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Global Grub

Looking for healthier ways to eat from time to time? Consider incorporating some of these healthy eating habits from other cultures around the world

Global Grub

Looking to eat healthier? Look to these international influences for inspiration

We all look for healthier ways to eat from time to time, or just expand our food horizons. With proper preparation and planning, you can eat a range of nutritious foods without digging deep into your pockets. If you’re looking to shake things up a bit, consider incorporating some of these healthy eating habits from other cultures around the world.

GREECE. The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are frequently documented in medical journals and the general media. Traditional Mediterranean cuisine includes lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes, plus small amounts of meat, fish, dairy, and olive oil.

MEXICO. Traditional Mexican culture includes almuerzo, a midday feast that’s the largest meal of the day. Recent research suggests that eating a big meal late in the evening could be a culprit behind gaining weight. Consider making breakfast or lunch your biggest meal of the day.

SWEDEN. Swedish cuisine tends to go lighter on the veggies, but it still has several healthy elements. Rye bread is a staple — and it’s loaded with fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer. Try making a sandwich on rye for a fiber-rich alternative to white or whole-wheat bread.

INDIA. Indian cuisine features tons of spices, which add great flavor, appealing color, and several health benefits. Spices like turmeric, ginger, and red pepper may help to lower cholesterol. Frequently used aromatics like onions and garlic can also lower your risk of heart disease.

ETHIOPIA. Injera, a traditional Ethiopian flatbread made of teff flour, is high in fiber, vitamin C, and protein. Traditional Ethiopian cuisine emphasizes root vegetables, beans, and lentils, and it’s light on dairy and animal products.

JAPAN. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recommend an inverted-pyramid style of food consumption, with whole grains on the top, and sugar and sweets on the bottom, supplemented by regular exercise and hydration. Japan is home to one of the densest populations of centenarians in the world, the island of Okinawa. Residents here also have less cancer, heart disease and dementia than Americans. They rely on fresh food, mostly vegetables, to surpass the lifespan of most of the world.

ICELAND. People in Iceland consume an average of 250 grams of seafood per day, according to the United Nations, compared to 60 grams in the U.S. As a result, Icelanders are getting much more heart-health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. According to the American Heart Association, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and death from coronary heart disease.

SOUTH KOREA. The bacteria in fermented plant products contribute to healthy gut bacteria and ease inflammatory responses in the body. In South Korea, kimchi, fermented cabbage and radish are served at every meal.

There are many benefits to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, including helping you save money in the long run. Either you spend money on quality, healthy food, or you’re going to spend money on healthcare costs later on.

Sources: SelectHealth.org; American Heart Association; WebMD; Kmotion Research.

Heartland Retirement Plan Services are offered through Dubuque Bank and Trust Company. The information provided herein is general in nature and is not intended to be nor should be construed as specific investment, legal or tax advice. The factual information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. Heartland Retirement Plan Services makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use and disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, it. Products offered through Heartland Retirement Plan Services are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed and may lose value, unless otherwise noted.