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Why the Ikarians live the longest on plant based- Article in NY Times

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  • Why the Ikarians live the longest on plant based- Article in NY Times

    Very interesting article coming out this weekend in NYtimes about why the Ikarians of Greece live to be over 100, based on a mostly vegan diet, including real sourdough brad, local goat cheese, beans and honey. They eat meat 5 times a month maybe max and fish maybe twice a week. Most of them are close enough to vegetarian living off what is local, drinking a ton of herbal teas. I found it a very interesting read, hope you enjoy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/ma...l?ref=magazine

  • #2
    Not to nit pick- but I wouldn't call that a vegan or even "mostly vegan" diet!
    But interesting all the same. Probably no crap chemicals in their diet.

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    • #3
      It was an interesting read that suggested possibilities, but clearly could not reduce longevity to a simplistic answer such as eating less meat. I liked the Taubes question of whether it wasn't so much what they did eat as what they didn't (e.g., processed foods, fast foods). I thought that social activity and physical activity (walking, gardening) were good takeaways as well. No mention of vitamin D, but plenty of sunshine.

      Compare and contrast SAD with the Ikarian: meats, fish and dairy not raised with hormones, drugs, or unnatural feeds; all veggies grown locally, without herbicides and pesticides; virtually no sugar; wheat may be an ancient cultivar rather than the hybrid wheat Dr. Davis has written about; lots of fresh herbs rather than supplements; no processed or fast foods.

      All of which could be primal, save the bread and legumes, but the bread is sourdough and as noted likely not commercial dwarf wheat, so it could be called a "loosely Primal" diet with less meat than most Primals eat.

      Fascinating article; sad that Western dietary influences (soda, etc.) are beginning to encroach.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RenegadeRN View Post
        Not to nit pick- but I wouldn't call that a vegan or even "mostly vegan" diet!
        But interesting all the same. Probably no crap chemicals in their diet.
        They eat fish, goat, and pig. Not as much as we might enjoy, but certainly not vegetarian. Much better quality meat than most Americans eat though.

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        • #5
          True, I guess after reading blue zones etc, they really stress the idea of a MOSTLY plant based diet. I would not call this very primal though, where the emphasis is on animal products throughout the day. I personally do better with less animal in my diet, so I feel that I can relate to this way of life very much.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by VeggieLover View Post
            True, I guess after reading blue zones etc, they really stress the idea of a MOSTLY plant based diet. I would not call this very primal though, where the emphasis is on animal products throughout the day. I personally do better with less animal in my diet, so I feel that I can relate to this way of life very much.
            I think maybe you're missing some of the flexibility of Primal. Seems to me that Primal is about a vegetable-based diet, that you can adapt to your liking with fish, meat, eggs, and sometimes dairy. My wife is pescetarian-Primal, I do the cooking, so we eat lots of veggies and more fish than most folks. I don't eat red meat 3 times a day, but I do love a good steak or lamb chop or roast. Primal is a set of guidelines, it's up to you to adapt it to your liking.

            The Okinawans, e.g., eat plenty of seafood. Most blue zones (Seventh Day Adventists excepted) incorporate some fish or meat. But again, the difference between SAD and those cultures WRT meat is that the meat is raised differently and has qualitative differences, not just quantitative.

            I think what's fascinating about the (rapidly dwindling) blue zones is not that there is a singular diet, or even the many things these diets share, but that there are multiple factors involved, which I think was a good thrust of this article: localized production of food, raised in traditional manner; localized culinary traditions, people cooking the food of the land in ways that are time-tested; the sense of being an active participant, and involved in a community. These ideas go hand in hand with the larger ideas Mark has suggested. While eating meat may seem to be a big focus of the Primal eaters, I think it's important to examine all lifestyle habits.

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            • #7
              Good article and good ending to it, I laughed at that.

              Total lack of stress has to be a factor in longevity as well I would have thought. I agree about the points regarding lack of junk in their diets. It is like a primal diet with less meat and more veg (and more wine it sounds like too).

              Edit: also can I just ask what SAD is? I might be being dim but I can't work out what it refers to - other than it is connected to the western diet.
              Last edited by Neely; 10-24-2012, 11:19 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by VeggieLover View Post
                Very interesting article coming out this weekend in NYtimes about why the Ikarians of Greece live to be over 100, based on a mostly vegan diet, including real sourdough brad, local goat cheese, beans and honey. They eat meat 5 times a month maybe max and fish maybe twice a week. Most of them are close enough to vegetarian living off what is local, drinking a ton of herbal teas. I found it a very interesting read, hope you enjoy.

                http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/ma...l?ref=magazine
                Why is this a thread?
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                  Why is this a thread?
                  It is an interesting article, and the question of what aids in longevity is valid. IMO, blue zones share more with paleo/Primal than they do with SAD (Standard American Diet, BTW, Neely), despite the what some might conclude.

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                  • #10
                    I'm absolutely certain that goat's cheese is superior to meat for promoting health and longevity.
                    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                    • #11
                      Diet seems to be a very small part of why these people live longer. Their life style is radically different from ours, it's much more communal and slower paced. When they eat, they eat together and conversation is a big part of the meal. They also nap and dance. When they drink coffee they aren't getting a to go cup at Starbucks and drinking it while they're driving. Same thing with the wine they drink; they are sharing a glass with friends, drinking slowly and talking. They live lives that are intricately connected with others. Even if they didn't live longer I'd say they have a higher quality of life than most Americans.
                      Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                        I'm absolutely certain that goat's cheese is superior to meat for promoting health and longevity.
                        I'm curious to know why you think so? BTW, I love goat cheese and have some almost every week. I'm fairly well addicted to the stuff.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
                          I'm curious to know why you think so? BTW, I love goat cheese and have some almost every week. I'm fairly well addicted to the stuff.
                          It's very rich in electrolytes and vitamins, but doesn't contain excessive amounts of iron, plus it strongly promotes muscle gain. I average about 150 g a day.
                          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                          • #14
                            Beautiful weather, physical labor, quality of life, socialization that is so common in Greek culture, fresh local food, yep, I can see how they're long-lived.
                            F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                            "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                              It's very rich in electrolytes and vitamins, but doesn't contain excessive amounts of iron, plus it strongly promotes muscle gain. I average about 150 g a day.
                              What if you are intolerant to dairy? Electrolytes are found in most foods, don't know whats special about goats cheese. Cheese is generally good for vitamins/minerals, better than meat in some cases. I don't think meat contains excessive iron and what is this about muscle gain?
                              http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

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