Following on the heels of his hugely popular blockbuster, The 5-Factor Diet, celebrity trainer and nutritionist Harley Pasternak has searched the world to add a little variety and spice to your weight loss plan. The 5-Factor World Diet takes the 5-Factor principle–five meals a day, five core ingredients, five-minute prep time–and incorporates the best foods and nutritional habits from ten of the world's healthiest countries.
While jetting to exotic locales with some of Hollywood's biggest stars as their personal health and fitness expert, Pasternak has sampled local cuisine from many corners of the world. Consequently he has made a fascinating discovery: the farther he journeyed from the United States, the easier it was to seek out foods that were both nourishing and slimming. Now he reveals the international diet secrets of the world's healthiest people, including
· the self-control technique used by the Japanese that prevents them from overeating.
· the trick to combating heart disease in France (it's not just the wine).
· the reason Swedes stay slim and trim year round and have among the highest average life expectancies (80.74 years).
· the key to Singapore' s low obesity rate (less than 2%).
· an explanation why notorious food-loving Italians are among the healthiest people in the world
Pasternak also shares helpful advice about ordering in restaurants, as well as pantry-stocking and cooking tips. With suggested menus and more than 120 delicious recipes–from Japanese Chicken Yakatori and French Ratatouille to Chapchae Korean Stirfry and Oven Baked Swedish Meatballs– The 5-Factor World Diet will keep you healthy, fit, and looking your absolute best.
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Harley Pasternak M. Sc. is a New York Times bestselling author and holds a master's of science in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences from the University of Toronto, as well as an honors degree in kinesiology from The University of Western Ontario. He is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, CNN, America's Next Top Model, Rachel Ray, and Tyra. Pasternak lives and works in Los Angeles.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The World's Fattest People
Why make an effort to reform our dietary habits from the ground up? I hate to say it, but at this stage in the game, it's because we have no choice. In recent decades, we've seen a disturbing trend ripple around the world: people are getting fatter, and as a consequence, their lives are getting shorter. In 2006 there were more than 1.6 billion overweight people in the world, and the World Health Organization (WHO) projected that these numbers would grow by 40 percent by 2016.1
According to WHO, these are the places in the world with the most overweight adults:2
1. Nauru (94.5%)
2. Federated States of Micronesia (91.1%)
3. Cook Islands (90.9%)
4. Tonga (90.8%)
5. Niue (81.7%)
6. Samoa (80.4%)
7. Palau (78.4%)
8. Kuwait (74.2%)
9. United States (74.1%)
10. Kiribati (73.6%)
11. Dominica (71.0%)
12. Barbados (69.7%)
13. Argentina and Egypt (tie) (69.4%)
14. Malta (68.7%)
The number you see after each country reflects the percentage of adults (age fifteen and up) who have a body mass index greater than or equal to 25, which is considered overweight. Even though the United States isn't number one, experts consider it to be the most alarming country on the list. That's because with more than 225 million overweight people, the United States has the largest number of obese individuals in the world. It also exports its unhealthy habits to countries all over the globe. The passion for fast food that started in America is now a worldwide phenomenon.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly
two-thirds of the U.S. population qualifies as overweight. Half of that group--or nearly one-third of the population as a whole--has been categorized as obese, which is defined as having a body mass index over 30, or more than thirty pounds over a healthy body weight.3
In the United States alone, obesity costs $117 billion a year, a figure that seems to get bigger every day.4 In 1997-1999, hospital costs for obese children and adolescents topped $127 million. Just twenty years earlier, those costs were only $35 million.5 Not only that, but our collective girth is triggering huge health problems across the board. Carrying extra weight can increase a person's risk for a wide range of conditions: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer, to name just a few. The saddest part of all is that most of the illnesses associated with obesity are 100 percent preventable.
Of course, it's not just what we Americans eat that keeps thickening our waistlines. It's also our misconceptions about eating in general--from how we prepare our meals to when and where we eat them. In this book, we'll be looking abroad to learn how to make more responsible, and more fun, decisions about every aspect of eating--decisions that will keep the pounds off, prolonging and enhancing the quality of our lives.
But before we set about studying, and eventually imitating, how other cultures live and eat, we need to focus on the home front--on the bad habits that got us into all this trouble in the first place. Of all the nations on earth, we have no excuse for being this fat and unhealthy. America is the richest nation on the planet; we have top-notch doctors, advanced medical technology, widespread food availability, and gyms on every corner. So shouldn't we be the healthiest nation in the world as well? And if so, why aren't we?
WHAT WE'RE DOING WRONG
Let's first identify the problems that we need to address in our collective lifestyle here in the United States, and in other industrialized nations--the choices that are eroding our health and shortening our lives.
