2013-07-19 / Sports

Jen’s Fitness Forum

By Jen Font de Bon

I’m Jen Font de Bon, physical trainer, spinning instructor and nutrition nut from Suncycle Studios. My goal is to help people reach theirs. I promote physical, mental and emotional health, aiding others in finding and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Countries that rank in with low levels of obesity, heart disease, and cancer all have one thing in common: good nutritional habits. Portion sizes are small and diets consist of carbohydrates, lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and small amounts of meat. The following are five of the healthiest countries and a little about what makes them this way! FRANCE: Between the cheese, wine, croissants, and baguettes you might wonder how Parisians manage to maintain a slender figure. The French eat three meals each day. Lunch is the main meal, while dinner is lighter. They control their portion sizes and do not snack. By choosing delicious high quality foods, savoring every bite, and eating with all of the senses, the French are satisfied with smaller portions. Also, they eat slowly and chew their food, making the average meal take about forty-two minutes to complete.

GAMBIA: This small country in Africa has the lowest level of cancer in the world! The diet here revolves around vegetables and spicy stews with a lot of nuts. These nuts, especially peanuts, include beta-sitosterol, a compound that inhibits the growth of cancer cells. The Gambian diet also includes rice, fish, and small amounts of meat, along with cous and mango.

ITALY: The Mediterranean diet is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, found in foods like avocado, cereals, legumes, nuts, and olive oil. These foods have anti-inflammatory qualities, helping to prevent cardiovascular disease and lower cholesterol levels. The Mediterranean diet is high in fiber and includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans. Foods are fresh, whole, and simply prepared. Also, Italians include regular physical activity in their everyday lifestyle.

JAPAN: The Japanese diet is based around rice and fish, a low fat food rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which betters brain function and fights cardiovascular disease. Every meal, including breakfast, is started with a broth-based soup. Six colors are incorporated into each main dish– black, blue, green, red, white, and yellow. Also, the Japanese don’t eat until they’re stuffed; they stop when they feel 80% full. All of this might explain why natives from this island live to be an average of 82 years old, a life expectancy much higher than other countries.

THAILAND: Southeast Asian cuisine is known for its spicy flavors and characterized by the use of certain spices, which have incredible health benefits. For example, chili has capsaicin, a compound that raises the core body temperature and increases the metabolism. Curry contains curcumin and can stop the growth of fat tissue and increase the body’s ability to burn fat. Finally, ginger soothes upset stomachs and contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols.

Questions, comments? E-mail: admin @suncyclestudios.com - Call: 718-318- 3410 - Stop by Suncycle Studios at 137 Beach 116th Street.

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