Blue Zones are locations throughout the world where people are found to live healthier, happier, longer lives. And their diet plays a huge role in that. Distilled from more than 150 dietary surveys, these simple guidelines reflect how the world’s longest-living people have eaten for most of their lives.
1. Live by the 95/5 rule.
Aim to keep your diet 95% fruits, vegetables, greens, beans, and whole grains.
2. Limit meat.
Think of meat as a celebratory food. Portions should be about the size of your hand, about three ounces, once or twice a week. Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and sausages.
3. Fish is fine.
Enjoy fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines, trout, snapper, cod, and anchovies up to three times a week. Like meat, keep portions to about the size of your palm.
4. Diminish dairy.
Avoid dairy when possible. If cheese is a must, try grated pecorino, a hard sheep cheese, or ice-cube-sized portions of a creamy sheep cheese like chèvre.
5. Do a daily dose of beans.
Beans have high-quality protein and fiber. Try eating a cup daily, spread out across breakfast, lunch, or dinner. All beans count, including tofu. If you buy canned beans, try to avoid added salt, sugar, and chemicals.
6. Slash sugar.
Keep your sugar intake to around seven teaspoons (28 grams) of sugar a day. When reading food labels, avoid those with more than eight grams of sugar. Reserve cookies, cakes, and candies for special occasions, and make honey your go-to sweetener.
7. Snack on nuts.
Enjoy a handful of nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, or peanuts daily. Mix it up with different kinds so you don’t tire of them, and avoid sugar-coated nuts.
8. Put the brakes on bread.
Limit bread to two slices of 100% whole grain or authentic sourdough made from live cultures a day. Avoid white bread and wraps, and choose whole-grain corn tortillas over flour tortillas.
9. Go wholly.
Try to eat only whole foods, and keep processed foods to those with fewer than five ingredients.
10. Drink mostly water.
Drink six glasses of water daily. Enjoy unsweetened teas and coffee, but do your best to avoid all sugar-sweetened and diet sodas.
If you’re interested in more resources to help you reach your nutrition goals, try working one-to-one with a MOBE Guide. To find out if you’re eligible for MOBE, check your status or call 844-841-9725. Ready to take the first step? Schedule a call online or download the MOBE Health Guide app.
This information was researched and provided by our content partners at The Big Know.