What the Oldest People Eat

Would you like to know what the healthiest, longest lived populations eat?  You might be surprised to know that carbohydrates, by far, dominate the diet of the longest lived people.  
Unfortunately, carbohydrates developed a really bad name and mistakenly have been bundled into a single heap in most conversations.  But to call all carbohydrates equal could not be further from the truth. There are “simple” ones, and these are the unhealthy ones, and then there are “complex’ ones, and these are the ones that dominate the plates of long-lived people. 

Janice Stanger, PhD wrote the following about the Okinawans, known for their longevity, and how they typically eat the following, broken out by calorie percentages

Sweet potatoes   69%                    Other vegetables 3%

Rice 12%                                        Other grains 7%

Legumes 6%                                  Oils 2%                                   Fish  1%

The following foods each contributed less than 1% of total calories: nuts and seeds, sugar, meat, eggs, dairy, fruit, seaweed, flavorings, and alcohol.

Overall, the diet of these centenarians derives 85% of calories from carbohydrate, 9% from protein, and 6% from fat.

Now it wouldn’t be my choice have sweet potatoes comprise 69% of my daily ifood, but including many other vegetables along with the sweet potatoes seems quite manageable. Stanger’s list doesn’t specify if the rice is white or brown; white rice is a simple carb, while brown is a complex carb and the better choice.

It can seem daunting to see a list like this and wonder how you could ever eat this way. But if you break it out, it could look like this:

Breakfast:  whole oats with nuts and fruit

Lunch:  lentils and vegetables with salad greens, nuts and seeds

Dinner:  small piece of fish, rice and vegetables

Snacks if needed:  dried sea vegetable crisps, nuts, seeds

There’s no mention of water on the list, but that’s also essential and is an easy way to not only stay hydrated but to also feel full. 





Read about Okinawans here. http://www.forksoverknives.com/longevity-diet/