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Johnny20270

Do you think Chinese food is more/less healthier than your own country

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ablindwatchmaker

@hedwards

 

It was similar for me. I took the subway everywhere, which involves a substantial amount of walking, and explored a lot since there were just so many things to do and so many places to eat. I made it a point to eat at as many different places as I could and probably failed to eat at even half of the places within just a mile of my dorm.

 

In Austin, exercise is always artificial (meaning it is a structured activity), and public transportation just isn't practical unless you live in certain locations. I actually can't wait to go back and live in China again. I find life here boring, socially distant, though I have many friends, and terribly expensive.

 

Yeah, comfort foods in the form of carbs aren't as available, and carbs are one of my weaknesses. In China I always ate those black Japanese eggs, whatever they are called, as a snack. DELICIOUS.

 

It's funny how oily everything is and how little I gained. As much as I find nutritional science to often be wildly innaccurate and onstantly reversing its position, I think they are on to something with the fat/carb issue.

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ablindwatchmaker

 

Which has nothing to do with McDonalds and KFC

 

Yep. They have plenty of equally affordable and more healthy options that are readily available. In the US, there are no cheap, relatively healthy alternatives to fast food, assuming you are eating out. I noticed the contrast almost immediately.

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Johnny20270

So so so easy to get fat in USA. I used to think that it was their own fault why Americans get fat but have been there many times I see that its just too easy to go some where and be faced with a Taco bells, McD,  Ben and Jerries etc and just pig out. Portion sizes and the option to go large is just too tempting.

 

 

It's funny how oily everything is and how little I gained. As much as I find nutritional science to often be wildly innaccurate and onstantly reversing its position, I think they are on to something with the fat/carb issue.

 

 

The current thinking amongst a lot of nutritional experts in the UK at least is that sugar and hidden processed fat are the real dangers. There has been an advertising war on fat in the UK (and I presume many other countries by manufactures) to sell their products. So things like "0% fat" is a great advertisement campaign. But lack of fat is substituted by sugar, sodium etc and hence not as prominent.

 

For anyone familiar with UK labels I was surprised to learn that a packet of KP "dry roasted" peanuts contains more salt that KP "salted" peanuts, and a slice of Hovis White bread has more salt, saturated fat and sugar that a packed to Walkers salted crisps

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grawrt

 

Yep. They have plenty of equally affordable and more healthy options that are readily available. In the US, there are no cheap, relatively healthy alternatives to fast food, assuming you are eating out. I noticed the contrast almost immediately.

 

This may be the case in the US, but in China, KFC and Mcdonalds are more expensive 'luxury' foods. You wont find a dollar menu in these establishments.

 

Also, in the last couple of years mcdonalds and other establishments have been raising their prices since they already have a hold on consumers. It's not necessarily cheaper, just more convenient.

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Angelina

 

 

Which has nothing to do with McDonalds and KFC and everything to do with parents and grandparents giving children far more food than they need and a cultural preference for chubby babies.

 

I think both factors contribute to the recent obesity problem in China. The cultural preference for chubby babies is a more important factor, but then KFC is there to make it happen. Grandparents probably grew up during food rationing and Mao, now they are doing everything they can to provide the best for the children. KFC can market themselves as being the best from the West. Many Chinese people think that KFC and company is the paragon of Western food. 

 

Also, the use of high fructose corn syrup in the US has contributed to health problems there. I guess it just makes you eat more and drink more soda. Again, it is not the only factor. 

 

A friend of mine from Macedonia was living in Austin for a while. She DID gain a lot of weight. So yeah, the city can do that to you. You can try to fight it. No one can force you not to walk. I have heard that many people in the US would hire maids. You can not hire one and do the basic things you need to do, there you go, physical activity. I have met some healthy American people, it's not impossible to do it. 

 

Gaining weight is not a problem. The problem is extreme obesity and all the health problems it can cause. 

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ablindwatchmaker

 

This may be the case in the US, but in China, KFC and Mcdonalds are more expensive 'luxury' foods.

This is what I mean, Chinese people are choosing to eat this food because they want it, not because it is forced on them. In the US, you absolutely cannot find reasonably priced food that is good for you. As an example, there's a restaurant that sells a moderately healthy chicken noodle soup near my school that is low calorie but can be considered qausi-fast food. The bowl is NINE dollars. In America, you get ripped off if you try to eat simple and healthy.

