Jump to content

'Blue zones' diets


Recommended Posts

There is some specific material on Sardinians centenaries, and a scientific study ongoing, project Akea.



With regard to diet, the following data were recorded: 93% of male centenarians drink wine (almost twice the Italian average), every day women eat dairy products in 92% of cases (89% males), pasta (83% females, 80% males) and vegetables (77% and 69%).

Another important drawback of the diet of centenarians, is that they often, as above,m speak about the present diet.

Diet is almost never broke up in historical intervals, and this is conceptually wrong, unless it is proven that only the diet in the last part of the life of centenarians contributes to their longevity

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to this article, both in Sardinia-Ogliastra and Nicoya meat and dairy products were consumed in nontrivial amounts.

Nutrients. 2020 Jun; 12(6): 1621.
Published online 2020 Jun 1. doi: 10.3390/nu12061621
PMCID: PMC7352961
PMID: 32492804

Dietary Habits, Anthropometric Features and Daily Performance in Two Independent Long-Lived Populations from Nicoya peninsula (Costa Rica) and Ogliastra (Sardinia)


On the basis of these findings we can conclude that the diet of the two elderly populations is essentially “plant-based” [14], although a non-negligible consumption of animal-derived foods was also recorded. Half of the individuals were meat-eaters at a frequency not less than of 3–5 servings per week, and a quarter of Sardinian and Nicoyan males consumed meat almost daily. Contrary to what has been reported recently in Nicoya centenarians [22], the most consumed type of meat was pork and not chicken, although this was consumed, together with beef, in moderate quantities. Similarly, Sardinians consumed pork most frequently, followed by goat or lamb (data not shown). Of note, meat came from locally bred animals, and also ham, sausages, and salami were homemade. Therefore, this processed meat contains only salt and spices such as pepper and garlic without preservatives or chemical additives.

The non-negligible consumption of meat seems in contrast to what has been described in other populations [46]. Based on the results of the NHANES III study [47], the impact of meat consumption on health is age-dependent: Although meat products could be harmful before the age of 65, after this age the situation reverses, because meat may preserve the elderly from excessive loss of muscle mass, indirectly promoting longevity. Therefore, it is no wonder that it has been suggested to re-evaluate the role of meat in the daily diet, especially home-prepared meat from self-raised animals [48].

A similar consideration must be made for dairy food: About half of Nicoyan males and females consumed it every day, while the percentage exceeded 80% among Sardinians. They are always typical homemade products: In Nicoya fresh cheese or in the form of cuajada, in Sardinia mostly a fresh sour cheese (casu ajedu), although aged cheese was consumed as well. For a long time, dairy products have not been considered particularly healthy; however, a positive association between their consumption and longevity has been reported among Japanese centenarians [49], and it has been reported that they have a protective effect against dementia [50] and cardiovascular disease [51]. In this regard, it should be noted that, at least in Ogliastra, milk is almost never of bovine origin but comes from sheep and goat, which has less harmful effects on health and contains bioactive peptides that improve insulin activity [52]. More importantly, the high consumption of milk was significantly and positively associated with functional capacity of BADL and IADL scores. These findings were consistent between the two ethnic groups and the two sexes, making the association reliable.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/11/2023 at 2:31 AM, mccoy said:

the work of Buettner is not at all a scientific illustration, rather a group of case histories and anecdotal recounts.

I agree. I actually did not find the Netflix show all that illuminating.


On 9/11/2023 at 1:19 PM, mccoy said:

it has been suggested to re-evaluate the role of meat in the daily diet, especially home-prepared meat from self-raised animals [48].

I sense quite a bit of pro-meat and dairy spin here, and the citation is from an industry publication, "Animal Production Science" which, among other things argues that "Mechanistic understanding of the initiation of the fatty streak and atherosclerosis calls into question the avoidance of ruminant or porcine fat." And their cited studies on the evils of carbs make potatoes look worse than meat by including French Fries 🙂

It also contradicts other sources which clearly state that Sardinians and most other Blue Zones clearly consumed significantly less meat and animal products than the surrounding regions. Ditto for oil consumption. And while the shepherds drunk one, it appears to have been limited to less than 200ml per day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The truth is probably in the middle. The most disconcerting aspect is that, while Buettner's documentary on Netflix appears to illustrate a vegan diet, in his same website there is a pie-chart that underlines a more than 20% (of what?) consumption of dairy products

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...