When you go on holiday to a foreign country, trying out all the local dishes and delights is one of the highlights of your vacation. Indeed holidays are often a time of year when we tend to overindulge ourselves the most, and might well not be a good time to think about healthy eating. However, learning about the healthy diets of other cultures is a valuable exercise and something that can benefit your health for the rest of your life. Here in America we are probably in need of a bit more balance in our eating habits and we could do well to learn from countries like Spain and Japan, France and Greece. In this article we will look at four brief lessons we could all do with adopting when it comes to healthy eating, lessons which the world’s healthiest diets all share:
(1) Make Eating a Thing of Pleasure and Leisure – If you go on holiday to countries like France or Spain, Greece, Italy or Japan you’ll soon notice what a pleasant ritual meals are considered to be. Rather than pit stops for fuel, eating should be a time for family and friends and they should be taken slowly. Not only is this good for helping you to relax and to cement familial and friendship bonds, it is also better for digestion and has the added bonus of preventing you from overeating because you have wolfed food down too quickly.
(2) Buy Smaller Plates – Actually what you should really do is cut down the size of the portions you put on your plate. From Spain to France and from Japan to Greece the healthiest eaters in the world all consume much smaller size dishes than we do here in the US. In Japan, for example, dishes are served in much smaller sizes and food is eaten out of small bowls rather than the mega-plates and platters we have in the west.
(3) Eat as Many Fruit and Vegetables as You Can – This one has been trumpeted by every health practitioner and nutritionist under the sun but we still aren’t eating enough. In many cultures with healthy national diets, meat is seen as nothing more than a side dish or garnish. In Greece vegetables are very much the main part of the dish, rather than an accompaniment, and in China the majority of dishes are made up of grains, vegetables and fruit. More than four portions per day of vegetables or fruit can seriously decrease the chances of you getting cancer, heart disease or suffering a stroke.
(4) Give Your Life a Bit More Spice – Herbs and spices aren’t just good at making food taste better. They also fight disease. Any of the herbs like turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, rosemary or thyme have been found to have genuine health benefits
Alex is a travel writer and blogger. He loves writing about beautiful food and exotic places and currently writes for Coupon Croc .
- Health Foods: Simple Ways to Eat more Fruits and Vegetables (dietcleanse.org)
- Food Catering Services: Gourmet Dinner (onlinesurveysforcash.org)