. It's nice to hear that relaxed, longer time-horizon
message. It's a calming counterpoint to a culture that pushes the new and
the now. Perfection, if it comes, is never quick. Relax, get in balance,
and develop healthier habits. Weight loss will follow in time. If this
sounds interesting to you, then buy this book.
Sensible, plainspoken advice - A review by Lucas Davenport, New
In an age where we are inundated by quick fixes and short term
solutions, Mr. Bussell gives us the long view for health and good dietary
habits. This book shouldn't be mistaken for a cookbook, its more like a
bible of good habits. Mr. Bussell sets a simple outline of habits (both
good and bad) and then explains in a conversational tone which habits
those seeking true health should employ. Though it contains some advice
that americans may find anathema (NO DAIRY?!), their rationales are
clearly explained and explored. This is about more than good food for your
body, its about good food for your mind.
From Positive Health Online
In this era of fad diets, detox programmes, and 'superfoods', this
examination of the relationship between diet and lifestyle looks to the
Far East and claims that the simple principles to live by are balance and
moderation. The diet outlined in this book teaches the daily effects that
particular food choices will have-on bodyweight, energy, mood, and the
quality and duration of life. All major food groups are covered, with
additional sections on dietary supplements, lifestyle, and attitude.
What Makes this Book Special?
The information within The Asian Diet is a compilation of the
information Bussell tries to impart to all his patients. It is filled with
advice on how to change your diet, lifestyle and attitudes to improve your
health, vitality and longevity.
What are the benefits of buying this book?
Learn how your food choices affect the functioning of your body and
Learn how to make proper food choices
Learn how to adjust your lifestyle and attitudes to promote health
About the Author
Jason Bussell has a Master of Science Degree in Oriental Medicine; he
is nationally board certified in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the
President of the Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
and is on the Advisory board for curriculum development of the Pacific
College of Oriental Medicine. Bussell has published articles in
Anyone can lose weight and live longer through adhering to the ancient
Asian principles of moderation and balance, says Jason Bussell, author
of "The Asian Diet." Bussel advocates eating plenty of simple grains
and vegetables, some and meat, no dairy and no artificial or
heavily-processed foods along with green tea and soup with most meals.
That's Fit: Can you describe how one can transition from an
"American" diet to an "Asian" diet?
Bussell: The number one question people have about
following these principles is "what about breakfast?" Most of the
foods that comprise the Western breakfast menu are very unhealthy.
Pancakes and waffles are basically desserts. Cold cereals are very
processed, even the "whole grain" cereals are still very removed from
their natural form. Humans are the only animals that have different
foods at different times of the day. I cannot imagine a lion saying,
"I only have Gazelle after 12 p.m." What is good for us at any time is
good for us at all times. In Asia, breakfast looks a lot like lunch
and dinner. They'll have rice, vegetables, fish, etc. Eat when you are
hungry; and eat until your stomach is halfway full with food,
one-quarter filled with liquid (soups and tea) and leave one quarter
empty for processing. You should never go hungry, just keep yourself
fueled with good food. Some people need two meals a day, some people
Unfortunately, many classic American dishes are too heavy on the meat.
Chicken and vegetables would fit into this style provided there are a
lot of different vegetables and not too much chicken. Rice and beans
are good, but you should have some vegetables on the side. Soups are
good as long as they don't have too much salt and are not cream-based.
A hamburger is not a bad combination -- it just has the wrong
proportions. If we put a lot more vegetable toppings, trimmed the meat
to two to three ounces, and had it on thin and sprouted-grain bun,
then that would adhere to the principles. Corn on the cob is great.
Fruit salad is good as long as it is not served too cold. Veggie
kebabs are great. Meat and veggie kebabs would also be fine as long as
there was not too much meat. Serve them with rice and green tea or
water and we've got ourselves an Asian Diet meal.
That's Fit: In your book you say that brown rice isn't as healthful as
everyone says. Can you explain?
Bussell: Brown rice is white rice
with a thick hull around it. It's kind of like eating a walnut and not
taking the shell off. Of course, nature had to put some nutrients into
that shell, but they are not for us. They have a very poor
bioavailability. Our bodies will have to spend more time and energy trying
to break through the shell, most of it will eventually pass through us at
a net loss of energy and a slowing of our metabolism. Brown rice is more
difficult to digest and what we want is efficient digestion.
White rice is the most hypo-allergenic, easily-assimilated and
energetically neutral of the grains. All foods and herbs have properties:
warming or cooling, moistening or drying, activating or sedating, etc.
White rice is neutral, so it will not disrupt our energetic equilibrium.
But balance and moderation are the overriding principles, so you should
not have white rice all the time. Have all the grains sometimes, even
brown rice, but you can have white rice more than any other.
The Chinese eat just about everything. When I was studying there, I was
offered foods that we would never eat here in the West. The fact that they
go to the trouble to polish off the germ layer from brown rice indicates
there must be a good reason. The reason is that it makes the rice easier
That's Fit: Where did you get the idea
for the "Asian Diet"?
Bussell: I am an acupuncturist and
herbalist. In Oriental medicine, it is written that "the superior
physician does not treat sick patients. The superior physician prevents
his patients from getting sick." Acupuncture and herbs can help bring
people back into balance, but we have to look at what got them out of
balance in the first place.
The real treasure of the Chinese culture is that theirs is a 4,000 year
experiment in what works and what doesn't. Their written language allowed
them to record and disseminate their findings, and allowed future
generations to build upon the work that had already been done. They have
figured out a lot about how to live in balance.
With all of my patients, I give them a talk about living in balance
according to the wisdom acquired by the cultures of Asia over the past
several millennia. I go over how we should adjust our diet, lifestyle and
attitudes to promote wellness and prevent disease. Often after the talk,
patients will ask where they can get this advice in a written form. I
searched for years but could not find a good book to recommend, so I wrote
"The Asian Diet."