We can learn a lot from those around us. You’ve heard the saying; variety is the spice of life? If we venture across the world and see what’s working for others, we just may be able to combat the obesity epidemic that is occurring at home.
From drive-through pick up windows to highly processed instant meals that require no more than minutes in the microwave, our country is becoming an unhealthy one. Obesity is becoming a worldwide epidemic, but certain cultures have managed to stay healthy. Why? Let’s take a look.
Traditional Chinese food is not deep fried and battered, but rich in vegetables and soy-based ingredients. Stir-frying is common, but deep-frying is not. One of the main staples of the Chinese diet is garlic, which is known for its antioxidant properties. Garlic is used to help clean the blood and control blood sugar.
According to health experts around the globe, Japan has the lowest obesity rate among their population. Only four percent of their country’s people are considered to be obese. The Japanese know a thing or two about diet. The main concept for success is the belief that one should stop eating when they are 80 percent full. This belief is known as hara hachi bunme.
The meals are colourful in nature, rich in vegetables and high in nutrients. Diary is not typically a main ingredient, but fish, tofu and rice are.
Do as the French do. This is a popular mantra that works well for fashion and now food. The French don’t always choose the healthiest of foods, but their philosophy is worth following. The French believe that food nourishes more than our bodies, but our minds and souls.
Home cooked meals are shared among loved ones in a no-rush fashion. The French believe in spending time with their families and socializing with friends over the meal. The experience contributes to a happiness factor that affects digestion and eliminates stress.
Incorporating fresh meats and salads, the Swedish believe in obtaining healthy nutrients from their food choices. Also of note, is their high rate of consumption of milk. They drink milk with every meal.
Nordic diets are less processed, low in sugar and many of the ingredients are locally grown. The Swedish rely heavily on their gardens and local markets.
We’ve all heard of the Mediterranean diet, which is considered to be one of the healthiest ways to lose weight. Why? The diet is rich in fruits, veggies, rice, beans, fish and legumes. Whole grain breads and pastas are saturated in unsaturated fats, such as olive oil – known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Implementing a few healthy food tips from around the world can teach our kids about nutrition and bring better food habits to our home.
The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.