Analysing the Blue Zones

Posted by Lynda on January 30th, 2019 (Uncategorized)

What can the world’s Blue Zones teach us about diet, health and longevity?

Blue zones are those anomalies in the known world, unusual pockets around the globe in which the people living there experience unusually long lives, and lower incidents of heart disease, late onset diabetes and osteoporosis.

The areas were discovered when two demographic researchers, Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain were hired by the National Geographic under the lead of Dan Buettner, to identify areas around the globe with the highest number of male centenarians. As they circled regions in blue concentric circles, the hotspots inside became known as the Blue Zones.

Dan Buettner has since visited the areas to research first-hand why these populations have such long life expectancies, and has written two books about the subject.

The 5 Blue Zones are:

  • Sardinia, Italy – Mountain villages where men live to 100.  Diet high in goats milk, barley and fava beans.
  • Okinawa Islands, Japan – Long life-expectancies and less incidents of disease.
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – Only accessible by ferry until 2003, a man in his 60s has twice as much chance of reaching 90 than someone in the US, France or Japan.
  • Ikaria, Greece – An island with more 90-year-olds than anywhere else on earth.  A study in 2009 found 1 in 3 reach 90, there is 50% less heart disease, 20% less cancer and barely any dementia.
  • Loma Linda, California – A group of 9000 Seventh-day Adventists who live longer than any other group in America.

The five regions are culturally and geographically diverse. They have all been ‘isolated’ from the modern world for various reasons, yet their lifestyles share common denominators that we should all be incorporating into our own.  Let’s look at what these are in more detail.  Read more… 

You can read the rest of this article in the March Newsletter (opens in a new tab as a PDF).

Written by Lynda

Lynda Hamilton is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist BSc, BHSc (N&D) and member of Dietitian Association Australia (APD).

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