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  • started a topic Long living cultures

    Long living cultures



    I am wondering if someone can explain why there are quite a few cultures(Japanese, places in Costa Rica, Sardinia etc..) that eat different kinds of grains(corn, rice, bread) and have some of the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world, all the while eating low amounts of animal protein, and in some cases high amounts of grain of one form or another. Thanks, not trying to start a fight, just educating myself.


  • Fury22
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    ^^This


    I spent 2 months this summer in Russia and lost over 10 pounds in the first month eating foods most of us would consider unhealthy:

    --meats cooked in a lot of butter and oil

    --LOTS of fish

    --veggies cooked in a lot of butter and oil

    --potatoes cooked in oil and butter

    --"salads" (salat) veggies and fruits, usually tomato, cucumber, radish, and dill covered in a lot of mayo...a lot of mayo...

    --bread with almost every meal: REAL bread, not American air and flour, baked in someone's home kitchen and sold at the market

    --a few fruits, usually strawberries. I bought other fruits though

    --oatmeal cooked with full-fat cream or milk

    --occasional desserts (Russia has AMAZING chocolate)

    --Vodka of course (I'll let you all assume the worst)

    Leave a comment:


  • jo
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    When I was on holiday in China last year I actually lost weight while stuffing my face on delicious Chinese food every day (this sort of lead to my long and circuitous journey to this site). While rice was served with each meal, I only ate a small amount of it and feasted on the meat and fish meals that were served up. Plenty of protein (and fat) on offer, admittedly to a tourist.


    Interestingly Western take aways are popular with young people there and they are now developing weight problems (and what else!).

    Leave a comment:


  • slesca
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    Yeah, I've come to agree that health has a lot to do with what isn't eaten. I'm from a large family (six children) that has enjoyed what seems to be an unusually healthy existence. We never had health insurance and it never mattered. I can't remember any of us ever getting sick, with the exception of the rare stomach flu. We did eat pasta and rice (we didn't have a lot of money) but my mom was crazy about not eating sugar and making everything from scratch. I don't know that our Omega-6's were low, but sugar and processed food were non-existent. We all have good teeth and grew to be taller than our parents. We'll see how it translates to longevity, but it has resulted in high fertility.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kay
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    Why is everyone sure they eat little animal protein? My impressions from east Asia and from a lot of my east-Asian friends (Thailand, Japan and China), even though animal protein is not the main stay, it's not occasional. Almost every meal my friends cook (and every meal I had in east Asia) has some form of animal protein in it.


    Like someone already mentioned, the Okinawans literally eat the whole pig. I've had Pig Face soup at an Okinawan restaurant in Japan and remember laughing that this certainly was not in the magazine article I read about their healthy diet.


    As everyone mentioned, it's probably lack of sugar and high amounts of fructose and heavily processed food.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    1



    I 100% agree with Dr. Kurt Harris here, that the common factor in all of these long-lived cultures is not something that they eat, but something (or someTHINGS) that they don't eat.


    And also, I want to point out that longevity is not the end-all metric of health. Longevity is a good thing, but it doesn't mean that these people are not plagued by chronic health conditions that don't shorten the lifespan. More data is needed to assess quality of life, not just length.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    1



    Acmebike, it is just a question meant to get responses that would educate me and nothing else. I am living the primal diet as I type....so no, I had not come to any conclusions. I think everybody should question everything, and be able to do it without retaliation.

    Thanks for everybody's opinions.

    Leave a comment:


  • piano-doctor-lady
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    @Athena


    Remember that pasta only came to Italy from Marco Polo's trip. So Italians haven't had all that long to get used to it, compared to Chinese getting used to rice.


    I read that Chinese have bigger salivary glands and a lot more Islets in the pancreas to deal with all that starch.


    As for corn/beans eaters, the Mexicans who come up here to work are often extremely short, though wiry and very strong. Not all of them, but many of them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Acmebike
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    Someone made the comment "it's not what you eat, it's what you DON'T eat" and that would be sugars, industrial veggie/seed oils, and processed carb foods!

    Leave a comment:


  • Vegemighty
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    I think the most important thing is that these cultures still get all their vitamins and minerals from their food and that they aren't sedentary, they usually walk everywhere because they live in small walkable communities.


    I don't think theres alot that has to do with what you eat which directly affects your longevity, its merely a factor of nutrition, and then if avoid a sedentary lifestyle, I dont see any reason why you wouldn't live past 100.


    I intend to live forever.

    Leave a comment:


  • Acmebike
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    I've indeed looked into this, and it seems that most "blue zone" long lived cultures indeed have a history of a diet heavy on animal sourced foods, some calorie restriction (hard times) and a simple way of life. It is only since WW2 and European occupation (Japan, China, etc) that grains have become a staple of their diet. And it is with this new reliance on grains, that their longevity is shortening.


    Gonna have to stay a skeptic on this one. If there are any cultures relying heavily on grains and attaining long life, it would be in spite of the grain consumption (and thanks to calorie restriction, whole foods, lack of sugar, lack of veggie/seed oils) not due to it.


    The Med Diet as reported by Ancel Keyes and followers was low fat, high in grains/bread/pasta. This is at odds from the traditionally eaten pork, fish, fowl, high fat dairy, goat, etc.


    It is hard to reconcile a visitor with a bias reporting on a culture's nutrition over a short time, in an isolated region and arrive at a conclusion that supports what they went looking for!


    At least rice and corn are non-gluten grains, and white polished rice would be mostly a starch supply, not chuck full of poisons that whole wheat gluten grains and brown rice would have.

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  • chocolatechip69
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    I apologize if someone already mentioned it here, but Sean40, if it is self-education you're after, a very good source on this subject would be Gary Taube's Good Calorie, Bad Calorie book.

    He provides a lot of information on different cultures, their diets, and the effects of those diets on longevity and overall health.

    There's also a ton of other very interesting information in there, so it would be a good read all-around.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mirrorball
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    Read this (title: How to Eat Grains):

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-to-eat-grains.html


    And when you are done, read the rest of the blog, it is brilliant.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lizzie125
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    Whatever the reason some of us can handle more carbs and more different foods than others.


    My husband feels pretty feeble when he eats too much protein and not enough carbs--I on the other hand am opposite. He is the anti-Primal guy, basically, and seems built to thrive on the agricultural grain based model.


    Genetics?

    He has scots, german and eastern european (asiatic) ancestry. Jury's out, but he thrives on oats and cabbage, although not at the same time. He is also addicted to dairy--full fat dairy. Rarely gets sick and has fought off a case of beef related food poisoning that would have killed someone else (this may be why he is not so keen on meat!)


    Environment?

    He grew up in a rural area in Canada with access to a lot of whole healthy foods--being well nourished in a balanced way as a kid might affect how adult body responds. He was exposed to a lot of different germs and whatnot on his grandparents farm, etc. etc. hence ability to fight ecoli?

    Drank raw milk as a kid. His mother is a killer baker, but he can have one piece of pie and "be done".

    Fast food very very limited as a kid... McD's maybe once every 3 months.


    I really think different diets suit different body types. That is why being evangelical about primal, or CW or whatever is pointless. I am certain primal works well for me, but that is because my body type finds carbs an erratic form of energy and really mess me up. When I was younger this was not the case...but now it is.


    You really just have to be attentive to your body's responses to different foods and adjust according. What works for one body may not for another.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vegemighty
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    Theres a book and website called Bluezones which details the diets and lifestyles of longlived cultures. I suggest people check it out

    Leave a comment:

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