The Countries That Live the Longest NEVER Eat These Foods | Dr. Steven Gundry

The Countries That Live the Longest NEVER Eat These Foods | Dr. Steven Gundry

Intro (00:00:00)

  • The concept of the Blue Zones originated from a meeting in Montpelier, France, where a researcher identified five areas with the longest-living populations.
  • Journalist Dan Buettner popularized the Blue Zones concept, but his interpretation may be biased towards supporting a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.
  • The actual Okinawan diet was documented by the US military after World War II, and birth records were destroyed during Allied bombing, leading to uncertainties in age reporting.

Helix Sleep (00:02:41)

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  • Dr. Gundry has been using his Helix mattress for over two years and highly recommends it.

Grains & Beans are Essential (00:02:57)

  • The Okinawans, who live in one of the Blue Zones, do not eat grains and beans as staples.
  • Their diet primarily consists of sweet potatoes, spicy vegetables, and bitter greens.
  • Sweet potatoes are beneficial for maintaining a healthy microbiome.

There are no Smokers (00:06:28)

  • In Sardinia, another Blue Zone, the men who live in the mountainous areas have a longer lifespan than the women.
  • Despite being smokers, the men's longevity is attributed to the nicotine in the smoke.
  • The Sardinians also consume a significant amount of sheep and goat cheeses and yogurts, which contribute to their longevity.

Sardinia vs Other Mediterranean Regions (00:07:48)

  • Sardinia has the lowest carbohydrate consumption (35%) compared to other Mediterranean regions (60%).
  • Sardinians drink Cannonau wine, which has high levels of polyphenols, especially when grown at higher altitudes.
  • Polyphenols protect plants from UV damage and are used to uncouple mitochondria.
  • Olive oil from Moroccan desert has 30 times more polyphenols due to being planted in rocky soil and high elevation.
  • Atoli has the highest number of centenarians per population.
  • People in Atoli eat a lot of anchovies, olive oil, and wine.
  • They do not eat bread or pasta due to historical affordability.
  • Lentils are their primary source of carbohydrates.
  • Rosemary, which contains yolic acid and rosem marinic acid, is commonly consumed and has brain-boosting and aphrodisiac effects.
  • Despite not meeting the typical criteria for health, Atoli is a longevity capital of the world.
  • Loma Linda is not unique for longevity, but the Adventist diet within Loma Linda contributes to the city's longevity.
  • 50% of Adventists follow a plant-based diet, which contributes to their longevity.

High Fat Intake is Bad (00:11:44)

  • The longest-living populations, such as goat and sheep herders in Sardinia, Andorra, and the Nicoya Peninsula, consume a diet rich in dairy products, particularly fermented sources like parmesan cheese.
  • Grains and beans may have negative effects, but these can be balanced by positive dietary factors like olive oil, polyphenols, and wine.
  • Smoking, despite its health risks, has been linked to a lower incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's in long-living populations, suggesting potential benefits of nicotine.
  • Cities like Hong Kong, with diverse cuisine, also have high life expectancies, challenging the idea that specific foods or diets alone determine longevity.
  • The longest-living countries do not necessarily have the best healthcare systems, as seen in Monaco, where wealth and other factors may contribute to longevity.

Healthcare & Longevity (00:18:38)

  • There is no direct correlation between healthcare spending and longevity.
  • Monaco, which has a high life expectancy, follows an Italian diet.
  • Olive oil consumption is linked to longevity in the Mediterranean region.
  • Olive oil is not the sole contributor to longevity in countries with long-living populations.
  • The polyphenol content of olive oil, not just its presence, is crucial for health benefits.
  • Sunlight exposure and vitamin D levels may be significant determinants of longevity.
  • Blue zones, or "white zones," with high sunlight exposure tend to have longer-living populations.
  • A diet rich in olive oil and leafy greens is recommended for longevity.
  • Perilla oil, derived from perilla seeds, is considered equal or superior to olive oil.
  • Perilla oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a short-chain omega-3 fat.
  • The Leon Heart Diet study showed improved outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease who consumed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with perilla oil.
  • The only differential factor between the diets was the level of alpha-linolenic acid.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid correlates with blood vessel health and prevents lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from entering the bloodstream.
  • Mastic oil, found in Sardinia, has a high oleic acid content.
  • It may not have as high a polyphenol content as olive oil.

Where to Find More of Dr. Gundry's Content (00:25:45)

  • Dr. Gundry's book can be found at bookstores like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Target, and local booksellers.
  • You can also find Dr. Gundry online at,, the Dr. Gundry podcast, and his two YouTube channels.

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