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Healthiest Ethnic Cuisines

I love to dine out, don’t you? Delicious meals without the dishes….glorious!

So where to dine if you’re being health-conscious? What ethnic cuisine offers the most nutritionally sound options? Take a guess.

Think about it…..

Think harder….

Are you sure?


You’re probably wrong…

Is that your FINAL answer?

Last chance…

Are you sure this time?


Okay, then.

What’s your answer?

Well, Health.com says:

  1. Greek
  2. California Fresh
  3. Vietnamese
  4. Japanese
  5. Indian
  6. Italian
  7. Spanish
  8. Mexican
  9. South American
  10. Thai

Interesting, right?

Greek tops the ethnic health charts, but not because of spanikopita and gyros, I assure you. Greek cuisine is, however, packed with mono and polyunsaturated fats found in oils and olives and offers beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables, and garlic in abundance. In short, Greek food offers the quintessential Mediterranean fare that boasts its proven heart health benefits.

California Fresh offers fresh, local food that features fruits, vegetables, and all-natural meats. Seems like an obvious healthy choice.

A surprise to me: Mexican. The article talks about tomato-based sauces, soups, and beans. Somehow, that’s not what I envision, even walking into an authentic Mexican restaurant. Hmm…

Question: What’s your favorite ethnic cuisine? Do you think it offers healthy options?

Off to get my hair did! 😀 Eyebrows, too!

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  1. September 2, 2010 / 3:37 pm

    I would’ve guessed Japanese would be number 1! The problem with Greek is that I don’t think the healthy Greek options are what is prevalent in the U.S.

    I really love Indian and Mexican, but I could really go for most ethnic cuisines!

  2. September 2, 2010 / 3:39 pm

    Some of the cuisines on that list suprise me. I never really think of Italian food as healthy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lately Greek has become one of my favorites though, so I guess that’s a good thing. We just found a great Greek restaurant on the river that we’re dying to try too. Now I have an even better excuse to convince the hubbs that going there for our next date night is a good idea!

  3. September 2, 2010 / 3:41 pm

    Well, because I’m hispanic, I have to say mexican food tops, but I love lebonese food! Thats the same as greek… right?

  4. September 2, 2010 / 3:42 pm

    Haha I was thinking “Mediterranean” which I guess includes Greek food. But I dunno about you but I’ve never found gyros particularly healthy. ๐Ÿ˜›

    I think it one that really surprises me is Mexican, too, but only because when I think of Mexican food I, sadly, only think of the heavy, greasy stuff, with the tortilla chips, sour cream and ridiculous amounts of cheese. But I suppose it just depends on what you eat that’s Mexican. Most Mexican restaurants I’ve been to rarely serve anything that screams “fresh and healthy” to me. :S

    It’s so hard to choose a favorite cuisine! Interestingly enough, my least favorite cuisine, at least that I’ve tried, so far would probably be German. Seeing as most of my family hails from Germany you’d think I’d like it but a lot of German foods I’ve tried are just not for me. :S I suppose Iranian/Middle Eastern cuisine is my favorite. My best friend from when I was really young was Iranian, so dinners at her house were the BEST.

  5. September 2, 2010 / 3:47 pm

    Well, are we talking the original or Americanized version? Because in America we make everything less healthy. (Like Mexican.) I can see Greek being healthy though, if you’re talking about the traditional Mediterranean diet.

  6. September 2, 2010 / 3:57 pm

    Love that Greek is rated the first with healthy eating when it comes to dining out. I love Greek, but don’t get me wrong…Mexican is high on my list too!

  7. September 2, 2010 / 4:14 pm

    Wow– I can’t believe Mexican beat Thai in terms of health!

