In Europe, Healthcare Starts with Diet

French Diet

If you want to feel bad about your diet, all you have to do is scroll through Netflix and you can find at least one documentary that will confirm that your diet is wrong! Most of the time we hear that we are eating too much meat, too much gluten, and too much dairy. In my experience, it’s not so much about what we’re eating but how much we’re eating and where it comes from. When I was living in Spain and traveling throughout Europe, those skinny Europeans were eating all the same things that we do and didn’t have nearly the extent of health problems that we have because of our “American” diet (I use quotes because it’s hard to say what the “American” diet is anymore).

Food In Europe

In France, they ate more saturated fat and cholesterol laden foods than anywhere else I traveled. Wine, cheese, bread, and fatty choices of meat were all commonplace. Spain was similar but different. Alcohol was ungodly cheap…I’m talking $1.50 in U.S. currency for a bottle of drinkable red wine. It tasted better than Berringer’s or Copper Key any day. But in Spain they ate tons of seafood, cheese, and pork which we are often told we should avoid.

Free Healthcare

I’m not saying that free healthcare plays a role in all of this but it is worth a mention that in Europe they have access to free healthcare and are perhaps more diligent about visiting the doctor and nipping problems in the bud before they turn into medical conditions. Also, in Europe it is not in your best interest to allow yourself to get fat. Space is limited in cities and they take a more dim view of people who are overweight. Not to be mean, but in the United States we have a tendency to skirt around the problem. It’s not the extra sixty pounds you’re carrying that is causing your high blood pressure or your sleep apnea –we can give you a pill for that.

I wish everyone could have a doctor that actually cared about them enough to tell them the hard truth.

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