Travel Can Create A Longer Life By Bill Harbin Jr.
If you visit new places and pay attention to the foods and culture you may be surprised to see how it could have an impact on your health. Your travels do not have to be in a far away land. The fried favorites of the deep south create more clogged veins than the watercress sandwiches served to Hollywood starlets on the west coast. Europeans are reported to work fewer hours than Americans which results in less stress and perhaps better mental health. Conversation with some locals might reveal their secrets.
On a recent trip to China I lost five pounds. We were served 3 meals per day on the tour but these were small portions. The word supersize must not exist in the Chinese language. There are not fast food places on every corner like in the U.S. They serve a lot of soups that fill you up fast. Desserts are non existent unless you consider a mini piece of watermelon being a real dessert. The low fat dishes here do not make you a fat person.
Go to one of the all you can eat buffet restaurants from the east coast to the west coast of America and you will see plenty of large folks stuffing themselves. While dining at a pizza buffet in Italy I was surprised that most of the patrons were slim. In addition, most of them did not make multiple trips for more food even though it was allowed. Their culture must not have stressed this was a land of plenty. It was OK if your belt did not have to be loosened before you left.
The Mediterranean area is known for healthy hearts because olive oil is popular with every meal. Along the coast of Spain you will see olive trees along the sidewalks as a part of their landscape. This reminder should be planted in your brain so when you return home olive oil will become what you use to cook with. Even if you grew up in the old days when lard was a cooking staple if is not too late to change to a healthy alternative.
Before you travel do some research and find out what foods are popular in the areas you visit. Eating what the locals do will make the experience more authentic. Ask questions about what is well-liked in the region and where to go for the best cuisine. If you have read much about nutrition you should also know what foods to avoid. Also use common sense and don’t participate in potentially harmful stuff. Serious hot sauces or uncooked items in some places can result in serious trips to the bathroom or worse.
Take some great ideas home with you from your travels for a better life. Share with those you meet in other lands about your culture. Compare what their culture does that is different from your own. Add one part of their healthy habits or diet to yours. Subtract the questionable things you see such as sanitation issues or foods that scare you. Then be grateful for the knowledge learned that may make you live a little better and perhaps a bit longer.