From the BioImmersion Newsletter: Fascinating and simple information that can inspire you to new health goals! Enjoy!
Bio Immersion • Newsletter • October 21st 2009 Dear Friends
One of the most important findings in longevity research has been that eating fewer calories increases life span. The initial evidence was based on observations of the low calorie intake of the Okinawans and their long life expectancy, by modern day Gerontologists—Craig Wilcox PhD, Bradley Wilcox MD, MS,and the Dean of the group Makoto Suzuki MD. Together they have authored the New York Times bestselling book: The Okinawa Diet Plan.
The elders of Okinawa Japan are among the leanest and longest lived people on earth. More than any their population, older Okinawans are slim and agile, and their minds are clear and lucid. Few suffer the lifestyle related diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity that are so common in their Western counterpart.
In this inspiring CNN clip, Secret of Long Life in Okinawa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwX9Ll19cX0), you will see one of the many typical 90 year olds who still climb trees to pick fruit. You will meet Gerontologist Dr. Craig Wilcox and see a few of the old people who are members of a society with the highest percentage of centenarians of any place in the world. Their secret: (1) The Okinawa Diet, (2) Plenty of exercise and work, (3) A good healthcare system that focuses on prevention and (4) They have a sense of community that values optimism. Older people are active and respected.
An Okinawan reaching 110 years of age has typically had a diet consistently averaging no more than one calorie per gram of food and has a BMI of 20.4.
The diet consists of a relatively low intake of calories … The principal focus of the diet consists of knowing how many calories per gram each food item contains. The proponents of this diet divide food into 4 categories based on caloric density. The ‘featherweight” foods, less than or equal to 0.8 calories per gram which one can eat freely without major concern, the “lightweight” foods with a caloric density from 0.8 to 1.5 calories per gram which one should eat in moderation, the “middleweight” foods with a caloric density from 1.5 to 3.0 calories per gram which one should eat only while carefully monitoring portion size and the “heavyweight” foods from 3 to 9 calories per gram which one should eat only sparingly.
Watching your Caloric Density (CD) enables you to eat plenty of food without getting plenty of calories. Calculating CD is simple- a popular breakfast cereal lists a serving size at 3/4 cup or 32 grams. The number of calories per serving is 110. The CD is 110/32 = 3.4.
An even simpler approach than counting calories is to use The Okinawa Diet Caloric Density Pyramid. The CD values of many common foods have already been calculated and then ranked in the CD pyramid. Examples of Featherweight foods with a CD of less than 0.7, food that you can eat as much as you want are water based vegetable soup (CD- 0.3); apples, berries, peaches, and most other fruit (CD- 0.6); broccoli, squash, green peas and most other veggies (CD- 0.5); fat free yogurt (CD- 0.6); and tofu (CD- 0.6).
The Okinawa Diet Food Guide Pyramid emphasizes eating healthy fat, calcium, flavonoid and omega-3 rich foods. Whole grains and other good carbs, along with vegetables make up the base of the pyramid.
The Okinawa Diet Plan introduces a delicious diet that emphasizes the right carbs — low-Glycemic Index, good carbohydrates and healthy fats and proteins, resulting in a calorie-lite diet that cuts hunger and maximizes fat loss rather than the water loss seen in many low carb diets. Definitely worth your checking out.