It may come as a surprise that American eating habits are nowhere near the Top 10 of the world's healthiest diets. African countries are in fact deemed to be the healthiest, according to the Lancet Global Health journal. This was reported on the Telegraph.co.uk website on Feb. 19, 2015.
Wealthier countries may eat healthy foods but they also can afford processed foods, and they eat those, too. The people living in poorer countries are not buying and eating junk food. What they do consume is healthy.
The Lancet's Top 10 countries with the healthiest diets are, in order: Chad, Mali, Cameroon, Guyana, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Laos, Nigeria, Guatemala and French Guiana.
Here's the rest of the world at a glance:
In North America
According to the Lancet's research, the United States finds itself seventh from the bottom on the unhealthiest diet list. Plenty of Americans put a lot of thought, effort and expense into eating as nutritiously as they can. But taken as a whole, the diet in the United States sadly does not make the top of anyone's healthy diet list.
In Central America
Chili peppers are a major part of the diet in Mexico. They provide capsaicin which may protect against cancer, decreases congestion and other sinus problems, protects the heart, and lowers inflammation levels. Antioxidants are abundant in chili peppers. So are minerals like copper, iron and potassium, and vitamins A and C.
Beans and corn are important parts of the diet in Mexico, which may help lower risk for type 2 diabetes. Recipes based on beans and tomatoes may decrease breast cancer risk.
The people of the Caribbean discovered long ago that pineapples taste good and are good for them. Pineapples are anti-inflammatory and promote healthier digestion. They're full of antioxidants, strengthen the immune system, and may help to prevent the eye condition macular degeneration.
In South America
There's a wide variety of national dishes to be found all over South America. Each country has its own profile.