Recently, one of the writers for the New York Times, Jeff Gordinier, got to spend the entire day with longevity expert Mr. Dan Buettner, and shared what he learned with the rest of us.
Jeff, being a food blogger and avid lover of gastro-burgers, spicy hot-wings, doughnut holes, and dirty martinis, was skeptical about what Mr. Buettner was going to tell him he needed to be eating. Who wants to live on kale salads and wheatgrass shots anyways? But, seeing as his job hazards of high cholesterol and blood pressure were inevitably looming upon his mid-life mark, Jeff was hopeful for some advice that could provide him a kind of midcourse correction.
Luckily, Jeff was pleasantly surprised.
As the pair strolled through a market in Greenwich Village sipping on coffee (which longevity expert Mr. Buettner gives the green light on, because coffee is a main source of antioxidants for Americans), their cart was being filled with fresh herbs and vegetables while they conversed.
“People think, if I eat more of this, then it’s OK to eat more burgers or candy,” said longevity expert Mr. Buettner. This is falsely seen as ‘balancing’ your diet, when really you are putting yourself more ‘out of whack’. Instead of spending big bucks on these processed, artificial items, a diet of longevity can be afforded and picked up by anyone at the grocery store: broccoli, carrots, fennel, coconut milk, a can of chickpeas, frozen berries, and local honey, for example.
Think cheese and meat are missing from that list? Think there is no way you can possibly get enough protein from these plant based foods?
Wrong. With these combinations of fresh, whole ingredients, you are getting all the protein your body needs.
Other than meat and cheese, Mr. Buettner warns about falling victim to false labels promoting trendy health foods, such as all of those “vogue-ish juices in hues of green, orange, and purple.” Many of these juices are laden with sugar and are as bad as drinking a Coke according to the glycemic index. Protein shakes can be just as bad too.
Plant-based diets don’t have to be unappetizing either. Mr. Buettner cooked up a vegan feast fit for any carnivore. Mr. Buettner served his dinner party an ‘Icarian stew’, made from the delicious combination of black-eyed peas, garlic, onions, carrots, fennel, and canned tomatoes simmered together for hours and topped with several glugs of extra-virgin olive oil. He also served broccoli soup with cashew cream, and a honey parfait with berry compote. Sign me up.
Mr. Buettner has done tons of research to show that the ‘Blue Zones’ in the world, or parts of the world that generally abide by healthy, whole nurishment and have incredibly long life-expectancies (places such as Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, CA, and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica), are eating diets that directly correlate to their long life-expectancies. Funny enough, none of these Blue Zones are akin to kale salads and green juice – “they eat food they enjoy”.
Article Curated by:
New York Times