The Okinawa Diet

Okinawa Diet
I have always been an admirer of the Japanese people, especially their quite healthy way of life. It was no surprise, then, when I found about the The Okinawa Diet, a diet which keeps you healthy for a very long time.

It was conceived by Dr Bradley Wilcox and Dr Makoto Suzuki, based on the eating habits of the people living in Okinawa. This is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands, located in Southern Japan. According to a study financed by the Japanese Ministry of Health, the inhabitants of Okinawa enjoy the longest life-expectancy in the world. More than that, during their entire life spans they manage to keep their good health. Cancer and heart disease, two of the major death causes in the Western countries, occur here very rarely.

So how is this possible? Scientists concluded that it certainly is linked to having good genes. Nevertheless, that’s not enough: you must also maintain good habits. So, apart from genetic factors, you must stick to a low-calorie diet, but which is, at the same time, rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates. The Okinawa Diet Food Pyramid has at its basis vegetables and whole grains (of which you can eat up to 13 servings per day!). It also puts an emphasis on fruit, omega 3 and calcium rich foods, as well as on drinking tea. However, you should keep low on meat (other than seafood and fish) and on sweets.

Apart from this pyramid, Dr Wilcox and Dr Suzuki divided foods according to their caloric density – CD (or energy density, of which we’ve talked elsewhere). So, they drew another pyramid, the CD Pyramid, which separates foods as follows:

  • featherweights: their CD is up to 0.7 or less; vegetable soup, apples, berries, tofu and most vegetables are part of this category; you can eat as much of these foods as you want – it will not affect your weight;
  • lightweights: their CD is from 0.8 to 1.5; they must be eaten in moderation and they include pasta, whole grains and fish;
  • middleweights: the CD of these foods ranges from 1.6 to 3; fat types of fish, raisins and soy cheese are such foods which must be eaten in small portions;
  • heavyweights: these foods have a CD higher than 3 and, consequently, should be eaten as rarely as possible; they are rich in fat or sugar, or low in water and fiber; so, avoid fries, fat cheeses, butter and chocolate.

The Okinawa Diet seems to me more of a lifestyle, than a traditional diet. Low-calorie intake is just a side of the coin. You must also stop smoking, exercise regularly and manage stress as successfully as possible.



RSS Trackback URL 16. October 2010 (08:23)
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1 Comment»

  1. Do You Live In A Blue Zone? | DietMotion

    4. December 2010 | 15:18 h

    [...] you remember the Okinawa diet? I was telling you back then that on this particular island of Japan people live longer lives than [...]

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