The Global Health Index results are in, and Italians rank first as the world’s healthiest people, according to Bloomberg.
The secret to their longevity seems to reside in their approach to nutrition, as Mediterranean diet based on pasta, bread, cheese, lean meat, and wine has them living well into their 80s.
The Italians’ high consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, which make it to the plate every day, also accounts for the nation’s vigorous health and low mortality rates. Another magical ingredient found in abundance in Italian cuisine in olive oil, which has great benefits for cardiovascular health.
Surprisingly enough, although studies have shown a balanced diet can make us happy, Italy didn’t fare so well in the United Nations’ World Happiness Report for 2017, where the country only managed to rank in at No. 48 out of 155.
The Italians’ unhappy disposition may be caused by their stagnant economy and high youth unemployment rate. Nevertheless, the stress of financial struggles doesn’t seem to affect their longevity.
The Global Health Index, calculated each year by Bloomberg, assessed population health in 163 countries. The index bases its ranking on “health score” that evaluates life expectancy at different ages, mortality rates due to illness or injury, and survival contingency at critical times.
Each country also received penalty points determined by unhealthy factors – such as smoking, overweight and obesity, and improper childhood nutrition – as well as environmental conditions, for instance pollution and limited access to potable water.
The overall calculations led to a “health grade.” Italy scored the highest, with a grade of 93.11. The second ranking position was claimed by Iceland with a health grade of 91.21, while third place went to Switzerland, which scored a total of 90.75 points. Singapore and Australia also made it to the top five, managing to accumulate 90.23 and 89.24 points respectively.
At the opposite pole stand Slovakia (65.10), Barbados (64.14), Oman (62.89), and Panama (62.39), while Albania ranked at the bottom of the index, with 62.01 points.
The United States managed to score a total of 73.05 points, ranking in at No. 34. According to Bloomberg, the nation’s “ranking for prevalence of overweight people is 67.3 – tipping the scale as one of the world’s heaviest nations.” The country’s health score was also affected by maternal mortality rates, which – although curtailing worldwide – are increasing in the United States.
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You must be wondering how a diet of pizzas, pasta among other indulgent items boasts of being one of the healthiest in the world. Well, there are certain secrets about the Italian diet that are both, unique and relatable–some of which, have been revealed over the years.Recently voted as the healthiest country on earth by the Bloomberg Global Health Index, Italy apparently has a lot to thank its cuisine for.
But wait, aren’t food items like cheese-laden pizzas contributing towards making nations like America overweight? Not really. A post shared by Best Food, Chef And Restaurant (@italian_food) on Italian lifestyle is dominated by fresh produce, adequate exercise, authentic cuisine, beneficial oils like canola and olive, besides occasional glasses of red wine. Please pay attention.
The keyword here is, ‘authentic’.Also Read: Italy is World’s Healthiest Country; India doesn’t feature in top 50The skewed form of Italian food served around the world (including in India) barely does justice to its original form. For example, by adding processed meat to a pizza instead of the vegetables Italians use, you’re piling on calories for yourself–the calories Italians choose to ignore.So, here are some things Italians do differently than the rest of the world and ensure their delicious doesn’t make them gain weight.1. According to Mayo Clinic, the
Mediterranean diet comprises of using natural herbs and spices instead of salt for adding flavour. A post shared by Best Food, Chef And Restaurant (@italian_food). Red meat is a rarity, whereas fish and poultry is consumed at least twice a week.3. Italians also believe in consuming healthy amounts of red wine that contains its fair share of benefits.4. Butter is replaced by oils like Canola and Olive.5. Many Italians replace dessert with fresh fruits.6. Besides laying emphasis on homemade food, Italians are huge fans of fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts–each of which are packed with health benefits.Researches over the years have shown how resorting to the Mediterranean diet might actually keep you away from cholesterol and subsequently, heart diseases. Also linked with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, the diet is believed to alter the risk of breast cancer among women.
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