Are You A Wanderlust? Diet Pitfalls Of Popular Destinations
Are you a wanderlust? Does your apartment have barely more than a bed and a dresser (if you even have an apartment at all)? Do you live out of suitcases and have friends all over the world? Well, that’s a very special lifestyle and you’re lucky to have it! But it typically means you have little control over what you eat. You might be fortunate enough to have a small hot plate and a kettle in some of your hotel rooms and rented cottages. Maybe you get a mini fridge when you pay extra. But, all in all, you’re at the mercy of your hosts when you eat at a home, and the chefs when you dine out. If your travels take you all over the world, you should be aware of some of the weak points of each place’s food choices (every country has them!). Here are the diet pitfalls of several popular travel destinations.
If your travels take you to China, try not to fall into the trap of adding a side of sticky rice to everything. Many Chinese meals will have various parts, including perhaps some soup, fish, vegetables and white rice. Soy sauce and fish sauce are popular flavoring ingredients too, but these can be high in sugar and salt.
Ah, the French bread and cheese. The streets of major French cities and even smaller villages have some of the best bread and cheese shops you can imagine. You’ll smell the fresh bread wafting through the street. But resist the urge to start every day with a baguette and soft cheese.
Argentinians love their meat! A typical family Sunday gathering might involve piles and piles of blood sausage and steak. Then there are the empanadas; little pastries stuffed with meat and cheese. They’re tempting, but eating food like this won’t do your arteries or colon any favors.
The Swedes have an overall rather healthy diet—they eat a lot of fish and potatoes. But beware that they love their sour cream and dairy-based sauces. You may find sour cream herring and creamy gravy-smothered meatballs at most smorgasbords.
India has some wonderful vegetarian cuisine, but what they lose in meat (protein and a hearty meal) they make up for with cheese. You may find that cheese is treated like a meat in many meals, cut up and smothered in a sauce as if it’s chicken or beef.
Between the street tacos, chilaquiles, chile rellenos, and tamales, you can easily consume dense corn tortilla at every meal. That’s not only high in calories but also hard for your body to digest. Whatever you’re eating, try skipping the tortilla portion, so have the fajitas, but just eat the meat, sautéed veggies, and rice.
Traditional UK dishes are heavy on the potatoes like fish and chips, shepherd pies, and bangers and mash. Potatoes on their own aren’t bad news, but when they’re fried up or mixed with a lot of butter, they can wreak havoc on your waistline.
The ingredients in Spain aren’t the issue so much as the style of eating, and that is tapas style. When you eat lots of little plates, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve consumed, and overdo it. Put all of the food you’re going to eat in the meal on one entrée size plate, and stop at that.
Ethiopian food is heavy on the bread. The main ingredients of a meal can be quite healthy, with a lot of vegetarian options. But these are often served on injera bread, a soft, fluffy brown flatbread you use to soak up sauces. But if you eat your whole injera serving at every meal, it’s almost like having a flatbread pizza at every meal.
In the Czech Republic, it’s easy to go overboard on the meat and bread. Schnitzel (a breaded type of meat) is quite popular, as is strudel (a fruit-stuffed pastry). You’ll also find a lot of street carts selling kolach, which are essentially sausages wrapped in thick rolls. Look for more hearty stews and open-faced sandwiches with sauerkraut when you’re in this area.
Australia drinks a lot of beer. Don’t fall into the trap of drinking a couple of pints with lunch and dinner every day. While your dining mates might treat this high-calorie drink like water, you shouldn’t.
Many traditional Japanese dishes include noodles. Ramen, Udon, and Soba are all noodle-based dishes. They may have lean cuts of meat and vegetables, but that’s all over a hefty serving of carb-heavy noodles.
You’ll find a lot of dough in your Turkish food. From Gözleme (think of it as a Turkish quesadilla made with flatbread) to Simit (a seed-covered round bread served with many meals) it’s easy to get your fill of bread in Turkey.
Cuban food is heavy on the pork and pork lard. In fact, most traditional Cuban rice will be made with pork fat. Between the Cubano sandwich and the pork shoulder roast, it’s easy to overdo it on this meat.
In Kuwait, most meals will be served with flatbreads and rice. Like in China, you’ll have to do your best not to indulge in these side dishes at each meal, or your waistline will blame you later.