Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on August 27, 2022
Slow Meals in France

Slow Meals in France

1/8

When you eat your meals slowly and savor them, like lots of people do in France, that may lead to fewer calories, especially for men. So take your time, and enjoy a nice, long meal with friends.

Smaller Portions in Japan

Smaller Portions in Japan

2/8

Little dishes typically mean fewer calories. Studies show that people who eat bigger portions are more likely to be overweight and less healthy. A soup starter, along with plenty of water, will help you walk away satisfied. And it’s not just the small helpings. The traditional Japanese diet doesn’t include a lot of red meat, and research shows that can be a good thing.

Spice It Up in India

Spice It Up in India

3/8

Indian food is loaded with herbs and spices, such as turmeric, curry, ginger, and cardamom. These are full of antioxidants and other things that are good for you. They also can lend some heat to the dishes, which may help you eat less.

Greece: The 'Real' Mediterranean Diet

Greece: The 'Real' Mediterranean Diet

4/8

There are many cultures and eating practices throughout the Mediterranean, but the traditional Greek diet is the one that’s been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. It’s all about fruits and vegetables, more cheese than milk, more fish than meat. And, of course, drizzle everything in olive oil, which has the “good fat,” and wash it down with a little wine. 

Drink Red Wine in Italy

Drink Red Wine in Italy

5/8

Cheers! Studies show that moderate drinking can lower your chances of heart disease. But the key is moderation: one glass a day for women, two for men -- tops. More than that can be bad for you.

Fermented in Norway

Fermented in Norway

6/8

If you let certain foods sit for a long time in water or salt, or other spices, the chemistry and taste change. This is fermentation, and fermented foods are natural sources of probiotics -- good bacteria that affect everything from digestion to mood. Cultures across the globe ferment vegetables, fruits, milk, and meat. In Norway, they ferment trout for up to a year and serve it uncooked. Hmm ... maybe start with vegetables.

Mix It Up in Korea

Mix It Up in Korea

7/8

Here, a restaurant may serve you pickled vegetables, soup, dumplings, fermented cabbage (kimchi), meat, egg, fish, and pork -- all at a single meal! The different foods not only add interest, they also help you get more nutrients. But more variety can lead you to eat too much, so keep those portions small.

Break Bread in Sweden

Break Bread in Sweden

8/8

It’s a good rule of thumb to watch your carbs, particularly with the American diet, but not all carbohydrates are created equal. The whole-grain rye bread common in Sweden is healthier. It tends not to spike your blood sugar levels as much as white bread -- and it has more fiber, which helps digestion.

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IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

1) Marcus Clackson / Getty Images

2) AID/a.collectionRF / Getty Images

3) Nicholas DeVore / Getty Images

4) Ingolf Pompe / LOOK-foto / Getty Images

5) Cultura RM Exclusive / Zero Creatives / Getty Images

6) Alexander Mychko / Alamy

7) MIXA / Getty Images

8) Maskot / Getty Images

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health: “Association between eating rate and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” “Does eating slowly influence appetite and energy intake when water intake is controlled?” “Lifestyle in France and the United States: An American Perspective,” “A systematic review and meta-analysis examining the effect of eating rate on energy intake and hunger,” “Effects of Food Quality, Quantity, and Variety on Intake,” “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects,” “Effects of red pepper on appetite and energy intake,” “Grapes, wines, resveratrol, and heart health,” “The health benefits of wine,” “Moderate wine consumption and cardiovascular disease risk: beyond the ‘French paradox,“ “Grapes, wines, resveratrol, and heart health,” “The Mediterranean diets: What is so special about the diet of Greece? The scientific evidence,” “The Mediterranean diets: What is so special about the diet of Greece? The scientific evidence,” “Gut emotions - mechanisms of action of probiotics as novel therapeutic targets for depression and anxiety disorders.”

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Portion size of food affects energy intake in normal-weight and overweight men and women.”

Advances in Nutrition: “Portion Size and Obesity.”

Health.gov: “Eat a variety of foods.”