In America and many Western countries food has become entertainment. We look forward to a night out at our preferred eatery where we will eat and drink a great deal more than we need to sustain our bodies. (Wait – is that what food is supposed to be for?) We eat to celebrate with friends, and sometimes we eat just to have something to do. For the above-mentioned reasons, Westerners are not the healthiest citizens in the world. When compared to nations with different diets and lifestyles, we do not stack up when it comes to fitness and dietary health.
The American diet generally consists of large amounts of bread and carbohydrates, high fat, high sugar and small amounts of healthy vegetables. Realistically, how many Americans do you know that prefer fresh vegetables to greasy french fries or steamed fish to a greasy cheeseburger? The indicated foods may be delicious but they are not ideal as everyday meals.
In contrast to the American diet is the everyday Asian diet. Japanese and Chinese traditional foods are very different from the normal Western meal. Of course, availability of food, climate, and tradition are the reason that their diet is the way it is, but we may be able to pick up some good diet tips from these citizens. Natural weight loss is about more than just “dieting.” A lifestyle change may be required.
In most Asian diets there is a minimal amount of fat. The fat that is consumed is from cooking with vegetable oil. They averagely eat numbers of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis. Protein is mostly consumed in the form of nuts, seeds and legumes. The meat that is eaten is low fat like steamed fish rather than the high fat red mmunch that Americans usually consume. Within the Asian diet, dairy products are kept to a minimum as well. They get more vitamin D from green vegetables than from milk.
This diet leads to considerably lower risks of heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes which are huge problems associated with Western diets. So, even if you do not need to lose weight, you may want to consider some of these lifestyle changes for your health. It certainly would be great to see rates of the indicated preventable illnesses decline.
Observing the eating habits of other cultures can be a way to teach ourselves some valuable lessons. Life is not all about food. Just ask the citizens that eat only when hungry and elect foods that in fact provide their bodies with the nutrients that it needs to perform properly.