The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100

The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100

“The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100” The dietary guidelines recommend
that we try to choose meals or snacks that are high in nutrients
but lower in calories to reduce the risk
of chronic disease. By this measure, the healthiest foods
on the planet, the most nutrient dense, are vegetables, containing the most
nutrient bang for our caloric buck. So what would happen
if a population centered their entire diet around vegetables? They might end up living among
the longest lives in the world. Of course any time you hear
about long-living populations you have to make sure it’s validated,
as it may be hard to find birth certificates from the 1890s. But validation studies suggest that
indeed they really do live that long. The traditional diet
in Okinawa is based on vegetables, beans,
and other plants. I’m used to seeing the Okinawan
diet represented like this, the base being vegetables,
beans, and grains, but a substantial contribution
from fish and other meat. But a more accurate
representation would be this, if you look at their
actual dietary intake. We know what they were eating
from the U.S. National Archives, because the U.S. military
ran Okinawa until it was given
back to Japan in 1972. And if you look at the traditional
diets of more than 2,000 Okinawans, this is how it breaks down. Only 1% of their diet was fish;
less than 1% of their diet was meat, and same with eggs and dairy. So it was more than
96% plant-based, and more than 90% whole food plant
based—very few processed foods either. And not just whole food plant-based,
but most of their diet was vegetables, and one vegetable in
particular: sweet potatoes. The Okinawan diet was centered around
purple and orange sweet potatoes. How delicious is that? It could have been
bitter gourd, or soursop? But no, sweet potatoes. So 90 plus percent
whole food plant-based makes it a highly
anti-inflammatory diet, makes it a highly
antioxidant diet. If you measure the level of
oxidized fat within their system, there is compelling evidence
of less free radical damage. Maybe they just genetically have better
antioxidant enzymes or something? No, their antioxidant
enzyme activity is the same. It’s all the extra antioxidants
that they’re getting from their diet that may be making the difference. Most of their diet is vegetables! So 8 to 12 times fewer heart
disease deaths than the U.S. You can see they ran out of room
for the graph for our death rate. Two to three times fewer
colon cancer deaths, seven times fewer
prostate cancer deaths, and five and a half times lower
risk of dying from breast cancer. Some of this protection may be
because they were only eating about 1800 calories a day, but they
were actually eating a greater mass of food, but the whole plant foods
are just calorically dilute. There’s also a cultural
norm not to stuff oneself. The plant-based
nature of the diet may trump the caloric
restriction though, since the one population that lives
even longer than the Okinawa Japanese don’t just eat a 98% meat-free diet,
they eat 100% meat-free. The Adventist vegetarians in California, with perhaps the highest life expectancy
of any formally described population. Adventist vegetarian men and
women live to be about 83 and 86, comparable to Okinawan women,
but better than Okinawan men. The best of the best
were Adventist vegetarians who had healthy lifestyles, too,
like being exercising nonsmokers, 87 and nearly 90, on average. That’s like 10 to 14 years longer
than the general population. Ten to 14 years extra years on this
Earth from simple lifestyle choices. And this is happening
now, in modern times, whereas Okinawan longevity
is now a thing of the past. Okinawa now hosts more
than a dozen KFCs . Their saturated fat tripled. They went from eating essentially no
cholesterol to a few Big Mac’s worth, tripled their sodium, and are
now just as potassium deficient as Americans, getting less than half of the recommended minimum
daily intake of 4700 mg a day. In two generations,
Okinawans have gone from the leanest
Japanese to the fattest. As a consequence, there has
been a resurgence of interest from public health professionals in getting Okinawans to
eat the Okinawan diet, too.

100 Replies to “The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100

  1. Just amazing as always Dr. Gregger. I spread the word, and your site to everyone I can, that need to hear the facts. So many have been programmed so long, they resist hearing the truth. Im always amazed at the medical people who haven't heard of you, or Forks over Knives. Heart disease the number one killer for men and women, and no one cares to learn how to stop and reverse it. Everyone accepts that it's ok to die in your 50's and 60's of heart disease.  Since going plant based. Pretty much vegan, I have felt like I have discovered the fountain of youth. I'm 60, feel 20. I'm thinking of starting a channel called the Vegan fountain of youth. I only hesitate because as you say, when you mention Vegan, it's viewed as all or nothing, so won't even be considered. Keep up the fight ! You are saving peoples lives.

