10 10 Photos

10 Diet Secrets Women Around the World Use to Stay Fit (PHOTOS)

woman holding green globe in her hand

We all know by now that eating well is key to staying healthy and losing weight. But let's face it, nobody wants kale smoothies EVERY day. No reason we can't look outside our super-sized nation for inspiration. 

 

Here, we've rounded up 10 of the most surprising (and surprisingly easy!) ways women around the world make every bite count.

Click through and see which ideas you can use for you and your own family.

 

Image © iStock.com/gmutlu

Image © iStock.com/letty17

1Go Fish

Fish is always on the menu in Japan, and for good reason. It "supplies important Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes," explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, one of the U.K.'s leading nutritionists. The Japanese also frequently eat seaweed, which has important minerals that support healthy thyroid function.

More From The Stir: QUIZ: How Smart Are You About Calories?

Image © iStock.com/RossHelen

2Trade Butter for Olive Oil

Plenty of seafood, veggies, grains, and fruit -- plus meat and cheese in moderation -- that's the crux of the Mediterranean diet. Another trick? Lotsa olive oil. "High amounts lower the levels of total blood cholesterol and fight inflammation," says Sharon Marey, a nutritionist at Quest Vitamins.

Image © iStock.com/firsthingsfirst

3Pucker Up

Pickled foods are a big deal in Hungary -- and a trend that's been showing up in the the States. "Eating fermented or pickled foods increases the healthy, disease-fighting probiotic bacteria in our guts," says Torey Armul, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Fermented foods can also help control blood sugar and, er, bowel regularity.

Image © iStock.com/IS_ImageSource

5Just Add Rye

No squishy white bread in this Scandinavian country. "Swedes eat plenty of high-quality complex, unrefined carbohydrates in the form of rye bread, which is served alongside a main meal," says Dr. Glenville. Why that matters? "Rye is full of fiber and keeps us fuller longer."

Image © iStock.com/Bartosz Hadyniak

6Make Whole Grains a Meal

Ethiopian meals are typically low in fat but high in nutrients. (Teff, a whole grain high in fiber, iron, and protein, is used in most dishes.) "Grains are crucial in promoting digestive health and reducing the risk of bowel cancer," says Dr. Glenville.

Image © iStock.com/PhotoTalk

7Use Chopsticks

Sometimes it's not what you eat, but HOW you eat it. "Using chopsticks can help you to slow down while eating, which may ultimately decrease the amount of food eaten," says Elouise Baskin, a nutritionist at NutriCentre. And of course, sipping green tea, a common custom in China, "eliminates toxins, aids digestion, and curbs cravings," says Baskin.

Image © iStock.com/encrier

8Cheers!

It's all about the red wine in France. The powerful antioxidant, reservatrol, that it contains "can protect you from damaging free radicals," says Michela Vagnini, a nutritionist for Nature's Plus in the U.K. "By promoting a healthy, inflammatory response in our body, it delays the premature aging process."

More from The Stir: The Secret to Eating Bread & Losing Weight Revealed -- Finally!

Image © iStock.com/Vikram Raghuvanshi

9Cook With Spices

Indian food is rich with spices, many of which have fantastic health benefits. "Turmeric has significant anti-inflammatory effects, and ginger ... soothes your gut," says Adrienne Benjamin, a nutritionist with Proven Probiotics. Coriander's an anti-inflammatory that may help lower cholesterol, and chili can boost heart health.

diets

More Slideshows