A new study lead by Fumiaki Imamura (MRC Epidemiology Unit) has revealed that African countries such as Chad and Sierra Leone have some of the healthiest diets in the world, while the people in European countries including Belgium and Lativa have the worst.
The research was published in The Lancet Global Health journal on Wednesday and it looked at the diets of almost 4.5 billion adults across 187 countries.
The countries with the healthiest diets overall were:
Chad is made up of over 140 different ethnic groups, whose diets are as diverse as their cultural traditions. The Arabs of northern Chad–who are nomadic or live in the capital of N’Djamena–eat staples of dairy and meat, while groups in the agricultural south have a plant-based diet. However, there are certain national dishes that all Chadians share.
2. SIERRA LEONE
Sierra Leone has a deep and rich food culture. From the street stalls selling kukhri (rice and sauce) andplassas (fried dough balls and plantain with spicy gravy) in the cities, to the upmarket restaurants selling mouth-watering fish and seafood dishes on the beaches, no wonder Sierra Leone has been nicknamed ‘Sweet Salone’. Most food is spicy and uses Maggi (stock cubes high in salt) but it is also healthy and prepared with local ingredients. At every corner, on every beach, in every village, you will come across a food culture that is deeply engrained in Sierra Leonean society.
Malian cuisine is generally based on corn, millet, and rice porridges which can be served with a wide variety of sauces. The most famous sauces are those of ground peanuts, baobab leaves, sweet potato leaves, and okra. However, a large variety of meats and vegetables can be prepared with these sauces and served with rice,couscous, or porridge. Malian cuisine is also rich in proteins like Lamb, Beef, fresh or smoked fish, or Chicken. The most common Malian vegetables are tomatoes, onions, Eggplant, plantain and yams. As far as fruits are concerned, Malian people love lemons, bananas, mangoes, and watermelon. Poulet yassa and foutou are some of the most popular Western African dishes.
- Benechin is a dish of rice cooked in a fish and vegetable sauce, while plasas is meat or fish cooked with vegetable leaves in palm oil and served with fufu (mashed cassava).
- For the majority of Gambians afternoon lunch is the most important meal of the day.
- The main staple dish in The Gambia is rice with a choice of stew – made with fish, chicken, beef, lamb or goat – usually cooked with vegetables, spices and sometimes peanut butter.
- It is the height of bad manners in Gambian society to smell food in front of others. Always give and receive food with your right-hand.
- When eating with others around a communal bowl always take your shoes off
- . Only eat within you own imaginary section of the bowl. It is not considered rude to belch when you have finished your meal, as it is a sign that you have enjoyed the food. Keep talking down to a minimum during a meal.
The diet of Uganda is based on two dishes at each meal. The first one is a starch and since the starch is usually dry the second dish consists of some kind of soup. Most things are boiled since oil is very expensive and also because people cook over an open fire. When the goal is to serve many people and get full repetition of foods is not really an issue. People eat what is in season and what they can afford.
Ghanaians enjoy a rather simple, but flavorful cuisine. The majority of meals consist of thick, well-seasoned stews, usually accompanied by such staple foods as rice or boiled yams. Stews come in a variety of flavors, the most popular being okra, fish, bean leaf (or other greens), forowe (a fishy tomato stew), plava sauce (spinach stew with either fish or chicken), and groundnut (peanut), one of the country’s national dishes.
Many spices are used to prepare stews and other popular dishes. Cayenne, allspice, curry, ginger, garlic, onions, and chili peppers are the most widely used seasonings. Onions and chili peppers (along with tomatoes, palm nuts, and broth) help to make up the basis for most stews.
7. IVORY COAST
Côte d’Ivoire’s roughly 60 ethnic groups bring diversity to the country’s cuisine. Each group has developed a diet that is suitable to their lifestyle. The Agni and Abron groups survive by farming cocoa and coffee. The Senufo peoples live in the country’s northern savanna (treeless plain). They cultivate rice, yams, peanuts, and millet (a type of grain). Rice with a peppery peanut sauce is often enjoyed by the Senufo people. The Dioula of the far northwest depend on their cultivation of rice, millet, and peanuts to survive, while the Kulango people of the north, who are mostly farmers, grow yams, corn, peanuts, and watermelons. Those living near the coast enjoy a wide variety of seafood.
- Thiéboudienne or Ceebu Jën: The literal English translation of the dish is “The Rice of Fish”. Dubbed as the national dish of Senegal, it consists of flavoursome fish that has been marinated with parsley, lemon, garlic, onions (amongst other herbs), and then later cooked with tomato paste and a variety of vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, and carrots. Rice is later added to the mix giving it a reddish look. It is said to resemble the Spanish dish paella, from the region of Valencia
Israel has many foods traditionally eaten in Levantine, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, and foods such as falafel, hummus, msabbha, shakshouka, couscous, and za’atar are now widely popular in Israel. These foods are rich in protein and every other food nutrients
Ethnically and culturally, Somalia is one of the most homogeneous countries in Africa. The great majority of the people speak dialects of the same language, Somali, and practice the same religion, Islam. Nomadic pastors eat milk, ghee (liquid butter), and meat in large quantities, supplemented by wild berries and fruits. This diet provides nomadic pastoralists with about half of their traditional diet. Other foods such as sorghum, corn, rice, tea, Sugar, dates, condiments, and occasional vegetables are purchased or traded for livestock and livestock products.
Despite Somalia’s long coastline, fish consumption traditionally has been limited to coastal towns. Traditional society holds fishermen and the eating of fish in low regard. Nomads, in particular, disdain fish consumption: to eat fish is to show that one is not a good herdsman.