As far as I know, the Okinawan people who abide by their traditional diets are among the longest living people in the world. But, which diet is healthier? An Okinawan or Mediterranean diet? As I’ve observed, the Okinawan diet is lower fat than the Mediterranean. How else do they differ?
‘Longevity in Okinawa is considered to be a result of traditional low calorie diet. Le Bourg suggests that Okinawa is an example of severe malnutrition, which is harmful for later generations. We believe that current loss of longevity advantage in Okinawa is a result of diet westernization and that the dietary restriction is a valid way of life extension in humans [1 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362219/]’.
In the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is used quite freely. For example, they dip their bread in it. As for me, I never use any refined oils at all, except for fat I get from eating one black and one green olive every day. I cut my olive consumption way down when I discovered eating too many of them increased my inflammation pain.
I occasionally eat an avocado and use seeds on top my green salads. I cut these way down, too. For example, I love cashews and would buy them by the bag. I can’t have snacks like these in the cupboard, because I will devour the whole bag in a single day. From eating too many nuts, seeds and cashews, there’s weight gain, and inflammation from lectin.
‘Westernization of diet in Okinawa seems to be a more plausible and simple explanation of the observed loss of longevity advantage by younger generations of Okinawans. Okinawa now hosts more than a dozen of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and other fast food places [2 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362219/] ‘.
If you want to stay trim and fit, be sure to restrict your intake of fats. They call this dietary and calorie restriction. Okinawans eat nutritionally dense and low calorie foods. An example of foods in their traditional diet are seaweed, algae, kelp and the yellow, white and purple sweet potato.
‘The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a number of health benefits, including reduced mortality risk and lower incidence of cardiovascular disease [3 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4222885/]’.
Stone ground whole grain sourdough bread, olive oil and red wine are particular to the Mediterranean diet. Although, oils such as olive oil are inflammatory, other foods eaten in combination may counteract harmful effects. But, there is weight gain eating fatty foods, and how much weight one gains depends upon how much of it he consumes.
‘The traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by high consumption of vegetables, fruits and nuts, legumes, and unprocessed cereals; low consumption of meat and meat products; and low consumption of dairy products (with the exception of the long-preservable cheeses) [4 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4222885/]’.
Because of what I’ve learned, I chose a very low fat diet. I have found both mono unsaturated and saturated fat in refined oils are both harmful to the endothelium. This is the inner lining of our arteries.
And, once injured, this may be the beginning of vascular disease. It really doesn’t matter what kind it is. Coconut oil, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, pumpkin seed oil, corn oil and avocado oil. It all will eventually cause harm to your cardiovascular system, because oil is oil is oil. Oil is the highest in calories. You will wear the fat you eat.
‘So, what I do is I avoid all oil, no matter what type. Furthermore, I no longer eat meat, dairy and eggs due to their bad cholesterol which has been proven harmful’ ~ your author
To conclude, as you can see, both diets have apparent health benefits. But, in my opinion, I feel that the Okinawan is more beneficial to health, weight loss and longevity than the Mediterranean, because it contains less overall vegetable oil and lower animal fat and protein content. Eating animal products has long been proven detrimental to human health. We can do without them and are therefore, better off.
‘In summary, red and processed meat intake appears to be positively associated with risk of cancer of the colon and rectum, esophagus, liver, lung, and pancreas in a new, large US cohort study of 500,000 men and women [5 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2121650/]’.
For further reading on which diet is healthier than our standard American diet, you might want to read about the seventh day Adventists, who are also among the longest living people on earth, here.
Source- 1, 2 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362219/
Access Day 16
Access Month February
Access Year 2019
Article Title Comments on Dietary Restriction, Okinawa Diet and Longevity
3, 4 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
Website Title Current neurology and neuroscience reports.
Article Title Home – PMC – NCBI
Date Accessed February 16, 2019
5 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2121650/
Access Day 20
Access Month February
Access Year 2019
Article Title Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk – PubMed Central (PMC)
Note- before you change your diet consult your doctor.