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Foods Consumed By The Healthiest People, Part 5: The Nicoya Peninsula

Discussion in 'Articles & Scientific Studies' started by paymanz, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. paymanz

    paymanz Member

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    Foods Consumed by the Healthiest People, Part 5: The Nicoya Peninsula

    The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica was a surprise discovery when researchers from the National Geographic Society began their study of longevity hot spots (aka, blue zones) around the world.
    When they heard the region had a reputation for healthy aging, they suspected it wouldn't stand up to their scientific scrutiny. However, this changed when they reviewed the quality work of demographer Dr. Rosero-Bixby.

    Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

    Categorized as a hot, dry, forest climate, the region has no real summer or winter. For 11 months out of the year, the temperature ranges from a high of mid-80s to a low of mid-70s, with one month, January, being significantly cooler. There is a 7-8-month rainy season yielding approximately 60 inches a year.

    Measured geographically, the occupants of the 70-80-mile long, 30-mile-wide peninsula reside in the world's largest longevity zone. Residents have the lowest middle aged mortality on Earth. When the average Nicoyan celebrates their 60th birthday, they are 2-4 times more likely (depending on the source) to reach age 90 than Americans are, even though their health care expenditures are 84 percent less per person per year. What's more, once they reach 90, their life expectancy continues to exceed the life expectancy of American 90-year-olds, even with our advanced end-of-life treatment.

    Like other areas of healthy aging, Nicoyans remain physically active throughout their lives. They don't spend their days sitting and looking at screens, nor do they hire others to take care of their homes and yards. They do have social interaction with family, friends and church.

    The Nicoyan Diet

    Nicoyans eat a large breakfast, a moderate lunch and a small dinner. Corn tortillas (made at home) accompany most meals. Black beans, white rice, eggs and fruit are dietary staples. Longevity journalist Dan Buettner states they also eat a lot of squash. Compared to other blue zones, their diet includes the most meat (mainly chicken and pork), eggs (mostly fried) and corn (mainly tortillas).

    They also eat more fruit than the other blue zones, including mango, papaya, passion fruit, plantains (generally fried), mamones, guava, marañón (the seed is a cashew), pejibaye, starfruit, zapote, coconut, pineapple, cantaloupe, blackberries, lemons and limes.

    The water in the Nioya Peninsula is very high in minerals, especially calcium, due to the region's limestone bedrock. Costa Rica is known for coffee and the people of Nicoya make up the third blue zone (along with Sardinia and Ikaria) to drink it daily. They sweeten their coffee with raw sugar cane.


    Blemishes

    The politically incorrect finding ignored by everyone is the presence of pesticides. Although many Web sites say the people of the Nicoya Peninsula eat organic produce, pesticides are used throughout Costa Rica. In fact, thousands are poisoned each year. Agricultural statistics from the World Health Organization show that Costa Rica uses more pesticides per acre of cropland than any country on Earth.

    Ironically, their pesticide use supports what I've been telling patients and colleagues for many years: Eating organic produce is a little healthier than eating commercial produce – but eating commercial produce is much healthier than eating no produce at all. In the case of the people of the Nicoya region, there is no data available regarding their level of exposure – only that pesticides are essentially unregulated and commonly used throughout Costa Rica.

    By the way, the other finding that gets little mention from many alternative sources, but has been covered by investigators, involves vitamin use. Like the blue zones in Japan, Italy and Greece, the people of Nicoya do not use nutritional supplements.
     
  2. jaguar43

    jaguar43 Member

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    I think it would be better off to analyze specific individuals for longevity rather than specific populations. Statistics can be manipulate in favor of the author's motive.

    Many long lived individuals practice similar approaches to Ray Peat's recommendations.

    But that comment regarding pesticides is interesting. It would be more telling what type of pesticide they use ?
     
  3. OP
    paymanz

    paymanz Member

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    interesting because of the same pattern, high carb,low fat,moderate protein , and some dairy, coffee... fruit and legumes,and vegetables.

    but your right i read some where in early studies about mediterranean diet they ignored the lard and butter usage and just pointed to olive oil.
     
