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Vio
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Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:59 am

Hi,

I'm very careful when it comes to the types of food I eat and I exercise regularly. I'm not trying to watch my figure or loose weight, but rather maintain a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, I don't fancy sweets, however I love beer. It was very hard giving that up. I will drink beer on special occasions, but I tried to reduce it to an absolute minimum. *Cries*... anyway... the story is not about me.

Being raised in an Eastern European family, my mother cooked a lot of food "from the old country", however since we moved to Canada 14 years ago she started cooking recipes from all over the world, so the percentage of Romanian to "other ethnic" foods is maybe 15%-20% of the time now.

I noticed that a lot of the food she cooked, using traditional recipes are very unhealthy. (Fried, lots of oil, lots of sugar)... That's also very apparent with some other ESL friends (lol, i can say that because I'm ESL as well)... They would fry everything!!! I think that's not only disgusting, but extremely unhealthy. I've travelled to Northern Europe and Western Europe, but I didn't notice the same things.

What do you guys think? Am I wrong? Maybe they don't know how to cook?

Cheers,

Vio
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ajd1992
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:07 am

It is unhealthy IMHO... try grilling if you can. I don't know how to change the sugar though, just use less of it.
 
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Vio
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:14 am

Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 1):
I don't know how to change the sugar though, just use less of it.

Well I'm reffering more to the sweets. I think Eastern European Sweets (Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, etc. are very delicous... so my friends say... again, I don't fancy sweets), but with the holiday season coming up, I'm scared of how much crap my poor father will eat Big grin

They should just cut down on the sweets. It seems like Eastern Europeans make a celebration out of eating... and eating a lot... :/
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ajd1992
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:24 am

Do you mean deserts or the little things you get in wrappers?
 
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Vio
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:28 am

I mean home made sweets, such as these:

http://www.anapan.ro/files/cofetarie/prajituri-casa-mare.jpg
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:12 am

Forgive me my ignorance, but what is "ESL"???

My experience with Romanian cuisine is very limited. When it comes to Czech cuisine I think it is not certainly "healthy" and suffers from the fact that the country historically has been always landlocked, trerefore absence of fish/seafood. The climate also isn't exactly favorable for growing fruits or vegetables (other than apples, plums, cabbage or sugar beets).
 
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Vio
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:16 am

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 5):
Forgive me my ignorance, but what is "ESL"???

ESL = English as a Second Language

Here are a few other ones we use with each other (between friends)

FOB = Fresh Off the Boat Big grin

Cheers,

Vio
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aloges
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:10 am

Quoting Vio (Thread starter):
Fried, lots of oil, lots of sugar

Of course, it all depends on the amount of it - as you said, eating a lot of fatty, sugary food isn't quite the healthy thing to do. But you can lessen the impact by using healthier oils containing more unsaturated/polyunsaturated fatty acids than standard oil.
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andaman
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:26 am

Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 1):
It is unhealthy IMHO... try grilling if you can. I don't know how to change the sugar though, just use less of it.

Is the because of the Danish cooking why Danes die younger than others in the Nordic area? I know at least you smoke more. But maybe you live happier life with the 'hygge' diet  Smile

Life expectancy in birth:

Sweden 80,5y
Iceland 80.3
Norway 79,5
Finland 78,5
Denmark 77.8

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JAGflyer
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:09 am

Not as bad as UK cooking.

-Fried anything
-Sweets
-Different animal fats
-Sausages
-Breads
-Potatoes
-Take all of the above, fry it in lard
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captaink
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:22 am

I think it really boils down to doing what you in moderation. For instance, beer has actually has positive effects on the body, but too much of anything can be bad, and certainly the case with beer. Those sweets in the pic look rather delicious, again, or or two won't kill you or affect your body negatively. I mean live and love life, eat well but in moderation, know you body and what it can handle, and exercise, I am sure you would live a long healthy life. My grandad really enjoyed his life, and he ate alot of food, (he was never overweight) but he ate just about everything. But he never overdid, and he lived to the age 90, died a pretty happy guy.
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:26 am

It really all varies between dishes. I'm used to a lot of Russian food, because in early childhood my grandma would always make me authentic Russian stuff. I can tell you that I enjoyed everything.
Many Russian soups are very healthy. Borsht and Uha, made out of beets and fish, respectively, are just amazing dishes.
Russian salads... such as Oliv'e are good as long as you tone down on the dressing and mayonnaise.
Then you have all the very famous stuff like Piroshki and Blini. For a much healthier alternative to the usual Piroshki preparations, just bake them instead of frying. Blini, there is really no way out of this one.

So as I said, ultimately it all comes down to the way you prepare it. And like with every other foods out there, just monitor yourself and your consumption. Don't go overboard! That way you can get the most out of it!

