Healthy Eating Across Cultures: Broaden Your Nutrition Worldview


Tune into social or mass media, and sometimes you’ll see wholesome meals pictured as kale salads, inexperienced smoothies, and grilled rooster. However wholesome consuming doesn’t look the identical for everybody, and it’s potential to eat wholesome and stay true to your tradition and customs.

We requested some Fitbit well being coaches how they give thought to and information others by way of combining completely different cultural meals preferences with wholesome consuming targets. It comes right down to a three-step course of.

Use the Balanced Plate

Begin by looking on the Fitbit Guide to Building a Balanced Plate, which inspires filling half your plate with greens, 1 / 4 with wholesome carbohydrate-rich meals, 1 / 4 with lean protein meals, and a small dollop of wholesome fat.

Then ask your self what are the greens, grains, proteins and fat predominant in your tradition? And what are some simpler, more healthy cooking strategies? 

“In plenty of Mexican meals, the primary supply of fats is lard, particularly in tortillas and tamales, and there are methods to substitute it for olive oil,” says Stefanie Valdez, a Fitbit well being coach and Licensed Well being Schooling Specialist who’s studied vitamin throughout cultures. “I’ve additionally used entire wheat flour and have used jackfruit to substitute meat in tamales.

The actual distinguisher between meals throughout cultures usually is within the spices, not the completely different meats or greens. “The integrity of the meals is within the spices that make the flavors,” Valdez says.

Concentrate on what connects you

The second step is to deal with the connections made across the meals, as a lot or greater than the meals themselves.

“In plenty of cultures, not simply the Latino tradition, meals is what brings household collectively, so what you’re consuming is secondary to who you’re having fun with your meals with,” Valdez says.

Salome Rivera, a Fitbit well being coach and dietitian, agrees. “I can completely relate to desirous to eat wholesome however stability the cultural favorites and in addition personalities,” she says. “Relations, particularly these which can be extra conventional, typically aren’t probably the most supportive (of various wellness journeys).”

She suggests seeing what recipes may be capable of be made extra healthfully, but recognizing that some cultural dishes don’t translate properly with swaps. “So I counsel portion management and mindful eating,” Rivera says. “Having fun with all of the meals sparsely and specializing in the social part—that’s actually what it’s all about.”

Amirah Rahmat, a Fitbit well being coach in Singapore, says there’s all kinds of cultural food practices there, with style, price, and comfort all taking part in a task in vitamin habits. “Singaporeans understand meals as a nationwide pastime and consuming as a nationwide obsession,” Rahmat says. “We love our meals!”

Take into consideration including for stability

Lastly, if you wish to get pleasure from cultural favorites at holidays, household gatherings, or another time, actually savor them if you eat and broaden your thoughts from there about wholesome consuming, says John Moreno, Fitbit well being coach. 

“I grew up on Mexican meals 6 to 7 occasions per week, so maintaining a healthy diet for me meant adapting these recipes to be more healthy,” Moreno says. “I’m vegan a lot of the week with a vegetarian meal right here and there now, and I nonetheless search for methods to adapt what I grew up on into my newer present consuming habits.”

As a substitute of avoiding your abuela’s basic dish, take into account methods you possibly can create extra stability in your plate. What’s lacking—greens, protein, grains? Ask your self what you possibly can add to make your plate extra nutritionally full.

It doesn’t should be kale. If you deal with the nourishing meals you get pleasure from, and the folks you get pleasure from them with, you’ll be a more healthy, happier eater.

Enthusiastic about studying extra about working with a certified Fitbit health coach? Click here and get working in the direction of your finest self immediately.


Creator: Amy Hoogervorst

Amy Hoogervorst, Nationwide Board Licensed Well being and Wellness Coach, is a Fitbit well being coach. She takes a whole-person method to well-being and is enthusiastic about serving to you grow to be your personal finest well being advocate. When not teaching, Amy additionally enjoys climbing along with her household, operating in numerous U.S. states, and chronicling life by way of photographs.



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