Lifestyles for Better Living

Who Are the Healthiest People in the World?

And what do they eat? Before you're willing to even consider the fact you have an inner caveman lurking inside you, you may be hoping that somewhere there's proof this style of eating improves your health.

Three separate cultures are coming close to it -- and not surprisingly, they have the longest lifespan and are among the healthiest people on the planet.

No, it's definitely not politically correct to call the following three societies prehistoric. But I've termed them in this manner because of the diet they eat. The three population segments, as diverse as they are, have one factor in common: they all have the longest life spans in the world.

Not only that, their populations are virtually unscathed when it comes to suffering from modern degenerative diseases. Who are these people?

They are the Sardinians, residents of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, the Okinawans, who live on the island of Okinawa off the coast of Japan, and a religious group, the Seventh Day Adventists. Each of these groups keeps a low-calorie diet composed primarily of fruits and vegetables.

If there's a diet that could be called the polar opposite of the Standard American Diet, then this one may be it. The Okinawans start by eating a minimum of seven servings of vegetables a day. In addition they eat two to four servings of fruit. (Are you with me so far?)

The group of islanders doesn't strictly follow the caveman pattern, though. They do eat some grains, mostly in the form of noodles, bread, and rice -- and just about all of them are whole grains.

The Sardinians and Seventh Day Adventists eat in a similar manner. And as a group, they not only experience an amazing longevity, but experience very few degenerative diseases.

According to many nutritionists, eating whole plant foods slows your body's digestive processes. This actually helps your body to absorb nutrients more effectively. And in the long run, this gives you a more balanced array of vitamins and minerals. Not only that, but a slow digestive process means your appetite is regulated and your blood sugar remains level.

The Fundamental of Keeping Your Caveman Healthy!

Nourishing your inner caveman is one of those great paradoxes of life. It's easy to explain. The concept is simple to grasp, but actually implementing it in your everyday life is a little tricky.

Not only does it require an entirely new mindset, but it requires some discipline as well. Let's get started outlining the basics of the plan. First, you inner caveman can't be healthy until you stop eating packaged and processed foods. Basically, there's a very simple rule of thumb at work here: If it comes in a box don't eat it.

Right away you know you have to eliminate all packaged and processed foods. Let's just expand on that a moment. That includes all wheat and cereal grains. Basically, we're talking about a diet that's rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and scarce on the wheat products. Oh, you know what I'm talking about bagels, breads, pastry, donuts, cookies, crackers . . . did I say donuts?

Your prehistoric ancestor -- prior to the advent of agriculture -- didn't eat dairy products, either. He ate no butter or cheese, drank no milk, ate no yogurt! So, if you're planning to adopt this diet, these items need to be on your "elimination list." (I told you it would require some discipline.)

In addition to the fresh fruits and vegetables, you can eat animal protein. That's one food prehistoric man feasted on. But there's a catch (isn't there always?). It must be lean meat. You can have pork as long as you choose a lean cut of pork. Eat beef, but only if it's lean.

In fact, it's even better if you can find meat that comes from animals that were grass- and pasture-fed.

If all this sounds extremely daunting or intimating to you, it's really not. Ideally, your goal is to follow this diet word for word . . . food for food. But if you can't completely shed the American Diet Habit, I understand. Instead, consider tackling this diet in small steps. Perhaps indulging your inner caveman at just one meal to start. Make that a habit, then work on other meals.

Even a small step takes you closer to a healthier you.

To learn more about the Paleo diet, you can purchase one of these books.

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