Want to Live to Be 100? Here’s What You Should Be Eating

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Gianluca Colla/Courtesy of Blue Zones)

The childhood boast that you’ll live to be 100 years old is no longer as much of a stretch as it used to be. But the question is, what do you need to do to make it to the century club?

There’s a new set of research just out on this topic — here’s what they’ve learned from the “Blue Zones” of long-lived folks.

While they’ve determined many factors including exercise, family, and community relationships, and time to de-stress as being key, one of the major contributing factors they’ve found is food. And by studying communities with a higher-than-average percentage of centenarians, they’ve narrowed down a few dietary guidelines.

Here’s what the research recommends:

  • Stop eating when your stomach is 80 percent full to avoid weight gain.
  • Eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Eat mostly plants, especially beans. And eat meat rarely, in small portions of 3 to 4 ounces. Blue Zoners eat portions this size just five times a month, on average.
  • Drink alcohol moderately and regularly (i.e., 1-2 glasses a day).

Each of the communities they studied, which have been dubbed “Blue Zones,” also has its own staple foods that contribute to the healthful diet. Now the question becomes would you rather eat like someone from Okinawa, Japan, or Loma Linda, California?