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Nine of the top ten most healthiest countries are in Africa

HEALTHY CUSINE: Nine African countries have the best food diets in the world

CHAD AND Sierra Leone have the best diets in the world, consuming the most fruit, vegetables, nuts and wholegrains.

In fact, nine out of top ten countries with the most healthy diets, are African.

The global study revealed a worldwide rise in the consumption of healthy food, including fruit and vegetables, but this was overtaken by a worrying increase in the amount of junk food being eaten.

To make their findings, published in The Lancet Global Health journal, researchers used national data from almost 90 per cent of the global population to analyse how people ate between 1990 and 2010.

They then assessed three dietary patterns. The first was based on ten healthy foods: fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, milk, total polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish, plant omega-3s, and dietary fibre.

The second was based on seven unhealthy foods: unprocessed red meats, processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, saturated fat, trans fat, dietary cholesterol, and sodium. The third was an overall assessment based on all 17 food groups.

Using this data, researchers scored countries between 0-100 – with a higher number indicating a healthier diet.

The study revealed that high-income nations, such as the US, Canada, Western European nations, Australia and New Zealand, had better diets based on healthy items but substantially poorer diets when unhealthy food was considered.

And countries in sub-Saharan Africa and some Asian nations, including China and India, saw no improvement in their diets over the past two decades.

Meanwhile, low income nations, such as Chad and Mali, scored best for healthy foods.

Scoring lowest for healthy foods were European countries including Belgium and Hungary and republics of the former Soviet Union – including Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

When age and sex were assessed, researchers found that older people ate better than younger adults, and women ate better than men.

Dr Fumiaki Imamura, of the University of Cambridge, who led the research, said that that improving diet has a “crucial role to play” in reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases, which will account for 75 per cent of all deaths by 2020.

The countries with the healthiest diets:
1. Chad
2. Sierra Leone
3. Mali
4. Gambia
5. Uganda
6. Ghana
7. Ivory Coast
8. Senegal
9. Israel
10. Somalia

The countries with the least healthy diets:
1. Armenia
2. Hungary
3. Belgium
4. Czech Rebublic
5. Kazakhstan
6. Belarus
7. Argentina
8. Turkmenistan
9. Mongolia
10. Slovakia

The countries who scored highest for healthy foods:
1. Tunisia
2. Barbados
3. Cape Verde
4. Mauritius
5. Israel
6. Quatar
7. Cyprus
8. Seychelles
9. Mali
10. Grenada

The countries who scored highest for unhealthy foods:
1. Azerbajan
2. Slovakia
3. Czech Republic
4. Belgium
5. Heilongjiang, a Chinese province
6. Iceland
7. Belarus
8. Lithuania
9. USA
10. Russia

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