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What Do the Healthiest People on Earth Eat?

Did you know that the healthiest people on earth live in Okinawa (Japan), Ikaria (Greece), Loma Linda (California), Nicoya (Costa Rica) and in Sardinia (Italy), in so called Blue Zone area? When I first heard about this, I became intrigued of the idea that you could add years to your life by following their example. So how do these people live and what do they have in common? Compared to average people, they live 8 years longer than normal people, they suffer only a fraction of "modern" diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia, meaning that they live a rather healthy life. In addition they belong to a strong community.

In the area of Japan, in Okinawa, people live by this simple principle " Eating when you´re 80% full." Thus, they practice mindful eating and this is something we could all learn: to appreciate, focus and enjoy food when we eat. In addition, sometimes we are in such a hurry that we eat too fast which results in eating more. By eating slowly you will allow your body to respond to cues which tell if you are satisfied or not. There have been studies about mindful eating and according to it people are affected by variables unrelated to whether or not their stomachs were full. For instance plates, glasses, packages or friends can affect how much we eat. It sounds quite convincing if you really think about it: you will probably eat more from a 34-ounce bowl than from a 17-ounce one. Right?

What do they eat?

  • 95% of their diet is based on plants (fruits, vegetables, grains, greens and beans) and 5 % on meat.

  • Meat is eaten in moderation and it usually is fish (three times weekly). Fish is nature fish from fresh waters, not modern day contaminated fish.

  • They use olive oil.

  • They eat a cup of whole grains daily (rice, potatoes).

  • Their macro-nutrients consist of 65% carbs, 20% fats, 15 % proteins.

  • They avoid dairy in all forms.

  • They reduce sugar intake. They save them for special occasions. They sweeten with honey.

  • They eat a handful of nuts daily. 

  • They eat only 100 % whole grain breads. They limit it to two slices daily. Moderation is the key in everything!

  • Usually they don't eat processed food. Their products don't have more than 5 ingredients.

  • They drink water and wine occasionally with friends.

Until next time,


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