I have previously shed light upon the Okinawa diet. Recently I have come across a very insightful article on the very same topic.
For instance the author stresses:
We always look for reasons for groups of people to live long. And the people of Okinawa live on average to 84 years old (it’s only 78.8 years in the United States!). There are some who live to 100 or more, and research has shown that the diet is likely the main reason for this. Scientists have worked hard to figure out just what makes the Japanese island so healthy, and this is the only reason they have come up with!
Further it emphasizes how the Okinawa diet handles carbs and protein:
But we can’t just completely cut out all carbs. It’s important to focus on starchy carbs, which research has also shown is beneficial for our bodies. The great news is that sweet potatoes are starchy and healthy. They give you the taste of something naughty, but they don’t raise the blood sugar levels in ways that are damaging to the health.
Moving on from the carbs, we need to look at protein. The Okinawa diet does allow some meat, including pork. Seafood and dairy products are also consumed, but there is more of a focus on legumes and soy. So, if you want to get meat, fish, and other protein-friendly products, you’ll need to opt for them in small amounts.
In this regard I would prefer to leave out soy and replace it with chicken, egg and fish. Like I stress in my Swedish e-book, I suggest an optimal hybrid diet, and it appears more appropriate – if you are into fitness in particular – to eat more animal-based protein sources. Hence adjust in accordance with such goals kept in mind.
Moreover, it focuses on calories and weight loss. Perhaps a more strict Okinawa diet is more appropriate for women:
Other studies have shown that Okinawa people eat 1,200 calories a day on average. This is the minimum the body needs to get all its nutrients and fuel the body, so it is a healthy diet. The recommended amount for an average woman in the Western world is 2,000 calories, although research has shown that most women don’t actually need the 2,000! 1,500-1,700 is usually the amount the body needs to burn.
So, you’re creating a calorie deficit without really thinking about it. And the more you follow the diet, the less you will consume as you lose weight. There’s no thinking about missing out on something because you constantly feel full.
Additionally it also includes important insights on the health benefits:
Have you thought about how a diet is affecting your health? When you start cutting out certain foods, you usually run the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Your body needs to get all four food groups and needs so many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
The Okinawa diet may change your lifestyle, but it is for the better. There have been so many health benefits noted, and these are likely the reason for the better health and lifespan.
Let’s focus on the antioxidants at first. You’re going to get far more into your system because you’re eating all the right foods. Orange and yellow foods have plenty of vitamin C and other antioxidants to help support the immune system. They’re often the foods that we miss out, either because we don’t feel like we need them or we forget all about them.
And you’re definitely not going to lose out on nutrients. The dark green leafy vegetables are the ones that have the majority of the minerals you’ll be deficient in. They contain calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A, and much more. And this is the diet that supports you eating these dark green vegetables on a daily basis.
Then we can’t forget about the fatty acids. Yes, our bodies need fat, but they need the right type of fat: the fat that is going to support our metabolisms rather than causing a nightmare for our arteries. Seafood is full of omega 3 fatty acids, which help to support artery health, blood flow, and brain development.
If there is anything negative to say about the Okinawa diet, then it is that some products are relatively expensive and/or hard to find, like seaweed and sweet potatoes, but since vegetables and small amounts of fish are the main products it can be manageable.