6 Countries with the world’s healthiest diets & What they have in common
As the modern world is increasing the risk of health-related diseases, over 400 million are living with diabetes today. By eating the right foods, people can avoid developing dangerous diseases as well as prolong their life span.
Here are the top six countries with the world’s healthiest diets and what they have in common.
The traditional Mediterranean Diet is followed by the people of Italy, Greece, and Spain. The diet emphasized on local produce with seasonal variety and prepared the traditional way. In fact, most meals in the region are eaten with family and the community.
The diet consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and olive oil as the main staple food items. You will also find poultry, fish, and red wine gave daily, while red meat, sugar, and salt appear less than once a week.
The benefits of the Mediterranean diet was initially studied during to 70s as researchers show that incorporating olive oil can help people lose weight, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, reverse diabetes, and maintain a healthy weight.
The Nordic diet is followed by the native people of Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden. Researchers say the Nordic diet contains 35% less meat than the average western diet while providing a whole grains and local produce that is over 75% built organically.
The Nordic diet is quite similar to the Mediterranean as it also features whole grains, fruits, vegetables, oil, seafood, and eggs. The diet also uses dairy, meat, alcohol and dessert on an occasional basis. What makes the Nordic diet from the Mediterranean diet is the use of rapeseed oil, which is the natural produce of the Nordic countries.
According to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a healthy Nordic diet plays a role in the genetics in abdominal fat, which turns off the genes that are related to becoming at risk of inflammation. The participants in the study have also said to have lost weight, reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, and provide a higher satisfaction than the western diet.
The diet is also praised for its socioeconomic and ecological benefits as it reduces meat production and imported foods.
A traditional Japanese diet is a low-calorie option that is still rich in nutrients. The diet incorporates large amounts of vegetables and fruit while using small portions of meat, dairy, salt, sugar, and refined grains such as rice.
The Japanese diet consists of rice, sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables, yellow and green vegetables, soy-based foods such as soy sauce and tofu, as well as moderate amounts of lean meat, seafood, tea, and fruit as dessert.
Those who also follow the traditional Okinawan diet are home to one of the largest areas of centenarians on the plant. The super seniors who live and follow this diet are aging slowly, living active less and free of disability and disease. Researchers believe that it is the practice of calorie restriction that may be the key to their longevity.
While the French diet contains plentiful food, they also have the highest life expectancy and the lowest rate of obesity. Perhaps the French diet has more to do with the actual physical lifestyle as while French people eat delicious foods, they eat in small portions, skip on snacks, eat slow, and commute everywhere possible.
The main staple food items include full-fat cheese, yogurt, bread, butter, cheese and chocolate. Scientists believe that the role of moderate red wine intake and oddly cheese may play a decisive role in the proper statistics of France.
The populations of Chad, Senegal, Mali and Sierra Leone were found to have a healthier diet habit than the Japanese. Studies at the University of Cambridge say that West Africa was ranked the highest in the region.
The main staple food items include whole grains, fish, food high in fiber and omega-3, fruits, and vegetables.
The traditional Asian diet combined the traditional food staples such as rice, noodles, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. As fish and shellfish are eaten daily, eggs and poultry are eaten weekly while red meat is eaten less frequently.
While the countries may have different ways of eating these staple items, they all seem to contain white rice as a main staple. Most countries in Asia have fewer risks of obesity, a metabolic disease like diabetes, and cardiovascular disease than Western nations.
However, thanks to the rise in economy and urbanization, the odds may be slowly changing. One nutrition researcher in Harvard suggests that a high glycemic, high-carb diet combined with an inactive lifestyle will create a public health dilemma and lower immunity.
Do you follow any of these diets? Which ones are you willing to incorporate into your daily meal plans? Comment below and tell us what you think!