To put the problem as bluntly as I can, Americans are overweight because we take in more calories than we burn. On some level, it really is that simple. WHO calls it "overnutrition," and it's a problem in many other industrialized countries as well. But Americans have a particularly egregious case of it. In 2003, the American food supply provided 3,800 daily calories for every person. That's roughly twice the Food and Drug Administration's recommended daily allowance.7
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our caloric intake has skyrocketed since the 1970s. In 2000, women took in 22 percent more calories than they did in 1971 (1,877 calories a day in 2000 versus 1,542 in 1971). Men consumed 7 percent more (2,618 calories in 2000 versus 2,450 in 1971).8 The figures for 2000 far exceeded the U.S. government's recommendations that women eat 1,600 and men eat 2,200 calories a day.
What might be even more troubling in the long run is that Americans are living off foods that are high in calories and artificial trans fats and precariously low in the nutrients our bodies need to thrive. High-fructose corn syrup, an all-purpose sweetener that's added to just about every packaged food you can name, is a great example of the kind of nutrient-poor, calorie-dense ingredients that have become the mainstay of the American diet. Americans also drink more sugary beverages today than at any time in history. Instead of milk and water, we are chugging gallons of high-sugar soft drinks.
All this sugar takes its toll. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that people on a 2,000-calorie daily diet eat no more than 40 grams, or about 10 teaspoons, of added sugar every day. Americans go way over the recommended amount, which is no surprise given that sugary additives can be found in packaged foods such as soups, salad dressings, ketchup, and mayonnaise--the list is endless. In many instances, these sugars are adding only one thing to our diet: calories.
We aren't just eating too much sugar; we are eating too much of everything. As the size of our portions grows, so does the size of our jeans. Meals in America seem to get bigger with every passing year, with 40-ounce drinks, heaping servings of French fries, and gigantic desserts the norm. It's no wonder that so many Americans are losing the battle of the bulge.
A study out of Rutgers University found that the portion sizes Americans eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner have increased between 20 and 50 percent since the 1980s.9 That means that Americans are eating 20 to 50 percent more calories at mealtime than they did just one generation ago. In restaurants, average portion sizes have doubled or even tripled over the past two decades.
You can see this "inflation" in all segments of the food industry. A Burger King burger, for example, weighed 3.9 ounces in 1954 and 4.4 ounces in 2004. (A Double Whopper weighed 12.6 ounces!)10 At other restaurants surveyed, steaks weighed 12 ounces or more 60 percent of the time. It doesn't cost restaurants much to supersize portions, and getting twice as much food for only a few pennies more gives consumers a false sense of value (false because they will end up paying big in doctors' bills later on). Thanks to supersizing, we have grown accustomed to eating massive quantities of high-fat foods in one sitting. And sometimes we don't even bother to sit down.
To accommodate these larger portions, the size of our dinner plates also has increased in recent decades.11 It seems that even our dishes are encouraging us to pile on the pounds.
So what's the big deal? Did you know that eating just 100 extra calories a day can add 10 pounds a year to a person's weight? Over 10 years, that's a whopping 100 pounds. To slim down as a culture, we need to start cutting our portions down to size.
In recent years, Americans have taken fast-food culture to an unhealthy extreme, with our famous multitasking abilities extending to mealtimes as well. Americans eat while watching TV, driving to work, even sitting in class or shopping.
No self-respecting Italian would slurp down his beloved cappuccino in the car! In many of the nations we'll be visiting, eating and drinking are not simply a means to an end, but ends in themselves. Some of the healthiest countries place a premium on eating for pleasure. Across the Mediterranean, people linger--sometimes for hours, even at lunchtime--over their meals. But fast-food chains have become more popular in some of these countries as well. According to McDonald's own website, in 2007 there were thirty-one thousand McDonald's across the globe, with more opening every year.12
Eating out is cheaper and more convenient than ever, but that doesn't mean it's good for you. When you aren't making your own food, you have a lot less control over what goes in it. There are no hidden ingredients in a meal you cook yourself, but you can't say the same for a meal you pick up at the drive-through.
According to a WHO report titled "The Epidemic of Overnutrition," there were 170,000 fast-food restaurants and 3 million soft-drink vending machines in the United States in 2002.13 A survey cited in this report found that only 38 percent of all meals eaten in this country were made at home. In fact, the USDA's14 food intake surveys found that Americans spend almost 50 percent of our annual food budgets on meals prepared outside the home. In the 5-Factor World Diet, we will be changing that. I will be teaching you how to prepare quick, delicious, and nourishing meals in a matter of minutes. Learning how to make your own food (and figuring out what exactly goes into that food) is an essential early step toward taking charge of your overall health.
Animal Products Excess
Compared to most other nations, Americans eat through-the-roof quantities of high-fat meat two or sometimes even three times a day, seven days a week. Red meat and dairy products are beneficial in moderation, but it pays to remember that too much of a good thing can be dangerous. The steaks and hamburgers that we love so much are significantly higher in saturated fats and cholesterol than plant-based foods. Too m...
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