  4. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    The starch from the corn, beans, rice, and squash must be poisioning them to the point of activating their immune systems which make them live longer.:joyful: Same thing with all the people I mentioned here: Thoughts on starch

    "Tarahumara Indians of Mexico: This group—which is related to the Pima Indians—eats a traditional diet of mostly corn, beans, rice, potatoes, and squash, and has an extremely low incidence of type II diabetes. Their diet is 12% fat and over 75% carbohydrate.131"
     
  5. OP
    paymanz

    paymanz Member

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    ray also says noting is wrong with starches, if they cooked well.
    but they are not as good as sugar,because they lack of fructose and usually lower mineral and vitamin content than sugar sources like fruits.

    also fruits are eaten fresh, but with starches from grain ther is a chance of getting some aflatoxinsand other impurities as they are stored usually.
    by sugar i mean sucrose, as peat call it.
     
  6. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    I know. I was being sarcastic. I'm pro-starch. I cured my pre-diabetic symptoms and lost 50 lbs./22/kilos of body fat since Sept. of 14' by eating a ton of it and keeping fat low. I don't think the lack of fructose means anything because sweet potatoes have fructose and you can also still eat fruit at the same time. The mineral content depends on the soil but if it is quality produce then it should have minerals because they can't grow well without minerals. Of course it is always well cooked because only a silly person would eat uncooked or undercooked starch, except in the case of raw carrots which do have some raw starch, and some fruits have raw starch as well. A little bit of raw starch is not going to cause a stroke.

    Starchy fruit:

    "Sixty years ago, diabetes was virtually unheard of in the Marshall Islands. People were slim and physically active and lived off the land. Their diet consisted of fish, seafood, and edible plants such as coconut, breadfruit, taro, pandanas, and leafy greens. Breadfruit is a starchy fruit that grows on trees and is generally roasted on an open fire. Nutritionally, it is similar to white potatoes. Pandanas is a huge, extremely fibrous fruit that is chewed and sucked on to extract the carotenoid-rich, juicy orange pulp.”

    According to Haidut, beans cause lymphoma but I can't find the study he's talking about. I actually found a study showing the opposite that I'll post soon.
     
  7. Drareg

    Drareg Member

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    Are any of these cultures very creative/intelligent ?
    They seem to have a basic way of life in a very nice climate, have they for example invented anything? New farming techniques?
    Any poetry? A Bach or a Beethoven? Any hydrogen powered vehicles?

    Do they have doctors there to prescribe antibiotics?

    I get the wisdom of a life like this,what was it the native Indians said about the western style life?
    The problem is I'm not sure living like this finds penicillin. Alexander Flemming discovered it,he died at 73.

    Blue Zone = no stress,mainly stress they choose themselves.
    They probably have passed on property and farms to their descendants also,no mortgages etc
     
  8. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    :bored: Oh boy. That's a bit harsh. Read the book "Guns, Germs, and Steel" or watch the documentary. That is why Europeans were successful. You're turning the topic into something else entirely. The context here is food that was/is consumed by long-lived peoples with a very low incidence of the most common ailments; heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is a direct contraction and unscientific of people to say said foods cause those ailments when the evidence is clear they do not. Your opinion on their philosophy and culture has nothing to do with the science of the human animal consuming natural foods. Of course stress is a factor but not every westerner is stressed. I know many who are quite jolly yet they still have the same diseases. It's the food.
     
  9. Drareg

    Drareg Member

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    Please take note of the question marks in my post before you create a straw man fueled by hyperbole.
    I'm not turning the topic into something else entirely, your brain is projecting that onto my post.
    The pencillin founder was European but I was not implying in any way a European superiority complex,his work is based as with many from all over the WORLD that has increased longevity. I clearly ask about the blue zone longevity cultures that are based all over the world.

    You make a ludicrous claim I am harsh and in the same sentence ask me to read a book that is about Europeans believing they have success because of superior genetics!!!!!!

    The title of the thread on a forum called the Ray Peat forum,in articles and scientific studies, is ,"food consumed by the healthiest people".
    The OP also points out the following, "like other areas of healthy aging, the Nicoyans remain physically active throughout their lives,they don't spend their days sitting in front of screens or hiring others to do house work,They do have social interaction with family,friends and CHURCH".
    The OP and researches feel strongly this is relevant, church is a form of philosophy as is social interaction at times and crucial to health and longevity as is food, this is part of the context in the discussion.

    For example, your outlook in life will effect how you digest food, is this not clear to you? Culture will have an effect on how food is digested and consumed.
    I don't know why you are telling me about foods causing ailments is unscientific, I really have no clue what you are saying here or how it relates to what I posted.
    You then say ,of course stress is a factor, I assume you are talking stress from the environment here? I really don't get what you are saying, you make no sense sometimes.

