The longer you live, the healthier you are likely to be during the last part of your life. That's one of the messages from Dan Buettner in his popular TED talks and books, and it's fascinating. We may not all want to be one hundred, but we all want to remain independent and active while we are still alive.
So what's the secret?
According to author, speaker and National Geographic colleague Buettner, we can look at the blue zones for our answers. (Blue zones are areas with & # 39; the world's longest surviving cultures, where people regularly live up to 100 years and older. Read more here.)
Buettner is an expert in blue zones who, along with a team of anthropologists, epidemiologists and other researchers, has studied these rare places in the world where people lead a long and healthy life and ask, what about the lifestyle of these Blue Zones that contributes to a long life, and how can we apply the lessons to our own life?
Among the answers: a tight, supportive community of friends, family and neighbors; a sense of purpose; a lot of physical activity; and diet.
Buettner has focused on diet. He and his team introduced the Blue Zone nutrition guidelines to one American community ̵
"I realized that the runway to health is going through our mouths," he told Splendid Table host Lynne Rossetto Kasper in her culinary radio program. “We have really taken a deep dive into the diets of a long life around the world. We worked with the University of Minnesota and distilled 155 diet studies in all five blue zones. "
Buettner and his team worked with local restaurants and supermarkets in Albert Lea to increase the" longevity factor "of local food by 20 percent. After a year and a half, they saw healthcare costs drop by 40 percent. They now have the" Blue Zone makeover "extended to 23 cities in Iowa.
So, what's the Blue Zone diet? According to Buettner, it's not just what people eat, but also how they eat. In other words, it won't do a lot of good to use Blue Zones recipes if you only eat in front of the TV every night.
The Blue Zone diet: in a nutshell
- People in the blue zones eat a carbohydrate-rich diet centered on whole grains.  It is a largely vegetable diet, with small amounts of meat only four or five times a month.
- Protein is mainly supplied by beans – about a cup a day. "I would argue that this is the best supplement for a long life in the world, "says Bu tner.
- People in the blue zones eat smaller amounts. The take-away break: stop eating before you are full.
- They eat the largest meals of the day earlier in the day – your late afternoon or evening meal should be the smallest.
- Blue zoners regularly drink alcohol – one or two glasses of red wine a day.
- Those glasses of wine – they are part of a social occasion. Blue Sons eat together. "If you are technically lonely in this country, it will shave off your life expectancy for about eight years," Butner notes. His team created small groups of people who are committed to gathering for vegetable potluck dinners over a 10-week period; some walked together. In Alberta Lea, more than half of those groups are still together five or six years later.
Listen to Dan Buettner about "Reverse Engineering Longevity"