Harvard Health Letter

Spice up your dinner with foreign flavors

Indian, Peruvian, or Vietnamese food may be just the thing to give your diet a dose of interest and fun.

spicy dinner foreign flavors
Vietnamese pho with shrimp is tasty. But stick to small portions of noodles to avoid spiking blood sugar.
Image: joannatkaczuk/Thinkstock

Following a healthy diet doesn't have to be boring. Take your palate on a culinary adventure by sampling world cuisines that are new to you. "Variety can add taste as well as vitamins and micronutrients you may not be receiving from your standard diet," says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

A good way to investigate new cuisines is to try them first at a restaurant. Follow the rules of healthy eating: avoid creamy and deep-fried foods; go for fresh vegetables, legumes, grains, seafood, and poultry; and sample red meat only occasionally if you wish, since too much raises the risk for heart disease and some cancers. With those rules in mind, consider the following cuisines.

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