Approach to nutrition typical of the inhabitants of the Japanese island of the same name, it is plant-based and low in protein
The highest fiber vegetables
The Okinawa diet is the typical approach to nutrition of the inhabitants of the Japanese island of the same name, known throughout the world for their longevity (positive aspect resulting from both environmental factors and lifestyle).
The main characteristics of the Okinawa diet – the archipelago to which it belongs is included in the so-called 'blue zones', areas of the planet where people live on average longer and with a lower incidence of chronic diseases – concern the low caloric intake and the low fat content. Also noteworthy is the emphasis on the consumption of fruit and vegetables, not to mention soy-based products.
Continuing with the list of the salient points of the Okinawa diet, it is possible to find the fact that, when we talk about this dietary model, we are dealing with a lower rice content than that which characterizes the eating habits of the inhabitants of other areas of Japan.
Summarizing the basic scheme, we point out that, at the top of the list, we find vegetables, from which approximately 60% of the daily calorie intake should arrive. Entering into the heart of the specific alternatives, we find sweet potatoes, algae, bamboo shoots, cabbage, carrots, pumpkin.
In the scheme of the Okinawa diet we also find cereals – e.g. millet, wheat, rice and pasta – whose intake should cover about 30% of the daily energy intake. There are also the aforementioned soy foods, but also meat – especially pork – and seafood.
Talking about the typical approach to nutrition of Okinawans means, inevitably, also discussing the foods that should be avoided or severely limited. In this category it is possible to include beef and poultry, as well as cured meats.
Other foods that should not be included in the Okinawan diet also include processed products, most fruits and legumes, foods rich in refined sugars. As mentioned above, this feeding mode is advantageous from a longevity point of view.
The benefit in question has long been under the lens of the scientific community. A plant-based diet characterized by a low protein content, that typical of Okinawans is, precisely by virtue of the content of protein content, able to positively affect the duration of life.
This is the conclusion of a joint Australian and US study published in 2016. The scientific work in question has highlighted that calorie restriction plays a more important role in longevity (as well as maintaining a healthy weight).
We conclude by pointing out that a cons of this diet can be the considerable sodium content and that before changing your eating habits it is essential to ask your doctor for advice.