Aeroflot777
 
OlegShv
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:20 pm

Do you see as many Eastern Europeans being obese? I think in Europe in general (East or West it does not matter) there are less obese people no matter what they eat.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:54 pm

Quoting OlegShv (Reply 12):
Do you see as many Eastern Europeans being obese?

Ask the same question again in let's say 10-15 years and I'm afraid the answer will be a definite "yes".
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:33 pm

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 13):
Ask the same question again in let's say 10-15 years and I'm afraid the answer will be a definite "yes".

Unfortunately I have to agree. It will probably spread over to Europe as well. However, many people in Europe are conscious about their appearance, definitely more than in America. So I don't think it will be on such a large scale as in the North American continent, but they problem will definitely get worse.

Aeroflot777
 
GOTbound
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:53 pm

Regarding high % of fat and sugar in "old fashinoed food" is a remain from the time when we all worked the land, you simply needed the energy (and simply couldn't afford meat). For instance a traditional Swedish dish is fried (not deep fried though) pork with brown beans in a sauce based on syrup, yea it tastes as you kind imagine  vomit 

A lot of traditional dishes includes syrup in there original recipes (replaced by sugar as time goes by)

EK
 
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:28 pm

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 14):
Unfortunately I have to agree. It will probably spread over to Europe as well. However, many people in Europe are conscious about their appearance, definitely more than in America. So I don't think it will be on such a large scale as in the North American continent, but they problem will definitely get worse.

Aeroflot made a very good observation. However the problem with obesity is caused by several factors. Physical activity and metabolism are two factors which come to mind. I'm forty years old now and am keeping close tabs on what I consume and how much. Something I heard on the radio disturbed me. "The average meat eating person has about ten to fifteen pounds of undigested food in their system". Disturbing indeed. Also, a person who is physically active can "get away" with eating certain amounts of unhealthy food. When I was twenty years old, I ate alot of "junk" food, pizza, burgers, hoagies, etc... yet I would not gain any weight. I cannot do that now without significant weight gain. Again, other factors combined with diet can determine a person's health and appearance.

[/quote=GOTbound,reply=15]Regarding high % of fat and sugar in "old fashinoed food" is a remain from the time when we all worked the land, you simply needed the energy (and simply couldn't afford meat). For instance a traditional Swedish dish is fried (not deep fried though) pork with brown beans in a sauce based on syrup, yea it tastes as you kind imagine [/quote]

Sounds like pork n' beans  yummy . I eat such things on occasion. Being pot bellied would be very unbecoming on me.

Good Day  Smile

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Vio
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:47 am

Quoting GOTbound (Reply 15):
Regarding high % of fat and sugar in "old fashinoed food" is a remain from the time when we all worked the land, you simply needed the energy (and simply couldn't afford meat).

That's very very true. People spent a lot more time moving (be it working, or walking). Even in Romania, during the old regime, people walked a lot. Why? because they chose to? Probably not, but affording a car was out of the question for more than 95% of the population. If you wanted to buy bread... you walked to the store... etc...

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 14):
Unfortunately I have to agree. It will probably spread over to Europe as well. However, many people in Europe are conscious about their appearance, definitely more than in America

Aeroflot777, I have to agree with you. Europeans do care about their appearance more than North Americans, especially the young population. However, someone mentioned here that things change a little once they hit 40, 50, 60. I remember that most of the old folks (my grandparents' neighbours, etc are chubby), but I have to say, I've never see the obesity that can be witnessed in Canada/USA.
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767Lover
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:51 am

Quoting Vio (Reply 17):
Aeroflot777, I have to agree with you. Europeans do care about their appearance more than North Americans,

That is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever heard on a.net. Do you have some sort of data to back this up?

(I'm not talking about numbers of obese people...I'm talking about the assertion that Europeans "care more about appearance")
 
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:37 am

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 18):

No... I lived there for 12 years. This is not a topic I want to start. Being overweight is more accepted here than there. Having extra kgs can really affect your social life in Europe (and when I say "affect" I really mean it). I'm not saying it's right or I condone it, but it's the truth. Women are especially conscientious about their weight for many reasons. My best friend's sister is slightly chunky. If you saw her on the street in USA, you wouldn't think twice about it, but she gets called a lot of names there... You have to live there to understand it.

It seems that Canadians and Americans are very touchy when it comes to this topic, however we can't hide the fact that North America has one of the highest percentage (if not the highest) of overweight children and young adults in the world.
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Vio
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:53 am

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 18):
(I'm not talking about numbers of obese people...I'm talking about the assertion that Europeans "care more about appearance")

I should add to this...

