The Comparison of Chinese and American Diets

Food, similarly to water and air, is believed to be one of the most significant things on the globe. One cannot exist without food; therefore, people of various regions esteem the diet to such an extent that they have created their own distinct diet cultures. People’s life standards are developing and changing every day together with economic progress. There are so many different meals in the world that people have an absolute freedom of choice. Everybody knows that the nutrition is one of the major physical requirements, and it has the central status in the life of each person. Practically every country in the world demonstrates extensive cultural background which has gone through a long history, experienced numerous alterations, and finally, formulated its current set of the cultural system. This paper will demonstrate the tremendous differences between the Chinese and American diets.

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Diet is a cultural acquisition which is handed down from generation to generation in different states of the world. The majority of countries and nations developed their own specific and distinctive peculiarities regarding diets which appear to be highly consistent. The traditional Chinese food is characterized by decreased or moderate quantities of animal-based protein and a multitude of plant-based foods. The Chinese diet is one among numerous traditional food styles which has obtained commendation for its disease-combating capacities. The Chinese cooking is more than merely a tasty and splendid manner of preparing a meal, as it utilizes food as a therapy to balance the body during the seasons. Strategical mixtures of spices and flavors redound to the healthy and tasty characteristics of this diet. The traditional Chinese cuisine utilizes vegetables that have been gently steamed or stir fried with such sources of carbohydrates as rice, noodle soups or dumplings. Fish and meat are also important constituents of the Chinese traditional food but they are consumed in much smaller quantities as compared to the typical American diet.

American cooking styles demonstrate a tendency to utilize spices in order to obtain flavor increment while Chinese cooking styles add spices, especially garlic and ginger, as an aid to digestion. It is important to mention that green tea, which is widely known for its antioxidant characteristics, is a prominent feature of the Chinese diet. Roughly saying, the American meals are the Chinese food reflected in a carnival mirror. All Chinese diet characteristics can be read backward. The American food is associated with red meat and other fatty foods while fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are consumed in rather limited amounts. Thus, this diet is featured by fat, calories, cholesterol, sugar, and salt. Moreover, the American cuisine is critically short on dietary fiber and numerous significant nutrients together with plant-grounded substances (known as phytochemicals) which assist in protecting the heart from cancer.

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It becomes obvious that Chinese and American food patterns are entirely opposite. There are several reasons which cause such discrepancies. Firstly, the diet concepts are different in these two countries. The Chinese concentrate on the sense of food which incorporates the shape, flavor, and taste of the meal. On the other hand, the major concept of the American diet concerns rationality. The U.S. culture is highly interested in the nutrition which makes the diet very simplified. The Americans are not interested in stewing food for a long time or process it in a complicated manner. Due to the fact that the pace of life is fast in their culture, people have a tendency to simplify everything. The shape and the overall look of fast meals satisfy all requirements of the Americans. Its comfort and easement correspond to the high effectiveness of this developed country.

Secondly, the histories of both countries are extremely different. There is a saying in China which can be translated as “food is the first necessity of the people”. The history shows that the level of productivity was comparatively low in China, which was the reason why a lot of people were hungry. Thus, the Chinese regard food as one of the most significant things. Eating is a specific form of pleasure and delight for the Chinese. On the contrary, the U.S. is a developed country which has solid and concrete food industry. The Americans do not regard food as something special, and that is why fast food and cans are so popular there. People in the U.S. think about food only when they are hungry, and they do not convert a typical dinner into a whole ceremony.

Therefore, different lifestyles and cultures cause numerous serious differences between the Chinese and American diets. Firstly, the Americans prefer eating several meals during a day, while the Chinese are accustomed to eating only three meals a day. The Americans eat when they feel hungry, and they typically do not interrupt the activity they are involved in. Food helps the Americans to stay active and not to get distracted from their business. The Chinese are more traditional in this matter that is why they prefer to eat only three times a day. Moreover, Chinese people are extremely traditional in accordance with cooking patterns. They are supposed to take into account three major essentials of a meal including flavor, color, and taste. Thus, each Chinese meal should look like a piece of art being delicious and attractive. It is obvious that currently, the Chinese do not have possibility to dedicate so much time to diet and cook more than three times a day.

Secondly, Chinese people are accustomed to purchasing fresh food each day. They are interested in being healthy and understand that the major purpose of food is to make them strong and healthy. On the other hand, the Americans have a tendency of buying food once for the whole week. Thus, they purchase food which can be easily stored in the refrigerator, and afterward eat processed food. Such semi-meals are harmful to health, as they incorporate a lot of preservatives and pigments. Nevertheless, the Americans are used to a simplified lifestyle, and it helps them to do everything quickly and without taking unnecessary steps. Thirdly, Chinese families like to celebrate festivals and national holidays in a traditional manner which make them prepare a lot of dishes in order to entertain guests.

On the contrary, the Americans do not have a tendency to cook various meals when having guests or celebrating a holiday. It is common for visitors to bring some homemade cakes or pies in order to surprise and amuse hosts. Fourthly, Chinese people adore vegetables, and they even utilize vegetable oil, like soybean oil, in the process of food preparing. Generally speaking, the Chinese eat much more fresh vegetables and fruits than the Americans who prefer animal fats (butter). Thus, it becomes obvious that the Americans consume much protein, but their stomach functioning is severely impacted due to the shortage of cellulose in the organism. On the other hand, the Chinese are known for eating the viscera of animals, including the livers, intestines, lungs, etc. The Americans do not have such eating habit. The viscus of animals contains a huge quantity of cholesterol which is harmful and hazardous to health. Fifthly, Chinese people are accustomed to eating sweet food or fruits after the meals, while the Americans prefer to consume something sweet before the meal or when waiting for the meal to prepare. Nevertheless, the majority of nutritionists believe that it is more beneficial and healthy to consume fruits prior to taking a major meal. Finally, Chinese people are accustomed to eating prepared and cooked food. They dedicate a lot of time to this process and attempt not to skip main meals. On the contrary, the Americans are used to quick lifestyles, thus, they select fast preprocessed or absolutely raw food. The latter one is considered as more nutritious than the cooked or especially fast food.

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The paper vividly demonstrates that American and Chinese diet cultures are highly discrepant. The major reasons why these two cuisines are so different concern the people’s attitude towards the food. Chinese people consider food as the center of a mini banquet. They prefer to eat together in a family circle, advising and offering each other different dishes and drinks. Each of their meals is a little masterpiece. They enjoy tasting delicious food while communicating with each other in a harmonious setting. In contrast to China, the Americans are highly active and busy. Their diet helps them to stay energized and continue their work. They do not have a tendency to dedicate a lot of time to preparing a meal, thus, they buy and eat preprocessed food which saves their time. In their view, time is more important than health. Chinese diet culture demonstrates great consistency and continuity concerning the cultural tradition which has been handed down from generation to generation. Thus, the paper obviously depicts that the differences in patterns, concepts, nature and attribution reflect the discrepant dietary cultures in China and the U.S.

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