Spanish health tips that confuse me
N.B. This blog is also available in Finnish and you’ll find it here
Even though studies have shown that Spain has one of the highest life expectancy in Europe, I find that some of their habits are quite the opposite when speaking of healthy life style. I follow many professionals in the field of health and well-being on social media and read magazines, that are labelled under the healthy living and healthy food categories, and every time some of their tips confuse and astound me.
I gathered those “healthy tips” here so you can check them and tell me if I’m totally wrong and lost with all of these thoughts:
• First of all, breakfast. Spaniards aren’t that much of breakfast people and they often replace it with a cup of coffee. I have seen several professionals, not one nor two, advising people to eat a decent breakfast, that is great. But what they are suggesting? Toasted white bread with a lot of olive oil (tablespoon or two isn’t enough…) and fresh tomato sauce! Are you kidding me? Where are all the proteins? And how about those fast carbs from white bread and lack of fiber? Good fats are important for all of us and for example essential for brain functioning, but you don’t need them that much right in the morning. No wonder the Spaniards eat a lot of sugary snacks and baked goods to raise the blood sugar later in the day.
• About the vegetables. The Spanish climate is favorable for growing vegetables, and the selection of them is here very good. But how those are prepared and how they are recommended to be cooked, confuses me; the more oil the better! And when you order in a restaurant side salad or vegetables instead of fries, you can be sure that you’ll get half of the plate full of potatoes… Nothing wrong with the potatoes, but I was thinking of something fresh and colourful!
• No carbs before bedtime. According to some Spanish studies and specialists, foods high in carbohydrates may cause insomnia. For me decent bowl of oats with banana and nut butter is the key for a good night sleep. I would rather try to avoid fatty and high protein foods, as they effect on digestion and may affect on sleep quality.
• I saw a guide on one sport magazine, which was made for to help make better decisions by checking the nutritional values behind each product while shopping. Really good advice, but according to the guide 3g fiber / 100g was A LOT of it, and this amount should be reached for when buying bread or cereals… I think that the minimum recommended amount of fiber in Finland is 6g / 100g, and I myself try to buy products with at least 10g / 100g.
• Drinking beer daily impacts positively on your health. Even though I like beer and enjoy it once in a while, I wouldn’t ever consider that as a health act, not even in my wildest dreams 😉 . According to Spaniards beer is nutritious, good for the bones, it fights against the viruses and keeps you healthy, and it’s also a perfect recovery drink after workout. Just to mention few of its “health benefits”.
So, what do you think? Am I completely gone wrong with my thoughts?
P.S. The photos on this post were taken at Oveja Negra restaurant, that is our newest found here in Nerja. We didn’t order for sure any health portions, didn’t even try, and everything we tried surprised us positively. If you’re a fan of burgers you should give Oveja Negra restaurant a try!