In the USA over one third of Americans are overweight, and a good deal of it has to do with our lifestyle and culture. We can learn a lot about healthy eating habits from other countries around the world, in terms of what they eat and how they eat it.
The French tend to associate food with pleasure, rather than health, but that doesn’t mean to say they aren’t a healthy bunch of people! In fact, the country has lower rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease than the US. It’s mainly to do with portion size and quality over quantity; one freshly baked croissant (made with local natural ingredients) versus a box of Pillsbury sugary donuts.
Emphasizes appearance, and as we all know, the more color on your plate, the healthier it is. Between the use of seafood (omega-3s,) their small portions, seasonal vegetables (all of which make for a visually appealing — and healthy — plate) we can learn a lot. Portions may help to keep calories in check, while bright veggies provide a range of healthy vitamins and minerals.
Not all Chinese food is unhealthy, nor their habits. Chopsticks can help slow down your eating speed, which may ultimately decrease the amount of food eaten and help your digestive system know when to stop (when you are full.) It’s also been proven that being obese and having cardiovascular disease tend to be higher among people who eat faster.
A typical Mediterranean diet includes lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, cereals and cereal products, which in combination bring health benefits. The healthy fats present in their diet, like olive oil and polyunsaturated fats like nuts, seeds and oily fish may reduce our risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes
, high blood pressure
and raised cholesterol
. Researchers have also found that people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet may live a longer life and be less likely to put on weight.
Lentils are a staple in India, and they just happen to be one of the healthiest foods out there. Lentils are rich in fiber and protein and are high in manganese, a mineral that is needed to absorb calcium and to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It is part of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a compound which protects healthy cells from free radical damage and which may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Traditional Ethiopian cuisine focuses on root vegetables, beans, and lentils and avoids dairy and animal products. A common condiment in Ethiopian cuisine is senafich, a delicious and spicy mustard dip. Mustard is rich in phytonutrients that are converted into isothiocyanates, compounds which may help prevent cancer. Injera, a traditional Ethiopian flatbread made of teff flour, is high in fiber, vitamin C, and protein.