**This article was contributed by Virginia Cunningham. Virginia is a mother of three and has a keen interest in parenting issues, nutrition, and mompreneurship. Her oldest son has special needs, so she is a huge advocate for special needs education and alternative therapy. She also enjoys food and travel writing and has traveled all over the world studying Buddhism and healing.
Travel and healthy eating don’t always go hand in hand. Italy? While Italians generally eat well, with very low occurrences of diabetes, tourists don’t always fare as well when they go for heavy cream sauces and gargantuan pasta dishes. France? It’s a similar story. While French women are famously thin and willowy, outsiders, who may or may not have eaten an entire pot of fondue, may not end their trip looking like a gaminesque Parisian.
So, which countries have the healthiest and most delicious dishes? Read on as we count down to find out!
Swedes are known for their svelte figures, and it’s no wonder why. Their cuisine is rich in seafood, and they use healthy cooking techniques like steaming, pickling and drying their food. Plus, carbohydrate-loaded white breads are often replaced with Sweden’s ubiquitous rye crisps, which are low in calories and high in fiber.
Chinese food is often regarded as unhealthy. And if you’re thinking of Americanized deep-fried orange chicken and fat-laden chow mein, then we suppose it is. But Chinese food in China is much healthier than you might think. Most meals are rich with different varieties of fresh vegetables. The typical Chinese meal is comprised of only approximately 20% animal products. And in China, food tends to be served in smaller portions.
Greek food, and Mediterranean food in general, is known for its health benefits. Like many of the other cuisines on this list, it is rich in vegetables and fruits of all colors. Plus, it’s packed with heart-healthy olive oil. The Greek diet also incorporates slowly-digested foods such as whole grains, eggplants, and beans, which can help you feel full longer.
While Vietnamese cuisine might bring to mind deep-fried egg rolls and fatty short ribs, it’s also packed with vegetables, smaller portions of meat, and flavorful herbs. Fresh vegetables and delicious herbs such as basil and cilantro make dishes ultra flavorful. The extra flavor keeps you satisfied, and even better, many of their dishes are known to be low in calories. And in addition to being very good for the waistline, their foods are also good for your general well-being. Cilantro, central to many Vietnamese dishes, has antibacterial properties, and red chili (another popular ingredient) is known to be good for the cardiovascular system.
The Japanese are renowned around the world for their longevity. Japanese women have the highest life expectancy of women in any country, at 86.41 years old. This is largely due to their diet, which, like Swedish cuisine, is rich in lean fish. Aside from fish and a sparing amount of other meats, the Japanese diet is largely vegetarian. Japanese cuisine includes many greens, including antioxidant-rich seaweed, and cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables, and soy products, like miso and tofu. And hey, it’s a delicious place to eat! Japan has more restaurants with Michelin stars than any other country in the world!
So it is possible to travel and to stay fit. You may even drop a few pounds on the way. You might just have found the perfect destination for your hen party: swing by Japan, Vietnam, Greece, China or Sweden for some healthy eats, and still manage to fit into your bridal gown!