Our diets have become more global than ever. We expect to be able to buy a hamburger in Myanmar, and we often do.
The history of food is rich with stories of revolution, evolution, innovation, and sometimes tragedy that affect us all and explain the current trends of obesity, genetically modified food (GMOs) and so on. Food defines us in just the same way that we define what makes food. Despite how globalized the food scene has become, we still have tastes that are particular to each country. From a health perspective, it is essential to pay attention to the sugar consumption figures, which are now the predictor of a nation’s health crises.
Note: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation for daily sugar consumption is less than 24 grams per day for an average adult.
Increased sugar increases the risk of cancer, causes diabetes, taxes the liver, causes obesity, destroys teeth, and many more.
Here is a description of a typical diet in major areas around the world:
- Staples include: Sugar (main calorie source for most American), bread, and chicken
- Most Eaten foods: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and French Fries.
- Fast Food: When they eat at restaurants, 76 percent are take out fast food restaurants: McDonald’s. Average American spends more than 1100 dollars on take out each year.
- Sugar Consumption per person per day: up to 120g
- Interesting Info: Most american don’t get enough fiber, and it is cheaper to buy a McDonald’s meal than it is to make a salad from fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber.
- Staples include: Fish and chips, roast dinner with yorkshire pudding, full english breakfast
- Most Eaten foods: fish and chips, roast dinner with yorkshire pudding, full english breakfast
- Fast Food: av brit spends buys 12 meals a month as takeout.
- Sugar Consumption per person per day: up to 71 grams
- Interesting Info: chinese is the favorite take out dish followed by indian then english
- Staples include: Rice dishes, noodle, and tofu dishes go with everything else.
- Most Eaten foods: sweet and sour pork, Gong Pao chicken, and dumplings.
- Fast Food: av chinese spends more than 22 percent of his food exp on take away (this figure represents the urbanized chinese population.
- Sugar Consumption per person per day: up to 16 grams
- Interesting Info: KFC and china /foods only chinese eat
- Staples include: Dhal (lentils), rice, and ghee (clarified butter) dishes
- Famous foods: biryani, idli/dosa/vada and sambhar, aloo paratha
- Fast Food: average 2.8% of expenditure on eating out.
- Sugar Consumption per person per day: average of 5.1g
- Interesting Info: Saffron is a widely used spice in india but does not originate from india. It is actually a persian spice that was brought in through invasions in the 3rd and second century B.C.
- Staples include: Plantains, cassava, yam, maize
- Famous foods: jollof rice, kelewele (fried plantains), and fufu
- Fast Food: average expenditure on food per household represents 40% of expenditures. The poorer range spends close to 60%. In the city (Accra) almost 20% is restaurant or catering foods while vegetable is around 9%. In some rural areas, vegetables make up to 25 % of food spending while restaurant prepared meals are less than 3%.
- Sugar Consumption per person per day: around 26 g
- Interesting Info: Many ghanians use their hands to scoop the food with the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand. They do not eat with their left hands. (Indians as well)
- Staples include: Cereals and grains (especially rye) for porridge, fermented foods.
- Famous foods: porridge, Shchi (cabbage soup), Kotlety (minced cutlets, meatballs)
- Fast Food: average expenditure on food per household represents 40% of expenditures. The poorer range spends close to 60%.
- Sugar Consumption per person per day: around 20 g
- Interesting Info: Cabbage, potatoes, and cold tolerant greens are common in Russian and other Eastern European cuisines. Pickling cabbage (sauerkraut), cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables in brine is used to preserve vegetables for winter use. Pickled fruit and vegetables and other fermented foods are sources of vitamins during periods when fresh fruit and vegetables are traditionally not available because of the extreme cold weather.
- Staples include: Potatoes, meat, cheeses
- Famous foods: Snert (very thick pea soup), Slavink (minced meat wrapped in bacon), Stamppot, boiled potatoes mashed with vegetables
- Fast food in Holland: McDonald’s is the leading brand in fast food in the Netherlands. It operates a total of 241 outlets.
- Sugar Consumption per person per day: around 102 g.
- Interesting Info: Netherlands is the 2nd largest exporter of cheese worldwide, with a value of $4.5 billion in 2014.
- Staples include: Legumes, meat, and breads
- Famous foods: Kebabs, Hummus, vine leaves (stuffed with rice)
- Fast food in Turkey: Burger King is the most popular American fast food franchise with more than 450 outlets across Turkey.
- Sugar Consumption per person per day: around 35 g.
- Interesting Info: Many of our traditional mediterranean foods like shawarma, kebabs, and baklava were spread across the lands during the Ottoman Empire Rule.