Published on August 2nd, 2014 | by Margaret Pardoe0
The 9 Healthiest Diets in the World
“You are what you eat”
A recent UK documentary “The World’s Best Diet” was presented by Jimmy Doherty and Kate Quilton, who traveled around the world taking a look at shopping and eating habits across the globe, and the place with the very best diet might take you by surprise! And there are a few much further down the list than perhaps expected……
So, counting down from 9th place:
Women in Spain are the longest living in Europe, second only to Japan! Along with other Mediterranean countries a diet rich in vegetables and fruit, fish and olive oil along with a relaxed attitude are contributory factors,
The French eat a diet rich in fat, meat and cheese and drink red wine, yet have low levels of cholesterol and heart disease! This phenomena is known as “The French Paradox”
But it’s not just what they eat, it’s an overall attitude to food that is fundamentally different. The French eat 3 proper meals a day, eat small portions and don’t snack! One of my favourite differences is that they believe that an hour for lunch is the minimum amount of time.
Along with the lifestyle differences, there’s the resveratol in red wine which is believed to have a beneficial effect on the cardio-vascular system. And now researchers in Cambridge in the UK believe that the mould on blue cheeses such as Roquefort also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the cardio-vascular system.
7 The Kuna Indians of Panama
Besides not eating processed foods, the Kuna Indians have a diet rich in cocoa, drinking up to 5 cups daily. They have the lowest rates of cardio-vascular disease and blood pressure problems in the world.
6 The Nordic Countries – Sweden, Norway, Denmark
The Nordic diet is rich in berries, fish, seasonal vegetables and whole grains such as oats and rye. This diet is being referred to as the Mediterranean diet of the North.
With a diet rich in fish and vegetables, it could have been expected that Japan might have made it almost to the top of the list! But their high salt diet via soy sauce is linked to strokes, which is the 3rd leading cause of death in Japan. Plus the influence of Western cuisine has decreased the traditional consumption of fish and vegetables.
4 Seventh Day Adventists
This religious group is a branch of Christianity. For spiritual reasons they don’t drink or smoke or drink caffeine or eat red meat. Their diet is rich in fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Research in the US shows that being a Seventh Day Adventist adds an extra ten years to your life!
3 & 2 Greece and Italy
The traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, legumes, whole grain cereals, vegetables, fruit and fish. Alongside moderate amounts of dairy and red meat. The olive oil, when combined with salad and vegetables, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and is also now believed to help prevent Alzheimers disease. Home grown and home made food are eaten by many in this region and the relaxed lifestyle is also influential.
Didn’t see this one coming! And it’s probably a combination of the pure environment, a unique gene pool and a good diet that puts the Icelandic people at the very top of the list! Men in Iceland have the longest life expectancy in the whole world. They eat copious amounts of fresh wild fish, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for brain development. Their dairy products come from local farms with grass-fed animals, yielding milk rich in beta carotene, known to be good for the immune system, eye health and the skin. And their bread is made from rye. Everything is produced on small family farms in one of the cleanest environments in the world.
The moral of the story is that the onslaught of processed foods is slowly killing us!
Humans are adaptable and can experience excellent health and longevity on a variety of diets, so long as it is minimally processed. This needs to be alongside appropriate levels of physical activity, reduction in stress and a change in attitude towards lifestyle choices.
And no matter where you live in the world, you can personally eat the best diet in the world by the choices you make!