As the search for the optimal diet continues, this article suggests that a high carb diet might be the answer for a long and healthy life.
In Okinawa, the population has a diet of 10:1 carbohydrate to protein and 3 times the numbers of centenarians per 100,00 than found in similar US samples. The primary source of carbohydrates, for the Okinawan’s being sweet potatoes. They also eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and according to this article, their total calorie consumption has 11% fewer calories than is currently recommended for a healthy adult.
While this diet differs significantly from the latest, headline-grabbing high protein diet, there is at least one similarity. Both diets involve eating fewer calories and for most everyone, eating fewer calories is beneficial for overall health. However, the question now is what do we do as consumers? As I have written in the past, my suggestion remains the same, avoid the latest best selling diet plan/fad, eat less and maintain a balanced diet. Further, if you are a daily or multiple day per week meat eater, I will suggest that you add more plant-based proteins and reduce your meat consumption.
As science continues to research diet and health, what is certain is that the answers are not yet conclusive. When looking at the combination of environment, lifestyle, diet and genetic makeup there are many possible combinations that could allow for a healthy life. If you want a healthier life the first place to start is with lifestyle and diet followed closely by the environment. With respect to your genetic makeup/family history if your family has known health issues stay on top of any potential red flags and double down on managing your diet and lifestyle to overcome your potential genetic deficiencies.