 

In China, that is enough money to order a fresh, sichuan style fish with tons of veggies and rice, or noodles, that can feed 4 people. I've found deals like this on many occasions. 55 kuai.

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imron
I think both factors contribute to the recent obesity problem in China.

As someone who used to live in a small town in China with no McDonalds or KFC but plenty of fat children, I still disagree with this.  Don't get me wrong, I don't particularly like McDonalds or KFC, but for the most part I don't think the rise in obesity in China has anything to do with them, but is rather due to cultural factors.

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ablindwatchmaker

 

You can not hire one and do the basic things you need to do, there you go, physical activity. I have met some healthy American people, it's not impossible to do it.

Of course, but instead of it being naturally integrated into one's life, it is a significant undertaking that must be highly organized and takes up a very significant amount of time. Aside from using bikes as a means of transportation, which is only useful within a certain distance and at certain times,your exercise will almost always be a planned activity in itself and will involve fairly complicated dietary planning and vigilance. Staying healthy in the United States without significnt effort is not easy unless you are genticlly inclined to be thin. In China I ate whatever I wanted and drank all the time and barely gained any weight.

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Angelina

It wouldn't take a significant amount of time or money, the most important thing is to fight certain social customs that have been imposed on you. "Organic is expensive", but then "Maids come cheap".

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ablindwatchmaker

 

"Maids come cheap".

 

Your friend was not hanging out with a normal American family. I have never met anyone who has a maid, ever.

 

Granted, I come from below the poverty line in the US, and it is a miracle that I ever made it to a university at all given our social policies, but I have friends who come from upper middle class families and even the top 1% and none of their families have maids. Only in the most affluent communities will you find that, and only sparingly. You can also count the number of places in the United States where driving a car isn't absolutely necessary on your hands and feet, so the idea of integrating exercise into one's life style, for most people, is a pipe dream.

 

Also, the people who can afford maids are typically in very good shape. As a general rule in the US, you could probably make a reasonably accurate predcition about the affluence of a community based solely on the average BMI in the community. This is due to many factors, some of which have to do with the cost and availability of cheap and healthy food. Try pitching the idea of spending 10 dollars on a salad to-go to a person of modest means and they will laugh. If eating organic is what you are suggesting as a part of the solution (I don't think food being organic has much of an impact, if any, with respect to one's weight), then that is not a workable solution. The bottom half of households would be crazy to buy all organic given the cost of other things.

 

 

the most important thing is to fight certain social customs

 

No doubt about it. It is the only way, and that's the whole point.

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realmayo

I think eating either low-fat or low-carbs will keep you from being overweight. But if nether of those are 'low', over time most people will get overweight. Most people trying to lose weight find it easier to sustain a low-carb diet than a low-fat diet, and now that fat-clogs-your-arteries delusion is being overturned the low-carb high-fat diets are increasingly popular.

 

China's moving closer to the American diet, so it will get more overweight.

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ablindwatchmaker

 

China's moving closer to the American diet, so it will get more overweight.

 

Please noooo........

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gato

The problem with carbs is that it doesn't suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin as much as a protein-rich meal does, so one ends up eating more calories.

The problem is especially acute with fructose, which is 100% digested in the liver (compared to 20% for glucose). Table sugar is 50/50 fructose and glucose. If one eats too much fructose, the liver is overwhelmed, and much of the fructose then gets converted into fat in the liver, leading to fatty liver disease.

See here:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/2/211.long

The high-protein (HP) breakfast decreased postprandial ghrelin concentrations more strongly over time than did the high-carbohydate (HC) breakfast. High associations between ghrelin and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide and glucagon suggest that stimulation of these peptides may mediate the postprandial ghrelin response. The high-protein breakfast also reduced gastric emptying, probably through increased secretion of cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide 1.

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Angelina

 

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.

 

Yes gato

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realmayo

Yes, ghrelin may cause one of the problems with the low-fat diet, people end up eating mostly carbs and tend to be hungry all the time, so it's hard to stick at it, especially when low-fat processed food has to be rammed full of sugar to make it taste nice.

 

But I think the main problem with carbs is they tell your body to store most of the fat you eat, and tell your body not to burn body fat. So, if there's fat in your meal as well as carbs, that fat doesn't get burned, it gets stored. And you feel hungry soon (because you haven't burned that fat for energy) so you need to eat more. And you snack on something sugary. Which tells your body not to burn fat. And so on....

