These 10 simple guidelines reflect how the world’s longest-lived people ate for most of their lives. By adopting some of the healthy eating principles into your daily life, you too can live longer, better.
Eat plants. 95 percent of your food should be fruits, vegetables, grains, greens, beans and fruits. Use olive oil to sauté and spices to flavor vegetables. Feel free to eat a cup (cooked) of whole grains daily.
Think of meat as a food for celebrations. Portions should be no larger than a deck of cards, once or twice a week. Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon and sausages.
FISH IS FINE
Enjoy fish up to three times weekly. Wild-caught salmon or smaller fish like sardines, trout, snapper, cod and anchovies are good choices. Limit portion sizes to 3 ounces (about the size of the palm of your hand.)
Avoid dairy when possible. If cheese is a must, try ice-cube sized portions of sheep (pecorino) or goat (feta) cheese to flavor foods. If you eat eggs, limit to 3/week.
DAILY DOSE OF BEANS
Eat a cup of beans daily spread out across breakfast, lunch or dinner. All beans count, including tofu. They contain high-quality protein and fiber. If you buy canned beans, avoid added salt, sugar and chemicals.
Consume only 28 grams (7 teaspoons) of added sugar daily. Reserve cookies, cakes and candies for special occasions. Read labels and avoid foods with more than 8 grams of sugar. Make honey your go-to sweetener.
SNACK ON NUTS
Eat a handful of nuts daily: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, and peanuts. Try different nuts so you don’t tire of them. Avoid sugar-coated nuts.
SOUR ON BREAD
Eat only 100 percent whole grain breads or authentic sourdough bread made from live cultures. Limit bread to two slices daily. Choose whole grain corn tortillas over flour tortillas. Avoid white breads and wraps.
GO WHOLLY WHOLE
Try to eat only whole foods or foods processed with fewer than 5 ingredients. If it’s manufactured in a plant, avoid it. If it comes from a plant, eat it.
DRINK MOSTLY WATER
Drink six glasses of water daily. Feel free to drink unsweetened teas and coffee. Enjoy Wine at 5 with friends or with Blue Zones-inspired meals. Avoid all sugar-sweetened and diet sodas.