The Longevity Diet and or Blue zone diet is a diet classified by high amounts of carbs and lower amounts of fat and protein limiting animal products to very low amounts around 5% of your daily intake of food.
Main Characteristics of these diets:
- High intake of in season fruits & vegetables
- A ton of leafy greens,
- At least ½ c of beans per day
- High amounts of whole grains.
- Plant based oils only with an epenthesis on olive oil
- Consuming meat very rarely or for a special occasion only
- Only consuming about 3 ounces of fish three times a week or less
- Removing dairy with the exception of goat’s or sheep’s milk
- Limiting eggs to no more than 2-4 times per week
- Consuming fewer than 28 grams of sugar a day
- High intake of nuts
- Eating only WHOLE foods and nothing processed such as eating the whole yogurt and not a fat free yogurt.
- Consume mostly water however, coffee, tea, and red wine, in moderation, are also allowed.
In the recent years, I believe these diets have become more of an interest to people because of documentaries that show mistreatment of animals, the processing of large amounts of ground meat, the mixing of natural products with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as the amount of processed words on a label which the typical lay person cannot understand. What the heck is maltodextrin anyway, right? These less processed diets which do not harm animals are resurfacing because people are becoming more aware of how processing and GMOs can decrease health and longevity.
According to a review study done by the National Institute for Health (NIH), plant-based diets have been shown to prevent weight gain, lower obesity, decrease blood pressure, and decrease diabetes in many.
Benefits of this type of diet include:
-lower blood pressure
-decreased A1c levels
-increased fiber intake which is linked to a decrease in colon cancer
-decrease in weight and reduction of obesity rates
-reduced risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke and heart attack
When initially changing to this type of a diet someone should expect:
-To potentially gain a few pounds initially due to increase in carbohydrate intake
- To have an increase in bowel movements and gas due to the increase in fiber and fresh fruits and vegetables
-To initially an increase in hunger from lack of protein and fat in the diet
Currently there is a moderate amount of evidence indicating a plant-based lifestyle would be how easy the diet would be follow and how well a person would stick to it. Using a plant-based lifestyle to reduce weight, only to return to a typical diet, would not be as beneficial.