Let’s face it, the diet in the Philippines is quite a bit different than the diet back in the USA where I come from. If you are reading this, it’s most likely that you are from some either the USA or some other western country, since my website statistics show that most of my readers are not Philippine based. Since you are likely reading this from another part of the world from where I am, I expect that you realize that the food served here is much different than you are used to.
Let’s see, what are the differences? They eat a lot more fish here than we normally would. They eat a lot of rice! If they eat meat during their meal, it is a small amount of meat, which is generally used as more of a flavor additive for the rice. For us, the meat is usually the major part of our meal. Another big difference is that here they tend to eat any type of food at each meal. For us, we have certain kinds of food that are for each meal. For example, generally speaking, for breakfast we might eat bacon, eggs, sausage, and things like that. Here, it is not out of the ordinary to have a hot dog or some spaghetti for breakfast!
In my opinion, there are a lot of eating habits of Filipinos that are a lot healthier than ours. But, still, there are some that are far less healthy. One of the less healthy habits is that a large portion of the food here is fried. We eat a fair amount of fried foods in the west too, but not nearly as much as they do here. Some food items are actually dripping with oil when served. Not only is that very unhealthy, but also unappetizing for me.
I think that a great thing to do to improve health is to combine the best from the Filipino diet with the best from a western diet. Eat salads, which are rarely served here but getting more popular, but also cut back on your serving of meat. Certainly, it is healthy if you can add more fish to your diet, although the way you cook it is the determining factor on the healthiness of the dish.
Since coming to the Philippines about 7 years ago, my diet has indeed changed a lot, and mostly for the better. Making a full change to a Filipino diet is something that I did not do, nor did I want to. I just sort of blended the two different diets and chose the ones that suited me best. I have lost about 140 pounds since living here, although I still need to lose more. But, I am indeed healthier now than I was when I moved here. Probably the biggest change I made was by eating more fish and seafood in general. It’s something that I really enjoy, especiallly since fish can be gotten so fresh here, right of the boat in some cases.
A lot of times, if you come on vacation, you can eat the diet that they eat here. You know, “when in Rome, eat like the Romans do!” But, doing it for a couple weeks of vacation is different than making a complete change when you live here. When you come here to live, make some slow changes, and in a year you can be where you want to be!