What are you eating?

 

These days it seems almost everything is available with an organic label, low-calorie sticker, fat-free logo, or sugar-free stamp. But what were some of the world’s healthiest countries/continents doing before all this USDA approved mumbo jumbo? The following are some of our planet’s healthiest countries, how they stay fit, what their diets are like, and why they’re out-living the rest of us.

Japan: On average, Japanese men live until their 79, and Japanese women live until about 86. That’s about three years longer than the average life span in the United States, which is around 76 years for a man and 83 for a woman.  Because of their diet, the Japanese have very low levels of cholesterol in their blood, which also makes their risk of heart disease much lower. By eating foods that are very low in saturated fats (butter, red meat, dairy produce) and by instead consuming loads of fish, and vegetables like seaweed and shitake mushrooms, the Japanese lead in being some of the healthiest individuals on the planet.

Australia:  With an average healthy life span of 79 for men and 84 for women, Australian’s have plenty of time to enjoy a lovely life in the sunshine. How do they do it? Several of Australia’s reasons for being oh so healthy, have nothing to do with diet. The continent has an excellent health care system and some of the world’s cleanest air. Basically the continent treats its people well and in turn the people treat their continent well. Beyond that though, Australians, for the most part stay away from fast food, and participate in a ton of outdoor activities.

France and Italy: With a beautiful variety of fresh food products, the French and Italian stay healthy, full, and thin. With an average healthy life expectancy of 77(France) 78(Italy) years for men and 84 (France and Italy) for women, the French lead long and healthy lives filled with deliciously fresh foods, lots of walking, tons of cycling, and portion control. The French choose fresh whole foods over prepared foods, walking or cycling over driving or a taxi, and for the most part they eat until they’re satisfied, which is different than being stuffed.

Sweden: Similar to Australia, Sweden has some of the cleanest air in the world, and this helps its people to be extremely healthy. The average life span for men in Sweden is 79 and for women it’s 83. Sweden’s obesity rate is only a 9.7% where as the U.S.A. is at about 31%.

So it seems fairly simple. We should treat our Earth with respect and care. We should eat fresh produce, poultry, and meats and stay away from products that are processed and prepared. We should monitor our portions and eat until we’re satisfied, not uncomfortably full. We should exercise, and use our body for things it was made for, like walking. If we can do this, it seems we’ll be building a road for a healthier future.

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Flickr: Floodkoff

 

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