By Ojasvee Last Updated:
We live in a world where cultural boundaries are vanishing as we are becoming the 'global citizens'. Food is the pioneer of crossing any kind of LOC. We all enjoy the oriental flavours of the Chinese food, the cheesy touch of the French, flavoursome Italian dishes and the wholesome Lebanese.
As much as our tongues enjoy these distinct flavours, our weighing scale suffers. But, because of this, we shouldn't keep ourselves completely away from the pleasures of the world. You can easily enjoy all the cuisines if you know what you should and shouldn't eat. Here are some of the healthy and unhealthy dishes from cuisines around the world which will help you to keep a check on your weight.
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Talk about Italian food and those cheese spitting pizzas, pasta and garlic bread will start floating in the minds. We have to agree that the Italians have given us something to live for! This cuisine is on top of everyone's list and is easily available.
If you are craving for some Italian food, start with their minestrone soup. You can also have a baked potato. These are healthy and fulfilling options until you do not top them up with mozzarella. You can have pizza and pasta with a wheat base.
Avoid bechamel sauce and extra cheese. Try to stay away from their fried fungi and cheeses.
"Coup de foudre" is what we all uttered when we first saw a French dish. The French onion soup, soft madeleines, croissant and those choux pastries, alas! Even the food from this place is full of romance.
Non-vegetarians should start their French journey with a Nicoise salad as it is rich in protein, potassium and healthy monosaturated fats. Vegetarians can start with a Ratatouille and we are sure that after losing yourself to this herby thing, you will get why a Disney movie was named after it. If you have an option, go for the mignonette sauce. You can also indulge in camembert cheese.
Sorry, but you should steer clear from onion soup, quiche and cordon bleu. These are delicious beyond the eternity but will tilt your scales completely in the wrong direction!
Chinese food automatically makes us think about the fried food. Spring rolls, honey chilly potatoes, chilly mushrooms; everything that is deep fried and soaked in oil. Contrary to popular belief, Chinese food is actually healthy, if you care to explore the cuisine beyond the obvious!
Chinese cuisine offers a wide variety of healthy soups like man chow, lemongrass and coriander and ta lu mien. You can indulge in some vegetable noodles and power-packed meals like the Buddha's delight which is high in protein. You can also have chicken with snow peas.
Although you should completely avoid Chinese sold at the local stalls as that is neither healthy nor Chinese, but favourites like fried momos, spring rolls, fried chicken in Schezwan sauce and fried rice are a big no-no.
The British food is different from other European cuisines as it does not incline towards a particular flavour or ingredient. As England had various colonies under its turf, its food is a perfect example of amalgamation of cultures.
You can start your day with a proper English breakfast which has tomatoes, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms and mashed potatoes. It is a wholesome and healthy platter. You can have tarragon chicken salad tea sandwiches as you can't get more English than that. A vegetarian Shepherd's pie is a good option as well.
Britain's famous 'fish and chip' is not worth the weight that you will put on. While we are at it, you should stay away from those deep fried Mars bars and hot chocolate with whipped cream on it as well.
Lebanese food is simple, raw and holds natural flavours in it. It is one of the healthiest cuisines and you can pretty much pick anything that you want. In addition to that, Lebanese use a lot of good quality olive oil, chickpeas, sesame paste and a wide range of vegetables which are great for the health.
Hummus, tahini, baba ghannouj, peasant's salad, yoghurt salad, lentil soup, chicken shwarma, veg or non-veg tagine, shish taouk; actually everything except for the things in the 'what to avoid' list.
Falafel, frozen yoghurt, fattoush and baklava should stay away from your plate to keep this cuisine healthy.
Thai cuisine is a rather delicate one. With the glass noodles and other colourful vegetables, it looks incredible. The food is aromatic and a little on the spicy side. If you are craving for some Thai food, read what you should and shouldn't eat.
Gai Yang (marinated grilled Thai chicken), satay gai (chicken skewers with peanut sauce) and khao man gai (chicken with rice) are some of the healthiest options for the non-vegetarians. For the vegetarians, papaya salad, raw mango salad and Thai spring rolls would be perfect.
Thai food is famous for its coconut based curries and they are the unhealthiest ones. Avoid them completely. Along with the curries, you should stay away from their stir fries and fruit shakes too.
America is a capitalist economy which means that people are more interested in earning money than taking care of their lifestyle. Since they are always on the go, their type of food is the fast one. Although fast food is given to us by them, there are some healthy dishes too that they serve.
Switch to corns if you want to stay healthy while eating American food. Corncob salad is a good option. You can also have an egg white frittata, sweet potato waffle, cottage cheese honey toast and quinoa.
We know that you will hate us, but you should avoid the following foods to stay healthy. Do not consume New York cheesecake, corn dogs, hot dogs, burgers, sodas, and all the fried food that might be attracting you.
Spanish food is highly influenced by its complex history. Following the invasions of the country and the search for the new territories, their culture has been heavily altered. This is what makes the Spanish food unique.
Indulge in tapas, paella, gazpacho and garlic prawns. You can also enjoy their low-fat Spanish sheep cheese platter which is usually served with raw meat or bread. Aioli is Spanish mayonnaise which is a healthier dip with lots of garlic in it.
When in Spain, do not give into your love for Sangria. Yes, it is made with healthy red wine but it also has different juices which are high in sugar content. Calamari is another dish that you should seriously avoid.
African cuisine has become synonymous with the giant food chain, Nando's. But the peri-peri dishes aren't all that the country serves. There is much more to this spicy cuisine that incorporates meat, fruits, cereals, milk and vegetables. This is a sturdy one.
Like Lebanese, you can pretty much eat everything from this cuisine as well since most of the food items are either grilled or barbequed which are better than shallow or deep fried foods. Along with the meats, they have vegetarian salads as well. Most of the dishes are healthy but are more suitable for the non-vegetarians.
As a rule, to be healthy means to stay away from fried food and kapenta with sadza (fried fishes), pastilla au pigeou (flaky pastry with stuffing) and peri-peri chicken. Yes, peri-peri as well because too much of chilli can damage your metabolism.
We have given you the complete guide of what you can and can't have. Now that we have imparted our wisdom with you, get ready with your fork and dig into the flavours of the world!
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