There are places in the world where people are found to live healthier, happier, longer lives. And their diet plays a huge role in that. Distilled from more than 150 dietary surveys, these simple guidelines reflect how the world’s longest-living people have eaten for most of their lives.
Aim to keep your diet 95% fruits, vegetables, greens, beans, and whole grains.
Think of meat as a celebratory food. Portions should be about the palm of your hand (three oz.), once or twice a week. Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and sausages.
Enjoy fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines, trout, snapper, cod, and anchovies up to three times a week. Like meat, keep portions to about the size of your palm (three oz.).
Avoid dairy when possible. If cheese is a must, try ice-cube-sized portions of sheep cheese (such as pecorino) or goat cheese (such as feta) to flavor foods.
Beans have high-quality protein and fiber. Try eating a cup daily, spread out across breakfast, lunch, or dinner. All beans count, including tofu. If you buy canned beans, try to avoid added salt, sugar, and chemicals.
Keep your sugar intake to around seven teaspoons (28 grams) of sugar a day. When reading food labels, avoid those with more than eight grams of sugar. Reserve cookies, cakes, and candies for special occasions, and make honey your go-to sweetener.
Enjoy a handful of nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, or peanuts daily. Mix it up with different kinds so you don’t tire of them, and avoid sugar-coated nuts.
Limit bread to two slices of 100% whole grain or authentic sourdough made from live cultures a day. Avoid white breads and wraps, and choose whole grain corn tortillas over flour tortillas.
Try to eat only whole foods, and keep processed foods to those with fewer than five ingredients.
Drink six glasses of water daily. Enjoy unsweetened teas and coffee, but do your best to avoid all sugar-sweetened and diet sodas.
This information was researched and provided by our content partners at The Big Know.