8 weight loss secrets from around the world

8 weight loss secrets from around the world

The Mediterranean

Seafood, olive oil, vegetables, fruit and grains are staples of the Med and they're all packed with vitamins and minerals. What's more, eating this kind of diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.

While those on the Med do allow themselves treats like some cheese and meat, they only eat them in moderation too.

"Eating plenty of olive oil could lower your total blood cholesterol level. The high amount of fish in a Mediterranean diet also provides you with lots of antioxidants that could reduce yourrisk of memory loss as you get older" says nutritionist Sharon Morey from Quest Vitamins.


The Japanese have one of the healthiest diets in the world, not least because it's packed with fish, which is known to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Japanese cuisine also features plenty of cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and cauliflower, as well as fermented soya, both of which have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

The Japanese also eat lots of seaweed that contains trace minerals that are great for a healthy thyroid.

For an easy introduction to Japanese food, try sushi which is low in fat but high in omega acids that could keep your blood healthy.


When it comes to food, Icelanders like to keep things simple with fresh seafood and lean lamb. Most foods are grown and produced locally with hardly any pesticides.

Dairy products in Iceland are often higher quality than ours and full of "good" bacteria. "Icelanders like fresh fish that's high in Omega 3 fatty acids too, which keep your heart and brain healthy" says nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville.


Just like Icelanders, Swedes eat lots of top quality dairy products that are crucial when it comes to keeping their digestion and immunity tickety-boo. Although vegetables don’t play an important role in the Scandinavian cuisine, they love berries, which are very high in antioxidants and usually picked up locally.

Swedes also eat plenty of complex unrefined carbohydrates in ryebread, which is often served alongside main meal. And because it's full of fibre, it leaves you feeling full for much longer.


Ethiopian cuisine is low in fat and high in nutrients and features lots and lots of grains. Teff, which is a whole grain that's high in fibre, iron, protein and calcium is used to prepare most of the dishes in the country. "Grains are really important for promoting digestive health and some studies suggest it could lower the risk of bowel cancer" says Dr Glenville.

The most famous Ethiopian salad, Azifa, is made up of green lentils and is often eaten with brown rice or pita bread. Lentils are high in fibre and protein but low in fat, making them a great dinner time idea. They're also what's called phytoestrogens which have a balancing effect on our hormones both for men and women.


"Using chopsticks is one of the best tricks to help you to slow down while eating, which may stop you chomping through more than you really want to" says Elouise Bauskis, a nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com

The Chinese favourite of green tea (which you'll find in every Chinese house) is also terrific for getting rid of toxins, helping your digestion and curbing cravings.


While you might think of France as the home of cheese and baguettes, one of the French's secret weapons is their fondness for a glass of red wine with dinner. Red wine is packed with resveratrol, an antioxidant that boosts your body's cell renewal and could help delay premature ageing. One study also suggests that resveratrol could turn any extra weight into calorie burning ‘brown fat’ helping you stay slimmer.


Indian cuisine is well known for its fiery spices, which not only add flavour and colour but also lots of health benefits. "Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory and could help relieve the symptoms of IBS" says Adrienne Benjamin, a nutritionist at www.provenprobiotics.co.uk

"Ginger is really good at easing a sore stomach too as it gets rid of excess gas in your digestive system and soothes your gut".

As a refresher,  Indians drink Lassi – a traditional, yogurt-based drink. Made of fermented milk and often flavoured with mint or mango, this healthy Lassi is rich in ‘friendly bacteria’ and could also help with your digestion, making for a more rested tummy.