In the south of Japan, the inhabitants of the island of Okinawa benefit from a record life expectancy. Among the secrets of their longevity, a healthy lifestyle and a very special diet. We will explain everything to you.
To Originally, Okinawa is a beautiful little Japanese island, located south of the Japanese archipelago, which holds the world record for longevity. The inhabitants of the archipelago, in particular women, have one of the highest life expectancies in the world: 87 years at a minimum against 85 years in France in 2022! Unbelievable! Two years apart may seem insignificant but multiply by 3.5 when you are at the end of your life. And not only are Okinawans the most likely to turn 100, but they are aging very healthy.
The Japanese Makoto Suzuki, cardiologist and gerontologist, is one of the first to be interested in the secret of the centenarians of Okinawa. It is partly linked to heredity, but also to their lifestyle with a diet very low in fat and calories. In addition, multiple stress management and self-treatment tools are used daily, in particular from shiatsu (toxic tools such as tobacco, excess alcohol or calories, “narcotics”, or hypnosis television are banned).
Living in Okinawa also means adopting another philosophy of life.
Three questions for Pascale Lucquin, dietitian-nutritionist at the Polyclinic Montier La Celle in Troyes
What is your expertise on this so-called “miraculous” diet?
He advocates a diet with more vegetables, fruits and fiber, rather lean proteins based on the energy density of foods. It therefore produces fewer metabolites and free radicals which are responsible for the premature aging of cells and which lead to what are called “diseases of civilization” such as obesity, diabetes, cancers. Tea is consumed without moderation and alcohol completely eliminated.
Mentally, how do these future centenarians work?
They have a lifestyle very different from ours, with the very regular practice of sports activities, a permanent letting go, impacting hereditary and socio-cultural factors. What is fundamental is that they know how to stop eating before they are full, just very difficult to do at home and dangerous when you are not overweight. This causes a 25% decrease in caloric intake and potential deficiencies. They run at around 1,200 calories a day, which hardly covers our daily nutritional needs. The average for us is around 1,800/2,000 calories.
For them, eating is potentially to cure something. With us, it’s above all to have fun…
Everyone can adopt it according to you?
No, it is not adaptable to all people, we have never learned to stop before satiety. They are fully aware of what they eat. But we have a lot of psychological work to do before joining them.
I honestly think that in general, eating more vegetables, more fresh, colored, unprocessed products, less sugar, is very good.
Now, following it in detail in our countries is difficult to play.