  8. September 2, 2010 / 4:31 pm

    I love all of the cuisine on that list, especially Greek and Indian

  9. September 2, 2010 / 4:33 pm

    Hmm… I honestly don’t know if I could pick just one, especially with all of the new ethnic cuisine’s I’ve been trying. If I had to pick my absolute favorite I’d have to go classic with Italian. I mean, you can’t go wrong with bread, pasta and pizza. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. September 2, 2010 / 4:49 pm

    I have to say, I really think mexican can be a very healthy choice as long as you pick the right thing. I lost a lot of weight by eating mexican 1-2 times a week. I would limit myself to 12 chips with as much salsa as I wanted. I would order 2 soft chicken tacos and a side of black beans. And load up on the salsa. You can also get grilled chicken, veggies, and guacamole which are all very healthy. Or a taco salad and leave the shell. I couldn’t live without mexican food!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. September 2, 2010 / 5:40 pm

    Interesting list! I think it really depends on the restaurant and what you order. I love “California Fresh” and know that we are a bit spoiled with great produce, etc. longer than many parts of the country… Favorite ethnic cuisines? Korean, Japanese, Italian, Mexican… Actually, it’s really hard for me to think of food I don’t like…

  12. September 2, 2010 / 7:20 pm

    I didn’t think of Greek food but that does make sense. That is one of my favorites also! yum! I am becoming more and more a fan of Indian food and Mexican always tops my list. Ok, so pretty much everything. haha.

  13. September 2, 2010 / 7:43 pm

    I’m glad to see Indian food is on the list! (It’s a HUGE favorite in our house! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    I’m so excited you’re making the cake! I hope you enjoy it!

  14. September 2, 2010 / 8:24 pm

    Japanese is by far my favorite—-love me some sushi!

    I love greek food but definitely don’t eat it as much as I love it. However Greek Fest is next wknd so I will be getting my fill of it there ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. September 2, 2010 / 9:40 pm

    I love my Spanish food!

  16. September 2, 2010 / 9:44 pm

    Yeah, the annual Labor Day Greek Festival is this weekend. I’m staying as far away as possible because the only thing I would go for is baklava and spanikopita.

    I enjoy Vietnamese and Thai food…

  17. sunshine608
    September 2, 2010 / 10:06 pm

    I was thinking Mediterranean too. The city I just moved from had an abundance of Mediterranean/Lebanese/Israeli restaurants and I miss them soo much. I knew that a healthy dinner was never far away. The Chicken sharwama with a nice salad and hummos was perfect. Not too much dressing and the plate proportions would have made my nutritionist proud. Here we have lots of Greek restaurants which is really to say Pizza places because those terms seem to be interchangeable :(. The Greek options are really limited.

    I also enjoy Spanish food and Mexican food, but its hard to find healthy choices on many of the menus. I’ve learned that there is usually a “secret” section on the back or bottom of many menus that offer the real, healthy aspects of the cuisine.

  18. September 2, 2010 / 10:35 pm

    I love indian & chinese cuisine…I never thought indian food would be in the list…

  19. September 2, 2010 / 11:06 pm

    Interesting. I am surprised that Greek was #1. My favs are #6 and #8.

  20. September 3, 2010 / 2:14 am

    Thanks for sharing! Indian food is one of my faves :-). California Fresh sounds good too.

    Also, I think my basil plant is looking a bit better. I’ve been giving it more sun and water after talking with the lady who sold it to me. We’ll see how long I can keep it going ;-).

  21. September 3, 2010 / 2:26 pm

    I’d think Japanese would be closer to the top considering true sushi/sashimi. But I love Greek! and California fresh! Well… and all food really!!

  22. September 6, 2010 / 8:50 am

    It doesn’t surprise me that Greek food tops the list! When I was there on vacation, my mind opened up more to the fact that what we eat matters just as much as quantity. I felt like I was eating quite a bit, but since it was all unprocessed, clean food, full of protein and good fats, my body took it very well! I felt great the whole time and didn’t gain any weight (like I typically do on vacation!)

  23. September 7, 2010 / 11:18 pm

    Greek all the way! Im glad it was #1, too.

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