Reflections on Okinawa Healthy Weight Loss and Longevity Diet Plan

by Maria on December 31, 2012

The Okinawa healthy weight loss and longevity diet plan is a calorie restricted, low in fat and sugar, antioxidant rich, vegetarian and sea food rich diet plan, based on credible scientific research into the lifestyle factors and eating habits of the inhabitants of Okinawa, an island off the coast of Japan.

It has been found that Okinawans have among the lowest mortality rates in the world from a number of chronic diseases of aging, such as dementia, cardiovascular disease and cancer and, as a result, have what may be the world’s longest health and life expectancy.

Science has shown that:

  • Lifestyle, diet, education, exercise and health care are crucial to longevity;
  • Obesity increases the risk of both heart disease and cancer and cuts an average 7 years of a life;
  • Consuming many calories makes you look older and actually age faster;
  • The caloric restriction has the fascinating ability to help keep the body slim, healthy, and youthful through reduction of cell-damaging free radicals, which are generated primarily by metabolizing food for energy:If you eat less food, you generate fewer free radicals. Therefore, low-calorie diet is key to a lifelong leanness, health and successful aging;
  • Reducing calories increases the body’s metabolic efficiency which allows it to process its fuel (blood sugar) more efficiently as it generates energy. The result is lower blood sugar levels and less damage to cells and tissues from a process called glycation which can have a negative effect on vital organs and tissues within the body and premature aging.

In compliance with the above said, the main idea of the Okinawa healthy weight loss and longevity diet plan is limiting calorie intake by giving priority to high volume, highly nutritious and flavorful foods with a low caloric density (the amount of calories per gram of food). The Okinawan style of eating includes a balance of all food groups: low glycemic carbohydrates, which sustain energy and help dieters feeling full, essential fats and lean proteins.

And more to the point, one of the major principles of the Okinawan approach to eating is to only eat until 80% full. If after 10-20 minutes you are still feeling hungry it is acceptable to eat more of the recommended foods if desired.

The Okinawa diet plan promises dieters that they will:

  • Lose weight efficiently, in the healthiest way possible and keep it off through their lives without hunger and feelings of depravity;
  •  Reduce the risk of many weight and age related diseases;
  •  Thoroughly enjoy food and eat a satisfying amount of it, without gaining weight;
  •  Fight premature aging due to the high antioxidant content of the diet.

The advocates of the Okinawa healthy weight loss diet plan divide food into the following four categories based on caloric density:

  • Featherweights e.g. green tea and asparagus, citrus fruits like orange, low calorie vegetables like spinach and cucumber etc. Can be eaten freely without major concern.
  • Lightweights are mostly plant-based foods and low-glycemic –index carbohydrates. These are foods that contain more water, such as soups and stews, and more fiber, such as vegetables like potato and fruits like banana etc. Should be eaten in moderation.
  • Middleweights e.g. hummus, cereals like wheat, legume products, and lean meat etc. Should be eaten only while carefully monitoring portion size.
  • Heavyweights e.g. burgers, fries, soft drinks, white bread, sugar-laden cookies, doughnuts, candy, fatty sauces, salad dressings, oils and fats, nuts, oil seeds  red meat  etc. Should be eaten only sparingly.

Foods that are particularly recommended include:

  • Sweet potato (a staple with high content of antioxidants);
  • Green vegetables, edible seaweed, tofu, fish, brown rice and green tea;
  • Broth based soups, such as miso soup (eaten before each meal so as to reduce the tendency to overeat).

The recommended cooking methods include: boiling, stewing, poaching and steaming at low temperatures:

Grilling, frying or broiling food at high temperatures, especially meat and cheese, should be avoided.

It has to be said that critics of the Okinawa diet plan claim that it fails to adequately address the multitude of lifestyle factors that may be involved in the exceptional health and longevity of the Okinawan people, such as physical activity, general ways of coping with stress, and a sense of community.

Nonetheless, experts think that the Okinawa weight loss and longevity diet plan:

  • Is a highly nutritious eating plan that will provide dieters with the knowledge necessary to reduce calories without sacrificing their nutritional intake and flavor;
  • Can be sustained as a healthy lifestyle eating plan.

More info on this extraordinary healthy weight loss and longevity  diet plan will follow.

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