LIVING TO 100 YEARS OF AGE AND IN GOOD HEALTH
We know that there are at least 5 well-documented regions on earth where there are far above average centenarians. These have been called Blue Zones. They are generally areas not overtaken by the fast food industry(at least not for the older generation).. They include the island of Sardinia in Italy, the islands of Okinawa in Japan, the Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rico, the Greek island of Ikaria and Loma Linda California (or where a large group of 7th Day Adventists reside).
If we examine the diets of those regions we find the following.
The Sardinian diet is based mostly on whole wheat bread, veggies, a little goat cheese and wine. Meat is not daily consumed, often as little as once a week.
Their diet consists of mostly sweet potatoes, soy, rice and vegetables – and occasionally fish. Rice and tofu are staples.
Nicoyan Peninsula, Costa Rica
The Nicoyan diet is based on eating corn tortillas, beans and a huge amount of tropical fruits – such as sweet lemons, oranges, and bananas. Low animal protein intake.
Island of Ikaria, Greece
These islanders have a diet that is also rich in vegetable and beans, and with low meat and sugar intakes. They eat more potatoes as a carbohydrate staple. They also often eat wild greens and drink herbal teas.
Loma Linda – Seventh Day Adventists
Fresh fruits, salads and veggies are the largest part of their menu. The lacto-ovo vegetarians were found to live 2 years longer, on average, than the meat eaters while vegans (eating no dairy or eggs) were found to live longer than vegetarians. 7th Day Adventist vegetarians were found to be overall healthier, weighing 16 lbs lighter on average than meat eaters in this group and vegans 30-32 lbs lighter – with a huge impact on lowering the incidences of cardiovascular diseases and other ailments. Many ate a small serving of nuts several times a week.
Overall the diets of long-lived people were relatively simple, high-carb, low-protein, low-fat. They were mostly plant based, eating a lot of veggies, especially greens from their own gardens, and legumes. Moderate, alternative proteins, eating nuts and drinking goat’s milk, did not seem to detract from living a long life. As to lifestyle characteristics, many led a purposeful, active life, surrounded by extended families and did not smoke or consume large amounts of food, drugs or alcohol.
There have been no large-scale raw-food vegan populations in the recent past to compare that diet to those listed above.