Living up to the age of 100 years is a massive achievement. And if you manage to do that staying in good shape, we are talking about dreams coming true. In fact, the key to this success is diet!
The record holders
The inhabitants of the Japanese island of Okinawa live on average 85 years (men) and 87 years (women), which makes them the longest living people in the world. Just to compare, the average life expectancy in Europe is 74 and 81 years respectively. As if that was not enough, the island takes pride in the highest number of centenarians living there.
The scientists have been analyzing the contents of their plates for 25 years and concluded unanimously that it is all thanks to the diet.
Variety is a must
A balanced and varied diet is definitely something the Japanese can boast about. According to the scientists, they consume on average 206 different products on regular basis. These include a lot of vegetables, making up for up to 30% of their daily caloric demand. Their diet does include the 5 portions of vegetables, required by most standards.
Of course the diet also includes cereal, with rice as well as soba and udon noodles.
Sugar? No, thanks
The inhabitants of the island were also reported to consume statistically 30% less sugar than other Japanese people. If they are to sweeten the food, they are more likely to choose cane sugar.
They are also very moderate when it comes to salt. Their daily intake did not exceed 7 grams, while the rest of the country consume twice as much.
Does less mean better?
Fish instead of meat, plus lots of vegetables and cereal and … fewer calories. The daily caloric value of the food consumed there is 1,800 – 1,900 (with 2,068 in the rest of the country).
There is a saying popular among the Okinawa people (‘Hara hachi bu’) which means ‘belly 80% full’. So they try not to eat their full.
Healthy body, healthy mind!
Their dies resembles a little the Mediterranean one. The difference is that they do not have bad habits and they move a lot! That refers also to people in their eighties and nineties. Their physical activities usually include walking and gardening.
According to Gavin Bradley, head of Active Working, when we sit for half an hour, our metabolism slows down by 90%. The enzymes that carry fat from blood vessels to muscles are not so active. After sitting for two hours, the level of the so-called good cholesterol drops by 20%. Standing up itself for 5 minutes makes everything come back to standard parameters. Standing up is a quite simple thing, so failing to do at least that is not really smart.