How the Typical American Diet Differs From Other Places Around the World

Dorothy S. Bass

For Dr. Juli Mazi ND, few things are more important than nutrition and a balanced, healthy diet.

Dr. Mazi received her training in traditional medical sciences, along with ancient and modern modalities that leverage the restorative potential of nature, from the esteemed National University of Natural Medicine. It was here that she also earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. Since 2012, she has worked as a licensed primary care doctor based in beautiful Napa, California.

Over the years, Dr. Mazi has seen a wide range of different patients come from backgrounds from all over the world. One thing that has always fascinated her is just how different diets can be from one country to the next. They all have their intricacies and they’re all certainly worth a closer look.

Comparing the American Diet to Other Countries: A Breakdown

When discussing food in the United States, it’s important to clarify that you’re really talking about two concepts – the recommended diet and the actual diet of citizens. It’s recommended that people eat an ample amount of both vegetables and grains, for example. They should also consume a lower (but still significant) amount of fruits and protein as well. Finally, a few servings of dairy on a daily basis also bring with them health benefits. 

Whether or not your average person actually follows those recommendations is another matter altogether. Many eat a lot of cured meats and cheeses, for example. Of course, fast food in all its forms is also very popular.

This varies from a place like Japan, where people tend to eat a much smaller amount of fruit. Their diet also consists of a great deal of vegetables and fish-based dishes, although meat dishes are also common.

In places throughout the Mediterranean like Greece, things change once again. On a weekly basis, the largest part of someone’s diet from this region of the world consists of whole grains. They also eat a significant amount of vegetables. Fruits, olive oil and dairy products are also present in their diet, but to a much smaller degree.

For Dr. Juli Mazi ND, another interesting place to take a look at in terms of the food they consume is South Africa. Here, it is recommended that the majority of the average person’s meals should be made up of starches and grains. Fruits, vegetables, and beans are also recommended in order of importance.

People in South Africa also tend to eat a lot of foods like lentils and eggs, albeit in much smaller portions than any of the aforementioned items. Fish is also a part of their diet, but portions tend to be much smaller than in a place like Greece.

In the end, it truly is fascinating to look at how countries vary from one to the next – both in terms of the people who live there and what they eat. It’s difficult to say if any one particular country is “right” or “wrong” – all of these diets tend to come with their share of advantages. If nothing else, portion control and a balanced diet are the names of the game when it comes to living the happiest and healthiest life that you can, both now and in the future. 

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