  2. Dragging out the 1949 Okinawan diet is a bit disingenuous. That was a post war privation diet. They stopped eating fish during that period simply because the Japanese confiscated all fishing vessels during that period and they weren't replaced until well after the war. Why not present the two studies done AFTER 1949, like the study done in the 90's? Suddenly, sweet potatoes were out and rice was in, as was fish, pork, lard, oils and eggs. There isn't and wasn't an Okinawan 100 year old person that after the war not only grew vegetable but kept chickens. Did you think they threw away the eggs? Was it still plant heavy? Yes. But there was a lot heavier than one percent in animal products. I could care less what a 100 year old person ate for a period of six to eight years. Show me what they ate for the other 92. Since the French eats lots of vegetable you could also call them plant based. Plant based is as meaningless as saying low fat. The reality is that they as the rest of the Blue Zone people aren't low fat, no oils vegan. Even the 7th Day Adventists who claim they are fully vegan eat animal products on average twice a month. Want to guess what that animal product is? Ice Cream according to records from the Adventist 2 study. And who are the healthiest and longest lived Adventists? The fish eaters who otherwise eat no meat. So much for the mercury scare.

  3. Lol I just knew they would try
    bullshit like this. The Okinawans first of all don't live to a 100.
    In truth there are villages IN Okinawa where people live to a 100. One of these villages is named Ogimi. Where they have the most 100 year old per capita in The WORLD.
    Sure they do eat LOTS of Veggies which they should people should eat more vegetables especially green vegetables.
    BUT the Ogimi people ALSO eats their fair share of fish and other seafood which is a lot more than a mere 1% as Greger falsely claims.
    They ALSO eat pork.
    Meaning as much as people try to tell you these people are vegan they're clearly NOT vegans. Yet nowhere else in The world do people make it to a 100 as these people do. Conclusion a plant dominant but NOT vegan diet is their choice of foods.
    Deal with it. Don't be spreading shit and making up your own facts.

  4. Stop misleading people, please. Search for "Explore Okinawa: Art, Culture and Cuisine from the Ryukyu Islands". The Okinawan diet explained by Japanese people.

  5. This is total BS. Okinawans eat pork almost every meal. How could that be less than 1%? Yo, stupid doctor, please come visit Okinawa and see for yourself.

  6. Ogimi is part of Okinawa where most 100 year olds live in Okinawa. And here's Ogimians' diet:

    In Ogimi, compared to the average Japanese diet:
    (1) People eat more meats, (2) the intake of green and yellow vegetables is three times higher, (3) the intake of legumes, particularly soybeans, is 1.5 times higher, and (4) the fruit intake is also higher.
    Another point worthy of mention is salt intake. Okinawa is the only prefecture that has made it below the goal of 10 grams per person per day set by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and that figure is 9 grams for Ogimi.

    So, Doctor, go fuck yourself.

  7. The unfortunate truth is, is that you won't prolong your life span at all. Not unless you eat this way for at least a couple of generations , to introduce the genetics down the gene pool. It's basic genetics, which are hereditary.
    At best you will improve your functionality of your body. But I'm afraid that this will not allow you to live longer.

  8. My doctor recommended this system [Go here===   ] to me. I was looking to lose a significant amount of weight, and needed a plan. This diet book has done miracles for me and my husband! We follow the plan and both lost over 20 pounds in the first month. This is a well written book that will give you the tools you need to start eating healthier and regain control of your metabolism. I can't say enough good things about this book and the diet. This was a life changer for us!

  9. How long do you boil sweet potatoes for? Also do you recommend drinking the water for optimal nutrient intake? Thanks

  10. Small portions or not, traditional Okinawan diet includes fish EVERY SINGLE DAY. They also LOVE pork, although they reserve that for special occasions. Their longevity is due to restriction on sugar and processed foods (like KFC), not restrictions on meat. Edit: Also, low caloric intake. They don't eat like pigs, although they do eat pigs 😉

  11. If they ate around 1200 calories, and 70% was sweet potatoes, they would only be getting 20g protein, is that enough? i'm intolerant too almost all foods except sweet potato so i'm doing something very similar

  12. I thought japan has the largest suicide rate in the world and not a lot of people get married or even have kids.

  13. One of your best, Dr. Greger. Everyone in my family is being sent a copy. They aren't going to be happy with me!

  14. I do not to live to 100 in this society. I'll take my red meat and bacon thanks. Modern Western culture is torture, might as well live high, enjoying whatever you can and get it over with quickly! Sweet potatoes and vegetables taste like wood.

  15. Could that 1% be really important of eating fish and eggs for the DHA, B12 and iodine? I really don't trust consuming anything that comes out of a factory.

  16. This video leaves out one important detail at the end: Okinawan's life expectancy has INCREASED in the past generation, since they stopped eating their perfect near vegan diet.

    What a surprise…

  17. I eat a wfpb, low-fat (only overt fat is from 1 tbsp flax, and not everyday) but not until 80% full. When I eat. I eat.

  18. One mistake: At the 3:40 minute mark, Dr. Greger refers to the Adventists that outlive Okinawans as “vegetarians.” They are not. They are vegan, which is a very different eating approach than vegetarians’. Vegetarians eat unhealthy cow’s milk, cheese, cream, yogurt, and other dairy products. They also eat eggs. Vegans do not eat any of these fat-laden, hormone-filled foods. Even the most unprocessed milk is filled with estrogen, by its very nature, being produced by pregnant cows to feed their calves.

