The longer you live, the healthier you will probably be in your last period of life. This is one of Dan Buettner's messages in his popular TED lectures and books and a compelling one. We may not want to be a hundred years old, but we all want to be independent and active while we are still alive.
So, what's the secret?
According to author, speaker, and National Geographic employee Buettner, we can search our answers in the Blue Zones. (Blue Zones are areas with the longest living cultures in the world, where people are regularly 100 and more years old.) Learn more here.
Buettner is an expert on Blue Zones who, together with a team of anthropologists, Epidemiologists and other researchers have explored these rare places in the world where humans lead a long and healthy life and asked what contributes to their longevity with these lifestyles of the Blue Zones and how we can apply the findings to our own lives.
Among the answers: A tight, supportive community of friends, family, and neighbors; a sense of meaning; a lot of physical activity; and diet.
Buettner has focused on dieting. He and his team have introduced to a US community ̵
"I realized that the runway leads to health through our mouth," he told Splendid Table presenter Lynne Rossetto Kasper on her culinary radio show. "We have worked extensively around the world on longevity. We have worked with the University of Minnesota and conducted 155 nutrition surveys in all five Blue Zones. "
Buettner and his team partnered with local restaurants and grocery stores in Albert Lea to increase the" longevity factor "of local foods by 20 percent. After one and a half years, health costs fell by 40 percent. You have now extended the "Blue Zone Redevelopment" to 23 cities in Iowa.
So, what's the blue zone diet? According to Büttner, it is not only what people eat, but also how they eat. In other words, using Blue Zones recipes will not do you much good if you eat alone in front of the TV every night.
The Blue Zone Diet: In a Nutshell
- People in the Blue Zones have a high-carbohydrate diet.
- It is a predominantly herbal diet with only four to five times a month low meat quantities.
- Protein is mainly supplied by beans – about one cup a day. "I would argue that this is the best nutritional supplement for long-lived people in the world," says Butner.
- People in the Blue Zones eat smaller amounts. Take away: Stop eating before you are full.
- You eat the biggest meals of the day earlier in the day – your late afternoon or dinner should be the smallest.
- Blue Zoners regularly drink alcohol – one or two glasses of red wine a day.
- These glasses of wine – they are part of a social event. Blue zones eat together. "If you're technically lonely in this country, you can cut your life expectancy by eight years," says Butner. His team created small groups of people who came together for a pot-luck dinner over a period of 10 weeks. some went for a walk together. In Alberta Lea, more than half of these groups are still five or six years later together.
Listen to Dan Buettner talking about reverse engineering longevity.