Mexico: It’s All About the Timing
In the Mexican culture, people eat their largest meal midday. Research has found that eating your biggest meal earlier in the day can keep you from gaining weight because you have time to burn the calories off. The Mexican culture also uses a lot of beans in their dishes. Beans are considered a superfood because it has a lot of essential nutrients and vitamins — protein, fiber, etc.
Countries such as Spain, Greece, and Italy follow a Mediterranean diet. This diet consists of a lot of vegetables, legumes, fruits, pastas, and whole grains. The combination of these foods has helped life expectancy rates in Spain, which makes them one of the longest living people in Europe.
The Spanish, as well as other Mediterranean diet cultures, believe their health comes from their eating with good friends and family. It lowers their stress levels, which helps them remain healthy. They also walk a lot, which can contribute to their long lives.
Italy: Drink Your Daily Vino
Yummy Italian pasta and breads can put you in carb overload, so why do the Italians seem to live longer and have decent rates of heart disease in the country? It’s the red wine!
Research has found that the antioxidants and resveratrol in red wine can impact your heart health and can lower your cholesterol levels. These low levels of cholesterol then contribute to a strong heart for a longer life.
After many years of unhealthy eating, many Americans have adopted a new food trend — fresh and healthy. In the American culture, people want their fruits and vegetables free from chemicals and as fresh as possible. Many are now trying to avoid processed foods, which were so popular just a few decades ago.
By looking at research, people are learning what they need to eat to support a healthy body. Fruits, vegetables, dairy, and lean meats make up most of the healthy diet. However, knowing what they should eat (and how much they should consume) is not always the same as doing it. Portion sizes are still a problem: Americans love to eat good food, and sometimes, they tend to go overboard. This may explain why heart disease is one of the biggest health threats in men and women.
Food and Culture: How to Make It Work for You
Have a better idea now of how different diets around the globe affect the health of the people living in those areas? Great! You can now start working on your diet by incorporating foods from different cultures. You may find some new favorites that will help you stay healthy to live a long, happy life.
Is there a food culture that aligns closely with your foodie habits? —Kevin