Eating Fish as a Whole

Sachiaki Takamiya explains that sa represents Sakana (fish); Japanese people have a lot of fish in their washoku diet (traditional Japanese diet) since fish has always been available in their land. Some fishes are important because they provide certain nutrients which can be difficult to obtain from plant-based foods. However, he shares that it is not recommended to have a daily consumption of fish – occasional intake is enough.

Sachiaki: Some people may not think fish is good for you, especially if you are you know, vegetarians or vegans. In Japan, we have a lot of fish in our washoku diet.

Partly because Japan is a small island surrounded by the ocean -- the fish has always been available in our land. So it became very common. In ikigai diet, although we do recommend fish, not so much compared to other mago wa yasashii.

Fish is maybe, you know, eating occasionally is okay but not something you want to eat every day. But I do still think some fishes are quite important because they provide certain nutrients which are difficult to get from plant based food.

For example, you know, omega three fatty acid called EPA or DHA. Those are abundant in fish like sardines or mackerels, and they are difficult to obtain from plant based source.

So I think provided that you find a wild fish maybe occasionally, it is okay to have those types of fish.

Nick: And you recommend eating whole fish over, for example, fillets of fish or I guess in the case of sushi sliced fish, so you recommend eating small whole fish, don't you?

Sachiaki: Yes, I do. This is something maybe we are going to talk about sometime in the next few episodes. But there is a concept called Ichibutsu Zentai Shoku in Japan, which means eating whole foods.

And in the case of fish, it is better to eat fish as a whole than eating a part of fish. So that means eating small fish instead of big fish. When we eat tuna, we don't eat the whole tuna, we just cut the tuna and eat only a part of it.

But if we eat sardines, on the other hand, we eat the whole fish. So it is considered better to eat small fish than eating a part of a big fish.