The nutritional diets of Eastern and Western people differ. 东西方人的营养饮食不一样

The nutritional study we are currently discussing is largely based on the perspectives of Western nutritionists, and, of course, is influenced by the dietary habits and food choices of Westerners. It is certain that the dietary habits of people from different regions and the crops produced in their respective locations will inevitably differ. Therefore, if we discuss dietary nutrition based on a particular ethnicity, it is not necessarily applicable to people in different regions with diverse climates.

So, what about the dietary culture and commonly consumed foods of the Chinese nation?

Chinese culinary culture has a long history, evolving from the initial practice of roasting food on stones to the development of eight major culinary styles, four renowned dishes, and various cooking methods such as stir-frying, braising, pan-frying, boiling, steaming, roasting, and cold mixing.

Prehistoric Period:

  • The earliest crops in China were rice (rice) and millet (millet), cultivated around 7000 years ago.
  • Initially, there were no specific cooking methods; rice and millet were made into porridge, complemented by hunted meat and gathered wild fruits.

Pre-Qin Period:

  • The variety of food gradually increased, featuring the “Five Grains” (rice, millet, barley, wheat, and beans) and the “Five Vegetables” (sunflower, shepherd’s purse, Chinese wild rice stem, scallion, and garlic chives).
  • Despite the low grain yield, the main cooking methods were boiling or making a mixed stew, known as “geng.”

Qin and Han Dynasties:

  • The main foods were beans and millet porridge. The appearance of the wok (prototype of the pot) for stewing dishes emerged.
  • However, there were few seasonings and spices, resulting in less flavorful dishes.
  • Subsequently, Zhang Qian brought back grapes, pomegranates, and garlic from the Western Regions, but these were mainly consumed in the imperial court and rarely reached the common people.

Tang Dynasty:

  • Common foods included beans, sunflower, noodles, pancakes, and pork. The standard of living for common people improved, and the nobility could enjoy grape wine and tea.
  • With agricultural development, rice became more common, and people could now consume rice directly instead of making porridge.
  • In addition, during the Tang Dynasty, there were already dairy products such as yogurt, mare’s milk, and cheese, significantly enhancing the overall deliciousness.

Song Dynasty:

  • The peak of ancient culinary development was influenced by the rise of maritime trade and economic development.
  • Iron pots and late-night snacks became part of the public’s life.
  • The Song people creatively expanded the use of noodles. New crops such as pineapples, radishes, cucumbers, eggplants, winter melons, and bamboo shoots entered the scene.

Ming Dynasty:

  • Developed maritime trade brought chili peppers to China, gradually spreading from the southeastern coast to the northwestern inland.
  • Various grains from the Americas, such as corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, pineapples, and green beans, gradually entered the market.
  • However, these ingredients remained precious and were mainly consumed by the nobility, while commoners still struggled to access them.

Qing Dynasty:

  • The population surged from 60 million to 400 million, and the widespread cultivation of foreign root crops such as potatoes and sweet potatoes ensured that common people could eat their fill.
  • Cooking techniques had approached modern standards, and many present-day delicacies have roots in the Qing Dynasty.

In summary, the traditional Chinese diet is centered around grains, vegetables, and stewing. Extensive barbecues and meat consumption are not typical of Chinese dietary habits. This implies that when Chinese friends are seeking a diet and nutrition beneficial to their health, they should not blindly follow Western practices. Dietary choices should consider individual cultural backgrounds and health conditions, reflecting the complexity and richness of culinary cultures worldwide.

我们现在谈的食物营养学,绝大多数都是来自西方营养学者的观点,当然也就受到西方人们的饮食习惯和食物选择的影响。

敢肯定的,来自不同区域的人的饮食习惯和其所住的地点所盛产的粮食也必然有其不同的地方。所以,若是按照一个人种来谈到饮食营养,肯定是不一定适合各地、不同气候人们所沿用。

那么,中华民族的饮食文化和所常吃的食物又是什么呢? 中国的饮食文化源远流长,从最初的放在石上烤炙,而今发展出八大菜系、四大名菜、炒、烧、煎、煮、蒸、烤和凉拌等烹饪方式。

史前:中华最早的农作物是水稻(大米)和粟(小米),最早种植时间大概在7000年前,最初食用没有特别的烹饪方法,把大米和小米做成米粥,再加上狩猎而来的肉和采集的野果,大概能果腹而已。

先秦:饮食的丰富性逐渐提升。有五谷(稻黍稷麦菽)和五菜(葵藿薤葱韭)。但是粮食产量不高,基本以水煮为主,或者全部放在一起做成大杂烩,也就是古人说的“羹”。 秦汉:主食以豆子、粟米粥为主,烹饪器具出现了镬(锅的原型),主要用于炖菜,但那时候调料和香料太少,做出来味道不好。后来张骞从西域带回了葡萄、石榴和大蒜,但基本只在宫廷里,很少流入民间。

唐代:这时候主要的食物是豆子、葵菜、面条、烧饼、猪肉等,老百姓生活水平提高,贵族还能喝上葡萄酒和茶。同时随着农业发展,大米已经比较普遍,不用煮成粥了,可以直接食用米饭。此外,唐朝已经有酸奶、马奶、干酪等奶制品,美味程度大幅提升。

宋代:古代饮食发展的巅峰,源自于海上贸易的兴起带来经济发展,铁锅和宵夜出现在大众的生活中,宋人把面食“玩出花样来”,同时还有菠萝、萝卜、黄瓜、茄子、冬瓜、竹笋等新型作物的进入与种植。

明代:发达的海上贸易为明朝的中国带来了辣椒,逐渐从东南沿海逐步向西北内陆蔓延。玉米、马铃薯、红薯、花生、西红柿、菠萝、豆角等各式来自美洲大陆的粮食作物也逐渐进入市场,但这些食材依旧珍贵,只有贵族能吃上,平民百姓依然吃不上。

清代:随着人口从6千万激增到4亿人,土豆和红薯等外来根茎类作物的大面积推广,让老百姓都能吃饱饭了,当时的烹饪技术已经十分逼近现代水准,现在有的美食有不少都可以在清代见到影子,当时的乾隆皇帝更是满清第一吃货和美食家,他和美食的故事更是数不胜数。

从以上我们可以看到,华人的传统的食粮还是以谷类、蔬菜、炖煮为主。大量的烧烤和肉食并不是华人的饮食习惯。这意味着,在华人朋友们在寻找对自己健康有益的饮食和营养时,不能完全追随欧美的说法。