    For example, can you explain your tag, "pro sugar but anti starch, you contradict yourself ,starch is sugar,sugar is glucose ,glucose is the most important molecule for humans".
    Sugar as you imply in this tag is mainly FRUCTOSE/glucose = sugar. Starch is mainly glucose once broken down. Ray Peat has spoken in depth about the value of fructose/sucrose.
    Glucose is an important molecule but it's not the "most" important.
     
  10. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    Your first paragraph:

    seems to be implying that the people mentioned in the article and the people I've mentioned in the past which I linked in my comment who ate similar diets are "primitive" or "less intelligent" because they didn't have any good poetry, music, and electric cars, therefore, why should we imitate their diets if they were such primitive peoples. If that's not what you meant then explain. The many examples of people I've pointed out, and the people mentioned in the Blue Zones are not primitive and actually modern peoples. They are alive today. And you seemed to be taking a shot at their culture which is subjective, which is why I said what I said.

    As Jared Diamond shows, it just so happened that Europeans were the first to come up with the things that changed everything mostly, but if the Chinese, Africans, or Native Americans did, it would have likely still been the same outcome because humans are humans. It would also depend on something called "Americapox" the bug that would have killed millions of non-Native Americans, the other way around, check it out:

    Americapox: The Missing Plague - YouTube

    It's in the miscellaneous section. Yes, community is important.

    On this other thread your said this:

    "Westside PUFAs said:

    Why? Because Haidut says so? He says a lot of things. Hormones change literally every minute and there are many things that affect them. Haidut's answer to Roddy on starch was very unscientific and he ignores evidence to the contrary."

    So I assumed you were in the anti-starch camp and I assumed you were continuing that line of thinking here. And I assumed you agreed with what Haidut said about starch in the podcast so I was saying that I think it's very unscientific to ignore evidence to the contrary; the historical and epidemiological evidence as well as the current evidence today of people eating it in non-flour form and not having the diseases that he said.

    There are many types of sugars but they all end up as glucose. Yes and it is always broken down by us because of salivary amylase and pancreatic amylase also called ptyalin. A caller asked Peat about cholesterol and Peat said, "Next to glucose, it's one of the most important molecules for humans." Glucose is so important that if you eat a no carb diet your body will literally start breaking down your muscle tissue to make glucose. The only exception to this is when one is fasting which beta-hydroxybutyric acid is synthesized in the liver from acetoacetate, the first ketone produced in the fasting state, to which the only exception is an MCAD deficiency:
    1 in 10,000 people can't go into ketosis and survive a famine because of an MCAD enzyme deficiency
     
  11. Drareg

    Drareg Member

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    You project strawmans like a pro.
    You say after making it up that I should explain something that you feel I said, I'm clearly at no point taking a shot at their culture, you make this with your own mind to try justify your attitude.

    I'm not implying that they are less intelligent, I clearly say I get the WISDOM of this lifestyle,I don't think there is a greater complement than being called wise. You leave that out when quoting me??

    I asked questions based on the diet, if the Sardinians eat a different diet to Nicoyans and were more creative ,more engineering achievements etc this would be a point to note in furthering the discussion. We know full well their are people living until 100 in New York,Paris etc. There are holes all over theses longevity discussions,it's fair and reasonable to discuss them further.

    Many blue zones take the best of the modern world and leave the rest,the best being fresh water from a tap/faucet,ovens for cooking etc, I never implied they were primitive when it's clear as day primitive tribes don't live that long!
    I wanted to know if anybody knew if the blue zones have created or are creating anything that can be put down to high intelligence or are these areas just known for longevity. This does not imply they are stupid,it's clearly a question.
    I don't think many people who read Ray Peat just want longevity ,but more creative intelligence and healing from chronic disease are just as important.
    Not everything created in the modern world is all bad.

    Why are you discussing Jared Diamond? America Pox? You bring this into a discussion out of no context but your own and now feel the need to point this out to me? I'm lost here. The Europeans are not responsible for creating everything, why do you say this? It's not grounded in reality. Why do you say it to me ?
    if it wasn't them it would have been another culture ,you say this like you have a point for me on something I said,I never said anything in this domain needing this counter point you make.
    I spoke about a randomly picked human being who found pennicilin as an example of how it helped millions yet he died at 73, implying life is not all about longevity.

