There is a thing or two Americans can learn from other cultures when it comes to dieting.
From eating less processed foods to a more variety of healthy foods in the menu, there are some countries around the world that just seem to have the answer to better dieting.
In this article, I’m going to give you some healthy tips for dieting taken from 9 countries around the globe.
1. France – The Art of Eating Slowly
How do French people stay so trim?
It could be because they really take their time when having their meals. It’s no secret that they eat slowly, spending hours at the table for Sunday lunches and holiday meals.
While it may seem impractical for some, there are a lot of benefits to be had from taking your time and eating your meals more slowly.
For one, eating slowly prevents you from over-eating. It takes around 20-30 minutes for hormones in your body to send the message to your brain that you are no longer hungry. Taking your time allows you to eat less and still feel full compared to hurrying down more food before your brain gets the message. This means that you will eat less calories, especially for men.
So the next time you sit down for a meal, take the time to chew your food slowly and savor every bite. Bon appétit!
2. Greece – Experience the Real Mediterranean Diet
You’ve probably heard of the Mediterranean diet before. Grapes, wine, olives. Italian music?
Well, you’d really have to give credit to the Greeks because their traditional diet is the real Mediterranean diet, a healthy diet that has been known to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
In this diet you eat more fruits and vegetables, more cheese than milk and more fish than meat. Add some good fats in the form of olive oil and wash it all down with red wine and you have the perfect recipe for a healthy body.
3. Iceland – Fresh Fish is Best
Due to the Icelandic government’s strict environmental regulations and it’s abundant supply of fresh fish, the Arctic country topped the list of healthiest countries in the world in a 2016 study.
Fish species like salmon and herring play a very important role in Icelandic diet. The commonly eaten fish contain essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 which is known to slow down the release of carbohydrates in the body.
These fish are also high in proteins which means that you can fuller for a longer time therefor consuming less calories throughout the day.
This plays a very important part in any successful diet since you’ll want to consume less calories than you burn off.
4. India – More Spice In Your Life
If you’ve ever had Indian food before, you’d know that they cook their dishes with lots of herbs and spices such as curry, turmeric, coriander and ginger.
These spices are loaded with antioxidants which can prevent the risk of certain diseases. The dishes also contain a wide variety of vegetables and even fruit like tamarind and mango.
Low in saturated fats, these spicy foods add heat to each meal which may help you consume less which translates to fewer calories.
5. Italy – Drink Red Wine
In Italy, it’s more common to have a glass of red wine with your meal than fruit juice or soda.
Red wine, when drank in moderation can lower the risk of heart disease. The keyword here is moderation. The healthy limit is for women to consume one glass a day and men no more than two.
Because red wine contains antioxidants like quercetin and resveratrol, they help protect the heart by slowing down the progression of atherosclerosis, the process where the arteries narrow due to buildup of plaque and cholesterol on the artery walls.
Red wine can protect against a host of other health risks such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis.
6. Japan – Small Portions
The Japanese may be the experts on portion control.
In Japan, food is traditionally served in small dishes which usually means that you’re consuming less calories. Their diet doesn’t contain a lot of red meat either, which might be a good thing.
Studies have shown that people who eat big portions are likely to become overweight and be less healthy than those who eat smaller portions.
One other thing to note is that the Japanese have one of the highest life expectancy in the world which could have something to do with their healthy dieting ways.
7. Korea – Mix it Up For More Variety
In Korea, a restaurant may serve you pickled vegetables, soup, fermented cabbage known as kimchi, dumplings, fish, pork, eggs and meat all for the same meal.
With variety like this, you can expect to get more nutrients during a single meal. Keeping the portions small means you consume less calories and get the required nutrients to extend your feeling of fullness.
8. Norway – Fermented Foods
In Norway and some other cultures across the globe, having fermented foods is a good way to get probiotics into your system.
Probiotics are nature’s good bacteria and can affect your digestion in a good way as well as your mood just to name a couple benefits. Norwegians usually ferment trout for up to a year and then serve it uncooked.
Fermentation is usually done by letting some foods sit for extended periods of time in water, salt or other spices. This can be done with vegetables, meat, fruits and even milk.
9. Sweden – Whole Grains
Consuming less carbs is a good thing and is something most diets recommend if you want to lose weight.
However, not all carbs are created equal and in Sweden, you’ll want to have the whole-grain rye bread which is much healthier than other breads.
Its abundance in fiber helps with digestion and it will not spike your blood sugar levels as much as white bread. Next time you’re in the bread aisle at the supermarket or bakery, forget about the white bread and try the rye.
If you’ve been trying to get on a much healthier diet, just incorporating one or two of these tips may help you get on the right track.
Maybe you can try the Mediterranean diet, eat smaller portions or eat your meals more slowly like they do in France. Or maybe combining a few of these tips might help.