Five factor world diet

Good Health magazine
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Five factor world diet. Image: Thinkstock
Every meal should have a small amount of low-fat, high-quality protein such as soy, nuts, eggwhites or yoghurt.
Good Health magazine
How do you do it?

So how do you dine in South Korea for breakfast and Italy at lunch? Elevate your metabolism and balance blood sugar by eating five small meals that contain five core ingredients and total 5016 to 6688kJ daily. Choose steaming and grilling over frying, eat small amounts of animal protein no more than once a day and never continue eating until you’re full. In addition, says Harley Pasternak, a Canadian-born, LA-based celebrity nutritionist/trainer and author of the 5-Factor World Diet (Random House US, $39.95). Exercise for 25 minutes five days a week – and take one 'free' day to eat as you like.

Every meal should have a small amount of low-fat, high-quality protein such as soy, nuts, eggwhites or yoghurt. Pasternak explains: "Unlike carbohydrates and fat, our bodies cannot store protein and so we must ingest protein at regular intervals." Protein also helps maintain lean tissue and burn fat while boosting your metabolism and creating satiety.

World foods: Salmon teriyaki from Japan; tofu from China and Singapore; chickpeas and lentils from Israel; chicken from France; grilled beef from South Korea; yoghurt from Greece and ceviche (a seafood dish) from Spain.

Include 5 to 10g of fibre every time you eat, which can be met by choosing the most fibrous carbohydrates. Eat both soluble and insoluble fibre: it helps stabilise blood sugar and also slows digestion, leaving you feeling fuller.

World foods: from the Mediterranean diet, feast on oats, barley, beans, lentils and nuts; from Greece and Israel, wholegrain pasta and bulgur; from Sweden, wholegrain cereals and breads; vegetables like bok choy, cabbage and kale, used in Korean cuisine; leeks and tomatoes from the French tradition; seaweed from Japan; and fresh figs, rambutan, apricots and pomegranates from Italy, Singapore and Spain.

Use sparing amounts of poly- and monounsaturated fats like olive, fish or canola oil. In Pasternak's top 10 countries, "people by no means shy away from 'bad' fats – the ones found in cheese and meat – but they eat them in moderation and in much smaller quantities", explains Pasternak.

World foods: Without exception, the top 10 diets contain little saturated fat and small amounts of healthy fats from canola and olive oil (Italy); avocados (modern Japanese); almonds (Greece and Spain); and fish (Greece).

Unlike carbohydrates from refined flour and sugar, wholegrains, fruit and vegetable carbohydrates "make you feel fuller faster and for longer", says Pasternak, and "will moderate your blood-sugar and energy levels".

World foods: Dark wholegrain breads from Sweden; lentils and mushrooms from Spain and France; chickpeas and fava beans from Italy and Israel; udon and buckwheat soba noodles from Japan; mung bean noodles and brown rice from Singapore.

Drink at least eight 250ml glasses of water or low-joule, sugar-free beverages daily to stay hydrated, flush out toxins and create satiety.

World foods: Mineral water from France; green tea from Asia; oolong tea from China; and minimal coffee from Sweden, Italy, Israel and France.

Good Health magazine For more information about diets in individual countries, and many more nutrition articles, pick up the April issue of Good Health magazine. Get a great subscription deal on Good Health magazine at

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