 

Even where oil is used in Chinese food, it's not the case that a lick of oil is billions of fatty calories. But most of us -- well, me at least -- grew up thinking that fat was the enemy and so our mouths/minds become oversensitised to it.

 

Lots of vegetables, with tofu or meat for protein, cooking oil for a little fat, and carbs for plenty of cheap calories -- that would be the traditional Chinese way and seems fine. If snacks, those would be nuts and seeds rather than cookies and candy.

 

 

Most visitors to China aren't going to massively rework how they eat. In terms of what's healthier, say you're say a foreign student without too much time or money to spend on food, isn't it a bit easier to eat healthily in China? Veg-heavy meals with rice. I don't know what the cheap easy equivalent is in the UK or the US, but I doubt it's as healthy as that.

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Angelina

I am a foreign student and it is more difficult for me to eat healthy in China. Maybe it's different for UK/US people.

 

Ah buttermilk  :(

 

I eat as much carbs and as much fat as I want. Maybe because my favourite fatty food is flaxseed. My biggest problem is protein. 

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ablindwatchmaker

 

Maybe it's different for US/UK people.

 

Here is a familiar sight to those of you hailing from the US.

sns032313health.jpg

 

There are only 2 vegetables in America: ketchup and mustard.

This is a very typical sight. This is where you eat if you are outside of your house, unless you dine-in at an actual restaurant. Oh, and you will almost always be driving there. For the typical American, walking more than a few hundred yards in a day is a planned activity that most likely takes place in the gym or as a separate activity. Wanna walk to the supermarket? That is a 3 hour walk away, maybe further. Americans outside of Chicago and NYC don't believe in buildings over two stories, or houses under 2500 sq feet, so you will be DRIVING to get where you are going. Public transportation? a 7 mile trip to my unversity and back takes 4 hours. I've found that many people in America are either gym rats or terribly out of shape.

 

I've heard Europe is nothing like what I've described and more like China, but I have no idea. In China, I walked several miles a day and ate more veggies in two months in Beijing than I did in the previous two years here in Austin.

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ChTTay

My observations working in a school ... is that Chinese children and, particularly, their parents don't really have any proper understanding of nutrition or the effect of certain foods on your body.

 

It seems like their aren't many healthy snacks in China because, on the whole, their isn't much of a demand for this yet. In part, this is down to a lack of awareness about what they are putting in their bodies. Also, what they should be looking to eat for the sake of their health.

 

Right now a 'snack' or food eaten not at meal times tends to be chips, chocolate, cake or candy. Even many dried fruits have added sugar or flavorings. My students like those 'haw strips' quite a lot but they are so, so sweet. Between primary school and our classes students will just go with their parent/grandparent to buy fairly large bags of crisps to eat before class and in the break. They may have a pack of dried noodles and a cake to eat in the break at school. A student will often eat before, during and after classes. We run excursions to famous places... some studens backpacks are just filled with candy and cookies.

 

It's rare I see any student eating fruit or something like nuts (even seeds) at school. If I do see students eating an orange, it's usually with a pack of biscuits.

 

I would say that I rarely see students drink anything but water though.

 

Moving away from students, even in the supermarkets... most of the younger Chinese people I see in there have 70-80% junk food in their baskets. It seems like the habit of just snacking on junk food carries on after they leave school.

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Angelina

 

There are only 2 vegetables in America: ketchup and mustard.

 

hahahahahahaha

 

I am from the 'poorest' part of Europe. And the cheapest. China is expensive for me. Now I need to pay the extra yuan for vegetables that were fed dirty, polluted water. I am lucky that tofu is the cheapest food available (finally something vegetarians can benefit from).

 

It is funny. You say that a decent meal costs at least 10 dollars. Three healthy meals a day, seven days a week, that's approximately 200 dollars a week. Don't tell me working-class people aka 美国的老百姓 can't afford to spend 200 dollars a week on healthy food. It's not much when compared to the average salary over there. It's nutrition. Somehow you guys think healthy food is a luxury. You have more important things in life, like a Netflix subscription. You can even try to cook on your own. At least you can make your own salad.

 

Anyway, that's how the system was created. Your city was designed to foster the automobile industry and the oil industry. Because Texas  :) Food is the little box you pick up while driving back home.

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