Before Pinterest and Instagram came along, if we wanted to learn about recipes from other countries, we had two options: visit the country, or buy a regional cookbook. Now everything from knowledge of spices to healthy eating habits around the world are shared via social media, and of course print exposure. So what can we learn about food from other countries? There are plenty of eating habits that Americans should be changing, but these are a select few to get you on the right path.
1. HEALTHY PORTION SIZES
The residents of Okinawa, Japan practice the Hara Hachi Bu. This Japanese term may sound complicated, but it is simply a habit of eating until you’re about 80% satiated. In general, Japanese cuisine is popular for its small and multi-colored sushi recipes. It’s not only appealing to the eyes, but it’s also an effective way to get a variety of nutrients in your meals.
Through these two habits, you can prevent overeating and maintain a healthy weight.
2. CONSUME HEALTHY FATS
One of the most valuable healthy eating habits from around the world originated in Mediterranean countries, specifically Greece. As you know, the Mediterranean diet embraces beneficial fats like nuts, avocados, and olive oil. Aside from being among the best anti-inflammatory foods, these products can also help ward off heart diseases and keep your brain young. Plus, your body can absorb more fat-soluble vitamins when consumed with oily substances. But, as much as possible, opt for the right kind of fats.
3. SPICE UP YOUR MEALS
Today, you can find numerous cuisines that offer spicy dishes. Take Indian cuisine as an example. Most recipes under this category are rich in spices like turmeric, chili pepper, and ginger. These seasonings will not only add an exotic flavor to your meals, but they can also offer numerous nutrients and health perks. Ginger, for instance, can aid in your digestion and fight inflammation. So, try adding various spices and herbs to your favorite recipes for a more healthful approach instead of using extra salt and other artificial flavor enhancers.
4. WINE AND DINE
European countries are famous for their picturesque views. But, a lot of healthy eating habits from around the world also came from this region. Like Greece, the Italians are also fond of using extra virgin olive oil in their family-style cooking. But, that’s not all. Drinking red wine is also a common practice in Italy. According to various studies, consuming red wine can benefit your body, especially your heart. Just don’t overdo it. Ideally, one glass is enough for women and two glasses for men.
5. GIVE TEFF A CHANCE
The Ethiopian cuisine highlights various plant-based products. One, in particular, is Ethiopia’s traditional flatbread known as injera, which is made of teff flour. This gluten-free product is now gaining worldwide recognition due to the various healthful substances it can provide. Aside from being a good plant source of calcium, teff is also rich in proteins, iron, and resistant starch. The best part is that you can cook this nutty-flavored food in various ways.
6. TREAT YOURSELF
French people are known to eat for pleasure instead of health. But, this habit can have a positive impact on your body, especially if you’re transitioning to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, allowing yourself to enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert is better than opting for a large portion of a nutrient-dense dessert that you don’t find satisfying. One reason is that your dissatisfaction will only lead to more food cravings. As long as it is occasional, you’re not sabotaging your weight loss and diet goals.
7. SHOPPING LOCAL
The last in this list of healthy eating habits from around the world is popularized by the United States, specifically San Francisco. The residents of Bay Area opt for locally-grown products. This practice ensures that the fruits and veggies you eat are crisp, vibrant, and flavorful. As you know, a crop starts to lose its nutrients once harvested. Thus, choosing freshly picked produce is one way to get the utmost nutrients from your food. It can also make some food less expensive as you’d be reducing the shipping costs required to get to your store of choice.
More olive oil? More indulgence? More local cuisine? Sounds like these parts of the world are doing things the right way! Which tips do you plan to integrate into your household?