Do your New Year’s resolutions involve both eating better AND travelling more?
Fear not, a new study from Hayes & Jarvis has pinpointed all the healthiest national dishes around the world.
The study identifies how close the nutrients in a meal are to the recommended proportions per calorie, and is built from popular breakfasts, lunches, dinners and claimed national dishes.
When it comes to healthy eating we don’t just want the food that is healthy, we want the food that also tastes great.
Hayes & Jarvis has researched the full nutritional value of meals across the globe from cholesterol to calories, making it simple and easy to eat food that tastes amazing and is packed with nutrients.
At the top end of the scale, the healthiest countries included:
Known for being well seasoned with herbs and spices, the national dishes that were researched (Dal Idli, Masala Dosa and Hyderabadi Chicken Biriyani) are among the healthiest in the world and will leave your taste buds tingling with flavour.
These meals not only stay close to the recommended amount of sugars, fats and carbs we need but are also only 627 calories on average.
China is among the few countries for which all three dishes are consistently low in carbs.
The research showed that the healthiest national dishes (Ground Pork Steamed Buns, Kung Pao Chicken and Beef Chow Mein) are both delicious and packed with nutrients (averaging on 289 calories).
3. Sri Lanka
The Indian, Indonesian and Dutch inspired cuisines of Sri Lanka, are not only well spiced but also very healthy for you.
The national dishes selected from the research, (Vegetable Curry, Fish Curry and Coconut Curry Chicken) were found to be extremely healthy.
They cover all of the vital food groups and the best part is that they’re only 282 calories on average.
With most of their dishes consisting of succulent meats, almost all of Australia’s dishes are rich in protein, however, the national dishes used in the study (Zucchini Fritters, Avocado Toast and Chicken Parmigiana) were revealed to be perfectly balanced in nutrients – only averaging to 335 calories.
The Arabian, Persian, Indian and African influenced dishes of Oman are very healthy and rich in micronutrients and leave a distinct spiced aroma around you.
The three Omani cuisines researched (Kabsa with Chicken, Harees and Maqluba) were full of flavour and full of nutrients – averaging on 557 calories.
Keeping It Trim
While the overall most nutritionally balanced meal was grilled sweet-and-sour chicken and rice from Hong Kong’s menu it can be a bit heavy, with a standard recipe coming in at 560 calories.
For those looking to keep calories down but still get a taste for a different culture, these are the healthiest light meals worldwide:
1. Smoked Marlin Fishcakes
A meal common in Mauritius, it’s one of the healthiest meals on the study’s menu – and as well as a great nutritional balance, they tend to be lighter on calories.
2. Kumara Fritters
New Zealand kumara, known elsewhere as sweet potato, is a wonderfully healthy vegetable and often a great alternative to normal potatoes. As fritters, they can remain light on calories while still tasting crispy around the edges (and delicious).
Though you’re unlikely to see it in Ecuador outside of the week before Easter, if you do get the opportunity make sure to try this flexible soup which usually features figleaf gourd, pumpkin, and beans – especially as it’s high in protein and generally low in calories.
Despite being a Kenyan snack that most resembles a doughnut, mahamri or mandazi are small, fluffy, and usually less sweet than the UK or American equivalents. And since they’re made with coconut milk, there are still vitamins and nutrients in this bite-size, fluffy, fried dough.