Okinawa diet of longevity: foods to lose weight and live longer

The dieta Okinawa is the typical approach to nutrition of the inhabitants of the Japanese island of the same name, known all over the world for their longevity (a positive aspect that is the result of both environmental factors and lifestyle).

The main features of the Okinawan diet – the archipelago to which it belongs is included in the so-called ‘zone blu’, areas of the planet where people live on average longer and with a lower incidence of chronic diseases – concern the low caloric intake and the low fat content. Also of note is the emphasis on consuming fruit and vegetables, not to mention the soy products.

Continuing with the list of highlights of the Okinawan diet, it is possible to see the fact that, when we talk about this food model, we are dealing with a lower rice content than that which characterizes the eating habits of the inhabitants of other areas of Japan.

Summarizing the basic scheme, we point out that, at the top of the list, we find the vegetables, from which about 60% of the daily calorie intake should come. Entering into the heart of the specific alternatives, we find sweet potatoes, algae, bamboo shoots, cabbage, carrots, pumpkin.

Nello Okinawa diet scheme we also find cereals – eg millet, wheat, rice and pasta – whose intake should cover about 30% of the daily energy intake. There are also the already mentioned soy-based foods, but also meat – especially pork – and seafood.

Talk aboutapproach to nutrition typical of Okinawans it necessarily means discussing foods that should be avoided or severely limited. In this category it is possible to include the beef and poultry, as well as cured meats.

Among other foods that should not be included in the dieta Okinawa we also find processed products, most of the fruits and legumes, foods rich in refined sugars. As mentioned above, this feeding mode is advantageous from a longevity point of view.

The benefit in question has long been under the lens of the scientific community. Plant-based diet characterized by a low in protein, that typical of the inhabitants of Okinawa is, precisely by virtue of the contribution of proteins contained, able to positively influence the duration of life.

This is the conclusion of one joint Australian and US study published in 2016. The scientific work in question pointed out that the calorie restriction plays a more important role in longevity (as well as maintaining a healthy weight).

We conclude by pointing out that a cons of this diet may be the considerable sodium content and that before changing one’s eating habits it is essential ask your doctor for advice.


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