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Thread: 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

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    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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    Quote 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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    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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    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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    Quote 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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    Quote 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 disagree with this understanding/definition of primal.

    The diet above -- save the bread -- is basically primal.

    Looking at your description, they eat fish two days a week and meat 5 times a month which means that it's once a week with one week having meat twice. That's three meals a week with meat.

    It appears -- through some internet research -- that their bean soups and vegetable stews include salted goat meat (in small quantities) and also bone broths. This is also not vegetarian and is very primal.

    Likewise, they consume goat cheese (and likely milk, yogurt, and butter as well), which is probably consumed daily considering how many goats apparently freely roam the island.

    It's also quite high in fat, likely, due to the addition of copious amounts of olive oil (from all accounts). It is entirely possible to have a high-fat diet based in olive oil -- even getting as many as 40% calories from this source.

    All of this follows primal.

    From the looks of it, it's simply one day on meat one day off, and that's simple enough. I do that with eggs some weeks (a day with eggs, veggies, and a piece of fruit) and then other days might have meat (but not eggs, or maybe eggs, etc).

    All of this seems to me like a perfectly primal diet.

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    I was actually asked about the Greek diet myself recently during my speech about Primal, the question was focused on their bread consumption.

    They certainly do eat plenty of bread.

    The question is; while we stay away from bread for digestion reasons, is it possible that whatever they do eat is not as harmful due to being more "local"? It was a good question, I had no real answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rkd80 View Post
    I was actually asked about the Greek diet myself recently during my speech about Primal, the question was focused on their bread consumption.

    They certainly do eat plenty of bread.

    The question is; while we stay away from bread for digestion reasons, is it possible that whatever they do eat is not as harmful due to being more "local"? It was a good question, I had no real answer.
    The answer is in the production. Look into WAPF for how traditional methods of preparation make grains more tolerable for human consumption. It doesn't mean you "need bread", its just that if you wish to include it there are methods of rendering it safer.

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    Quote 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 you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone on this site that doesn't eat a "mostly" plant-based diet. I am willing to bet I consume more meat than 90% of the people on this site, easily 150-200g of protein daily, and I consume far more vegetables than I eat meat.

    The bulk of your calories should come from animals, the bulk of your weight and volume should come from plants. That's how I live, and it seems to be working fine.

    All you are saying is that an omnivorous diet free of modern foods seems to be ideal. All I have to say to that is "no kidding."

    If Americans only ate small quantities of non-GMO properly fermented sourdough bread, I imagine we'd have very limited health issues by comparison. There is a big difference between organic ancient wheat that's been fermented by sourdough starter (not baker's yeast!) for days and genetically-modified high-gluten quick rise white bread made with baker's yeast and fortified with soybean oil. That's what we eat here.

    Here is a picture of my last grocery excursion:



    I challenge you to find a vegetarian that eats more vegetables than me. The vegetarians I know barely even eat vegetables! Unless you consider grilled cheese, black bean brownies and pizza vegetables.

    IBFcorntortillasaren'tprimal. Primal no, healthy, yes, but ONLY these specific ones.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 02-20-2013 at 09:28 AM.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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