Healthline: How a ‘Blue Zone Diet’ Can Help You Live a Longer, Healthier Life
Healthline recently interviewed Amanda Velazquez, MD, director of Obesity Medicine in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai, about the role that diet may play in “blue zones”—the five areas around the world where people live longer than average—and how to incorporate healthy eating habits from these areas.
The so-called blue zone diet is not one specific way of eating. It refers to common values around food shared by people living in blue zones, such as eating mindfully and in moderation, Velazquez told Healthline. These people also tend to follow a Mediterranean diet, known to improve heart health.
“Vegetables should be the predominant food group in your diet,” Velazquez said. “Choose beans, tofu and nuts as plant-based proteins, and limit lean protein meats to a small portion of your diet or exclude.”
She told Healthline that eating for a healthier and longer life is about flexibility, not rigidity.
“Even following one of the principles of the blue zone diet can be impactful for your health,” Velazquez said. “Choose one principle and focus on this. If your current diet does not include enough vegetables, start thinking about ways to include more, for example.”
Other healthy lifestyle habits that are prominent in blue zones include having an exercise routine, social support and a sense of purpose.
“One should not think of this as a rulebook they have to follow but rather guiding principles to help them make healthier choices in the fast-paced world we live in today,” Velazquez told Healthline.
The only blue zone in the U.S. is Loma Linda, California. The world’s other four blue zones are Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra Region, Sardinia; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica.
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