As we become more health-conscious, diets are becoming more important and influential in our lives. Even when it comes to travel, certain destinations may be taken off or added onto the bucket list thanks to the type of foods that are widely served there.
In reality, you can find both healthy and unhealthy foods everywhere you go. Partly because healthy means something different to everyone, and partly because no entire cuisine is so black and white.
In general, though, there are some cuisines that are typically better for you than others. Keep reading to find out which destinations you should go to if you’re a health fanatic and which to go to if you’re a comfort eater!
10 Health Fanatic: Japan
If you’re a certified health fanatic, then you’ll love exploring the culinary scene in Japan. Authentic Japanese food is typically very healthy, often featuring fresh and seasonal ingredients. There’s a big focus on seafood, both cooked and raw.
You might want to stay away from the tempura veggies if you’re trying to stay healthy, but you’ll never go hungry in Japan. In Japanese eateries in the west, there are a lot of unhealthy food options available which might make you think that all Japanese food is similar. But that’s actually a reflection of a cuisine adapted to suit western tastes.
9 Comfort Eater: The United States
No surprises here. If you’re a comfort eater, you’ll love eating your way through the United States. While you can get healthy food here too, there is definitely no shortage of fast and comfort food. This is the land of burgers, hot dogs, and French fries as a side to pretty much everything.
If you venture to the Southern states, you’re in for even more comfort food in the way of cornbread, fried chicken, and pecan pies. There’s also plenty of opportunities to sample an authentic Southern barbecue, which any carnivore will love.
8 Health Fanatic: Australia
Typically, the dishes that are delicacies in Australia aren’t that healthy. They’ve got meat pies, fairy bread spread with butter and colorful sprinkle chips, pavlova and burgers with the lot. But Australia is a good destination for a health fanatic because there is a lot of healthy food available. You just have to stray from the traditional Aussie cuisine a little.
Throughout the major cities of Australia, you’ll find restaurants and cafes catering to those who want to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, organic, and low-carb. A favorite Aussie brunch dish is toast with thickly smeared avocado and other fresh toppings, affectionately known as smashed avo.
7 Comfort Eater: Scotland
If you’re on a diet, Scotland is not an ideal destination. Of course, there’s healthy food available in the British nation, but the best and most unique delicacies don’t exactly meet the Atkins standards.
While in Scotland, be prepared to encounter deep-fried Mars bars, sticky toffee pudding, and battered fish and chips. It’s not just what’s available, but the typical Scottish portions also make this an excellent destination for comfort eaters. In a full Scottish breakfast, you’ll have so much delicious food that some of it will probably fall off the plate.
6 Health Fanatic: India
In western countries, we tend to think of Indian takeout food as less than healthy. It’s often considered a splurge, something that we eat when we’re not thinking about our health or watching our waistlines. But authentic Indian food that hasn’t been adapted for western taste buds can be very healthy in terms of providing a variety of nutrients and having positive effects on the body. Of course, it varies between the different sub-cultures and regions within the country.
Across India, certain regions follow a nearly total plant-based diet without any meat. You are likely to eat large amounts of lentils and vegetables in addition to rice and bread.
5 Comfort Eater: Italy
This is a no-brainer. If you are a foodie and love a bit of comfort food, then consider visiting Italy at least once in your life. Nowadays, pasta, pizza, and gelato are available everywhere, but there’s something special about having an authentic gelato cone in Rome or a traditional pizza in Naples.
Italian food boasts so much more than the well-known dishes that everyone loves. Comfort eaters should love the fried rice balls known as arancini and the fried donut-like sweets known as zeppole.
4 Health Fanatic: Scandinavia
Overall, the countries of Scandinavia tend to have a good reputation when it comes to healthy food. According to The Culture Trip, there is an obesity rate of 11 percent in Scandinavia, compared to more than 35% in the United States. The average life expectancy in Scandinavia is 81 years.
The typical foods found in abundance in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark include dark and filling rye bread, fermented fish, berries, and dairy. Specialties here are the open-faced sandwich known as Smørrebrød, fruit soup, and pickled herring.
3 Comfort Eater: France
In France, it’s very difficult to stick to any kind of clean-eating regimen. You can try, but just know that you’ll be confronted by creamy cheeses that go into dishes, such as croquet monsieur and quiche, and tender meats served with rich butter-based sauces. For sweet tooths, there will also be the croissants and macarons to tempt you.
It is possible to follow a healthy diet in France, but you sure would be missing out on a lot of divine local delicacies. Better to indulge in hazelnut dacquoise and leave the protein balls for when you return home.
2 Health Fanatic: Vietnam
Vietnamese food is rightly known for being light, fresh, and healthy. Standard meals in Vietnam tend to include soup, meats that are grilled or steamed, lots of fruit, vegetables, and salad. There isn’t a strong tradition of desserts in the country, but there is plenty of delicious tropical fruits to sample.
One of the most popular Vietnamese dishes is pho, which is a rice noodle soup. It features ingredients such as lime, basil, chilies, and usually beef or chicken cooked in the boiling liquid. Definitely a pick-me-up!
1 Comfort Eater: Germany
German food is all about flavor and heartiness. Although just about any cuisine can be found in the major German cities, traditional German food should also be sampled during a visit. This encompasses dishes from the regions across the country.
Bavaria is famous for its sausages, including bierwurst and blutwurst, as well as its selection of beers. In Germany, you’ll also come across famous delicious dishes such as bratwurst and currywurst, and pork hock known as schweinshaxe. Often heavy and served in huge portions, German food is well suited to big eaters.