People in China are stereotypically believed to live longer, healthier lives – primarily based on their dietary habits. And as stereotypes go, that’s really not a bad judgement call to make on anyone’s part. Who wouldn’t want to be naturally considered healthier than those around you, solely based on your heritage or where you currently live?
Well, perhaps there’s something more at steak (HA!) than what we think is happening, diet-wise.
If we take a look at the FOOD EATING HABITS OF VARIOUS COUNTRIES, so nicely compiled by National Geographic, you’ll see that the US is NOT the world-wide leader in meat consumption.
China consumes more meat than the US does, by a fair magnitude. China consumes almost 400,000 tons of meat a year (a combination of seafood, beef, pork, chicken, and other proteins) vs the barely 140,000 tons of meat consumed in the US.
And what’s the most popular meat choice in the US? Chicken. In China, they eat a ton of pork (followed closely behind by seafood). Beef is rarely seen on a Chinese menu, apparently.
So proteins are definitely a major part of the diet in China compared to the US. But if other countries love to eat meat more than the US does, then what else are foreign countries doing with their diets where the US fails miserably?
It must be the rest of our diet.
In the US, the daily diet consists of just over 3,600 calories a day. That caloric intake is comprised of the following:
- 14% – dairy and eggs
- 8% – produce
- 22% – grain
- 37% – sugar and fat
- 13% – meat
- 6% – other
How does this compare to China, where the average day is about 3,000 calories? Well, this may be telling:
- 6% – dairy and eggs
- 15% – produce
- 17% – meat
- 4% – other
- 11% – sugar and fat
- 47% – grain
There you have it. People in China may eat more protein and produce on a day-by-day basis, but they eat a WHOLE LOT MORE of grains than people in the US do… and they significantly limit their sugars and fat intake.
The proof is in the pudding (HA!) here, folks. Eat more grains, more protein, more produce… and a whole lot less sugar and fats… and you too may be able to match a Chinese diet… and live a longer, healthier life.