Many people say that you can tell a lot about a person from the food they eat – now this may or may not be true, but it could be said that certain international cuisines definitely help you live longer. In a world bombarded with convenience and fast foods loaded with deadly amounts of salt, sugar and fat, where you can order a takeout 24 hours a day or even bake a cake in the microwave (yes really), perhaps we should take inspiration from some international cuisines…
According to recent statistics, obesity is the fifth highest risk for deaths worldwide and an estimated 2.8 million adults die from being overweight or obese each year. So which countries are most obese? The top five countries for highest obesity rates are as follows: America, Mexico, New Zealand Australia and the UK. For most people these results aren’t surprising, as it’s generally thought that the fast food culture has swamped these countries and perhaps (for some people) steered them away from their traditional culinary roots.
So who’s the healthiest?
At the top of the healthy list is…
It has been said for years that the Japanese diet largely consisting of fish (they are the largest consumers of fish in the world) rice, whole soy and green tea, are the secrets to why they have the longest life expectancy. Their fish dominated diet means they have a very high intake of Omega-3 fats, which some experts think is the chief reason they are the healthiest people on Earth!
Greek or Mediterranean Cuisine
Their rich diet of leafy greens, meats, lentils and lashings of olive oil contain many health boosting nutrients. They regularly have plates of ‘meze’ (small plates or appetizers served with a meat or other small dishes) and these are popular when with a large group of family or friends.
The traditional Spanish tapas dishes (small plates of food) are a great way to try a range of different dishes. They love using fresh ingredients and eat lots of fish, meat and vegetables to support their diet and well being. Tapas is a great, healthy food to eat when socialising as they are great for sampling and sharing.
Image Courtesy: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS, [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons