“My dad used to weigh barley rice on a scale to eat only a certain amount of rice at each meal. He started doing so when he was in his 30s and diagnosed with diabetes, and kept the habit until he passed away in his eighties. It was his way of fighting diabetes.”
Lee Jae-seong, a doctor of Korean medicine, said he was largely affected by his father to take an interest in a healthy diet. “Maintaining a well-balanced diet and jogging every morning from Jongno to Namsan was his way of managing his health.”
Recently, more people are being found to have a fatty liver and abdominal obesity as well as diabetes. Lee explained that this is the result of having an eating habit to enjoy food with a strong taste and fried food such as chicken and pork cutlet with alcohol. “Eating sweet and salty food too much is likely to cause chronic inflammations within the body, which could result in small and big diseases.”
The three things Lee pointed out as the greatest harm to health were sugar, fried food, and alcohol. “A diet focused on processed food causes dysbiosis and chronic inflammations, which would lead to a weaker immune system,” Dr. Lee stressed. “The increasing cases of the measles, influenza, hepatitis A, and other infectious diseases seem to be relevant to such dietary styles.”
When asked to recommend healthy food, Lee mentioned burdock and radishes. “Burdock is rich in inulin, which is a dietary fiber, that can enhance intestinal microbes while reducing the fever and curbing infections. We usually cook the plant by boiling it down with soy sauce, but it is more recommended to parboil it in water and eat it with soybean paste. Radishes have an antibacterial effect and are rich in amylase that helps digestion.” The list of healthy food also included broccoli, which helps the body fight the fine dust, and bananas, which help relieve constipation.
Having temporarily wound up “Happy Saem Oriental Clinic,” which he used to run with his wife, Lee is currently taking a sabbatical year. “I think now is the half time I should take. It’s not decided yet when I’ll go back to work,” Dr. Lee said. “During the break, I’m planning to write a personal essay and create YouTube videos.”
Tae-Hun Hwang email@example.com