  19. conveniently forgot about the pork and fish. Dr bullshit strikes again praised by his uneducated followers.

  20. I'm screaming.. even the Okinawans have said that they base their diet around pork and fish and y'all are saying it's because of their plant based diet.

  21. so did they have to be adventists? does religion contribute to the diet? /sarcasm

  22. Does anyone know or at least has an hypothesis about why pesco-vegetarians had a slightly higher life expectancy than vegans in the Adventists Health Study?

  23. the okanawans USED to have the highest life expectancy in the world, but their diets have changed significantly since the 60s (more Meat, more fat, more protein) the diet used to consist of 95% plant based and more then 80% carbs when it had the highest life expectancy, now their life expectancy is lower then the average Japanese.

  24. Pork fat is the secret to longevity. Pork fat is similar to olive oil and all the blue zones eat pork fat. As for Okinawans only eating a small amount of animal foods bahaha 😂.

  25. I heard that it's yams not sweet potatoes, that the Okinawans eat as their staple (and I mean real yams, not what's called "yams" in the supermarket).

  26. …This one is a saver dock…just started on Stokes purple sweets…what a big difference between Stokes and yellow/orange…Thanks

  27. This really just proves that a small amount of animal products is good for you. The Okinawans are able to absorb the fat soluble vitamins from the plants they eat through dietary fat from pork and some fish.

  28. Both of my Great Grandmothers outlived everyone in including the Jay the Juiceman and Atkins and all these young 80 year olds dying too soon. She worked outside on a farm ate fried chicken and drank whole milk ate bacon at breakfast .So Blah Blah Blah Enjoy your Carrot and Kelp Tofu salad

  29. This is a biased and close minded analysis. Everyone knows the American diet is shit. You should at least be comparing blue zones with blue zones. Also no one talks about how they grow and prepare their food. Vegetables are not the most nutrient dense food because you can’t just live on them. There are so many other factors besides what you eat that determine lifespan.

  30. Actually every organism on the planet can increase their longevity if they decrease their total calory intake. As they did. They also eat meat. Everyone can increase their lifespan with a lower calory diet. It's just that people don't want to do it. Also comparing people of the east and the west is is kinda meh, because we have different physiological responses to many foods. Most Asians have problems with milk products. you didn't mention the probiotic bacteria which is a major factor on every diet. Why vegan diet gives longevity? Because it's harder to cheat with crap food than it is on omnivore.

  31. can someone please help explain something… if their diet was 60-70% sweet potatoes… based on a 2,000 calorie diet, wouldn't they be eating like 14 potatoes a day!?!?!?

  32. The Japanese diet centres around fish and seafood. Pork is highly prized in Okinawa and beef and fish are everywhere.

  33. This is nonsense. Today's Okinawa diet is very different from the the 1949 statistics collected by Americans.

  34. SWEET POTATOES 😀 Purple sweet potatoes are SO filling. I know when I eat 2-3 a day I lose weight (because it's so filling)

  35. Have you been there? They always ate massive amounts of seafood and as do all bluezones who eat more animal foods than USA besides the 7th days who are vegetarian. The Adventist vegans have high cancer rates.. This channel should be called Nutrition Lies. People go visit Okinawa. Don't listen to this dweeb of a man.

  36. This information is from a 1949 study after WW2. It lasted for about 8 years because the pig population was decimated during the war. Their traditional diet has always been pork based.

  37. So the best diet for longevity is to eat mostly plants, mostly starches, and about 3 servings of animal products per week like the Okinawans and 7th Day Adventists. Though I cant imagine how shitty it must be to eat sweet potatoes morning noon and night.

  38. But then the meat heads argument is that the meat consumption was so low because the pigs that they ate a lot of "apparently" were killed because of the war so they were eating not as much meat when this was recorded, but then everyone says they are huge fish eaters, though this actually says they eat not as much fish as you would think.

  39. in reality, the okinawan diet is far from plant based. Pork is central in okinawan cuisine and It's eaten nose to tail. Okinawans even go as far to claim their pork consumption is responsible for their longevity and health. The vegetable dishes of Okinawa aren't even exclusively vegan cus they more often than not includes bits of pork and veggie dishes are always traditionally fried in Lard. Okinawans are also fond of raw goat meat

  40. The okinawans diet is based on PORK!!!! this is from data after ww2 when the us destroyed their pig population. They eat pork before and after every meal. Dr Michael greger is a dishonest fraud.

  41. Dr. Mcgregor isn't being 100% honest. If you look at the studies on Adventists, the longest living were the pesco-vegetarians, they out lived both the vegans and vegetarians. Pesco-vegetarian diet is 100% no meat, but it does obviously include fish.

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