Caring is not enough. Maybe North Americans do "care", but it's hard to see it. You have to do something about it if you care. You can't just say "Oh, of course I care how I look like"... No kidding, everyone does. I do too, but I try to eat healthy, go to the gym, etc. You can't say you care, then order 2 large pizzas and 2 bottles of Pepsi for dinner...
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:01 am

Quoting Vio (Reply 20):
Caring is not enough. Maybe North Americans do "care", but it's hard to see it. You have to do something about it if you care. You can't just say "Oh, of course I care how I look like"... No kidding, everyone does. I do too, but I try to eat healthy, go to the gym, etc. You can't say you care, then order 2 large pizzas and 2 bottles of Pepsi for dinner...

 checkmark 

Exactly. I have many friends here in the US, both male and female, who constantly tell me they watch their weight. Yet when we go out, I'm appalled by the foods they eat!! Unbelievable.

Back home in Europe, most of the times, and again I'm not talking about everyone, people are a lot more strict. If they watch their weight, particularly girls, then they pay attention to what they eat. Another thing is that America has a lot more teenagers who don't do absolutely sh*t after they come home from school. They just sit down and watch tv or play on the comp. In Europe sports amongst teenagers is very common. In Russia for instance, parents always gave their children to sports teams to keep them busy with after school activities. When I came here to teh US, my parents made sure that I joined a swim team, to stay healthy and fit. They made me workout 3 hours a day after school. (This is only an example, and by far does not portray everyone.) And I can only thank them for that for not making me a couch potato.

Aeroflot777
 
767Lover
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:19 am

Quoting Vio (Reply 19):
You have to live there to understand it.

Maybe, but I am thinner than the entire British side of my family, except the children (just was there in October and saw them.)
 
767Lover
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:23 am

I don't think Eastern European food is any worse than most ethnic foods, except perhaps Greek.

Have you seen how much oil and sugar goes into most Asian dishes?
 
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Vio
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:31 am

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 21):
Exactly. I have many friends here in the US, both male and female, who constantly tell me they watch their weight. Yet when we go out, I'm appalled by the foods they eat!! Unbelievable.

Back home in Europe, most of the times, and again I'm not talking about everyone, people are a lot more strict. If they watch their weight, particularly girls, then they pay attention to what they eat. Another thing is that America has a lot more teenagers who don't do absolutely sh*t after they come home from school.

 checkmark 

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 23):
I don't think Eastern European food is any worse than most ethnic foods, except perhaps Greek.

Have you seen how much oil and sugar goes into most Asian dishes?

Yup. That's why I don't eat it, but I don't think Greek food is any "fattier" than Romanian or Hungarian.
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JoKeR
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:19 am

Serbian food is more on the "heavy" side than being unhealthy as all recipes count for fresh, organic produces that can be, according to your taste either "soaked" or prepared with very little oil for example. The heavy part comes from spices and vegetable additives that are traditionally used.
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Jaws707
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:29 pm

I dont think any ethinic food is much worse then any other ethnic food. The key is to eat in moderation and get some exercise. I mean think about American food for a second. Hamburgers, hotdogs, fried chicken, french fries, coleslaw, pizza. It all tastes good, but not too great for you.
 
kmh1956
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:58 am

I can't speak for Eastern European foods, but from travel experience and having friends in places like France, Italy and Greece I think I can address at least one aspect of European eating habits. Take France, for example. Some of that lovely country cooking is done with real butter, heavy sauces, rich desserts and the like. The difference is that each meal is an event. Europeans don't grab fast food like their Western counterparts. They sit down and enjoy every mouthful and savor every taste. They also wash it down with a good robust wine.
I was told that meals are not to be rushed, but enjoyed.

That, combined with the attitude that you eat what you enjoy, I think makes for a healthier individual. Sure, I eat sweets and fried food (not as a steady diet, though) but I try to enjoy every meal even if it's just a bowl of soup at my desk at work. I take my time to eat, instead of shovelling it in my mouth as though food was going to disappear tomorrow.

I'm not anorexic-sized, but I'm not 300-lbs either and my cholesterol levels, blood sugar etc are fine. My doctor said to me "I don't know what you're doing, but keep it up."
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N1120A
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:56 am

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 9):
Not as bad as UK cooking.

-Fried anything
-Sweets
-Different animal fats
-Sausages
-Breads
-Potatoes
-Take all of the above, fry it in lard

That is just the North. Most of the UK just boils the life out of everything.
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Alessandro
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:00 am

I find eastern european food bland, fish? Yes, lot of carp (instead of pork for
Xmas) and catfish is gourmet food in Hungary. Lot of soups as well...
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VonRichtofen
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RE: Is Eastern European Cooking Unhealthy?

Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:13 pm

Quoting 767Lover (Reply 18):
That is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever heard on a.net. Do you have some sort of data to back this up?

(I'm not talking about numbers of obese people...I'm talking about the assertion that Europeans "care more about appearance")

Sure, go to Europe and walk around a major city. Spotting a North American is easy as hell, not just because of their weight, but a combination of their weight + sloppy attire. Europeans generally tend to be much more stylish and groomed. I've noticed this in pretty much every European city I've been to.

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