Nutritionists believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After the body has been resting for multiple hours it is important for it to absorb nutrients that have gotten used up. Sadly, breakfast is a meal which has seen an increase of sugar, salt, and portion size in recent decades. Ingredients have become less seasonal and are imported from all over the world year round, instead of when they are ripe. For breakfasts to remain healthy it is crucial that the produce is fresh and local. The healthiest countries are those who rarely import food that they do not grow somewhere with in their country or neighboring countries, unless it is for a restaurant chain. They let the natural flavor of the ingredients shine which creates a diet with many unique tastes and textures. Sugar, butter, and salt are used sparingly, if at all and portions are rarely overabundant. Below are a few examples of how other regions around the world enjoy their breakfasts, and why they are so healthy for the body.
Rice is fundamental in most Chinese meals, including breakfast. There is also a great importance for other grains, fruits, legumes, vegetables, and nuts to be included in that order. Fish and eggs are eaten occasionally and white and red meats are a rarity in Chinese breakfasts. A bowl of rice, some soup filled with vegetables, and sliced fruit is a typical breakfast in an Chinese household. Eating like this for generations has lowered the chances of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Though as China is becoming more developed they are finding more American food options slipping into their diets.
The people of Spain, Italy, and Greece have diets focused on the bounties of the Mediterranean Sea. Not only can they obtain fish and other seafood, the water has gifted their counties with fertile land that is used to grow fruits, vegetables, wine, and livestock. A classic breakfast would have a variety of cheeses, baked fish, olives, fresh bread, and olive oil. A small amount of wine may make a presence, but only because it is considered to help with digestion. Olive oil has been known to be a healthier alternative to butter and other cooking fats for decades, and can help lower weight and cardiovascular disease.
Nordic counties such as Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway have much more red meat in their diet. However, they balance it with grains, eggs, seafood, fruits and vegetables. More than half of the food in their diet is organic and meals are make with native produce. Rapeseed oil is used for cooking instead of olive oil or butter, which greatly reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Common Nordic breakfasts can include a plethora of ingredients including pickled fish, fermented cheese, jam with bran muffins, and boiled root vegetables like beets and turnips with potatoes.
The French diet is very rich compared to others, however they eat in much smaller potions as well. The French consume bread, full-fat moldy cheese, thinly sliced meats, fruit, wine, and chocolate regularly. Moldy cheese has been show to have beneficial dietary affects as well as the previously mention wine. Red meats are eaten occasionally, but are sliced thin and are not the center of the meal. A french breakfast will always include bread and either a butter or jam spread, and usually there are grapes, tomatoes, olives, and maybe a few slices of hard sausage or salami.