Blue Zone dieting is among the latest health and wellness trends, and it’s one that focuses much more on overall wellness and longevity than simple weight loss. The Blue Zone diet is not meant to be short-term. It’s a way of eating that mimics the lifestyle of people within specific regions where life expectancy is much longer than the worldwide average.
What is a Blue Zone?
There are several Blue Zones throughout the world, including Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; Ikaria, Greece; and Nicoya, Costa Rica. Although the cultural influences of these regions vary, they follow similar dietary habits that contribute to longer lifespans. People in these areas often live to celebrate their 100th birthdays—in contrast, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.
Common Blue Zone Foods
So, what exactly do people in Blue Zones eat? It may not surprise you that processed foods are not frequently on the menu, and meat is a rarity saved for special occasions and often consumed only in small quantities. Whole grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy fats like olive oil, and beans and legumes are eaten frequently. Meanwhile, added sugars, refined grains, and animal fats are not eaten often. When meat is on the menu, it tends to be minimally processed—foods like sausages and deli meats are not common. In addition, beverages like water, coffee, and tea are far more popular than soda in Blue Zone regions.
What You Eat and How You Eat
Eating like you’re in a Blue Zone isn’t just about what you eat; it’s also about how you eat. Larger meals tend to come earlier in the day, and dinner is eaten relatively early. At every meal, Blue Zone eaters stop eating when they’re about 80% full, avoiding eating to excess and feeling uncomfortably full after meals.
Before changing up your diet, it’s important to check in with a doctor to assess your current health and the nutritional habits that will benefit you most. MeMD makes it easy to see a physician anytime, anywhere, so you can always get the care you need, even on a busy schedule.