    It implies more than community being important in these studies ,it's crucial, Ray Peat is trying to help many people who don't have a way to live in communities like this, he is trying to help people with 4 kids and a mortgage who are trapped by systems they can't currently walk away from, that's how powerful the environment/community is on the organism and its longevity. Many more in similar environments on this forum living in situations that currently do not reflect the said blue zones. I'll take a wild guess that the blue zones have low suicide rates?
    He offers dietary advice for people who feel trapped by said environments ,helpless, if cutting starch in this environment takes a little stress off somebody like this it can help immensely.

    Your anti-starch camp is your own straw man you have created, 90% of the forum get what Peat is saying on starches,he recommends starches at times, he writes clearly how they can cause trouble. Increasing CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE is one of his main goals, STARCH mainly grains is not as supportive of this ,FRUITS are.
    YOU CONTANTLY SPEAK OF LONGEVITY in relation to starch.
    Where are you going with this? Do you not realise many on this forum can see on a daily basis that people who are not "peaty" are living to old age?

    What I said about Haidut and Roddies conversation was ,it's general discourse, claiming he is unscientific is again your strawman making talents at work, at the start and end of every discussion they both are crystal clear it is just there opinions and people should do there own researcH.
    At what point do they claim to be expert in scientific process? Clarify this?
    What's alarming is your initial straw man at my post is based on what I said in a different thread,particularly when you did not address it in that thread, what I said there makes sense, go read it again.

    Salivary amylase can be epigentically down regulated based on starch in the diet,don't eat starch ,salivary amylase goes away.enzymes are modified epigentically, it's entirely plausible that more research on MCACD may allow for epigentics upregulation with more time.
    Enzymes interact with Dna/RNa epigentically up regulating or down regulating ,it's a form of creative adaptive intelligence at this level.

    We all know full well there are many sugars,Your tag should say carbohydrate not sugar, you are playing with semantics here. People on here as does Peat in many cases refer to sugar as meaning fructose/glucose ,sucrose.
    Starch is called starch for a reason. Many things contain glucose that will kill you. Peat says glucose is "one "of the most important molecules ,your tag says it "is" the most important molecule.
    it really isn't the most important,that makes no sense.
    With this tag do you fancy yourself as being more enlightened than Peat? He is contradicting himself on sugar/starch?
     
  12. Fractality

    Fractality Member

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    Another important thing to notes is that these "blue zones" tend to be located closer to the equator; another association highlighting the importance of abundant natural sunlight. We evolved right near the equator and thus thrive with adequate sun exposure.
     
  13. papaya

    papaya Member

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    wow westside pufa, that's great! what does your diet mainly consist of? what starches do u think r best?
     
  14. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    Peat's view is that low fat lactose and fruit are better sources of carbohydrate but since you asked me:

    Starch comes in three forms:

    1. Below ground storage organs: potato, yam, sweet potato, (sweet potatoes are not the same as yams) parsnip, celeriac, burdock, tapioca, sunchoke, jicama, rutabaga, water chestnut, taro, cassava and many others that are available around the world. Some tubers have more simple sugar than starch such as beets and turnips but the starchy ones are the ones that provide sufficient calories.

    2. Above ground storage organs, winter squashes: - butternut, acorn, Hubbard, banana, pumpkin, buttercup, turban. Summer squash are usually low in calories which makes sense, summer = fruit, winter = steamed starch to keep warm and be the carbohydrate source when fruit is not there, in the non-tropics.

    3. Grains - rice, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, farro, emmer, kamut, millet, muesli, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, triticale and many others, in their non-flour form. White rice is milled, but it's not milled into a flour.

    Legumes like beans, lentils, peas, and some others have starch but they also have a high amount of protein so to call them a carbohydrate is a misnomer.

    Flour products are not simply "starch." The best are numbers one and two but I don't think grains are "bad." I just think roots and squashes are better. White rice is a superior grain though. It's super brain fuel. This way of eating is very unique and it takes a lot of time and practice to get it down but once you do it's great. It takes a lot of effort in learning how to cook the foods and store them but you get better at it the more you do it. My current diet is mostly all those different kinds of roots and squashes that I mentioned with the addition of fruits, fruit juice, greens, fat free goat milk, fat free goat yogurt, eggs, and the occasional lean beef/bison. The key to making it work is making your own fat free(no oil) sweet/salty condiments to flavor the starch. Just picture a big bowl of steamed/baked/boiled roots and squash as the centerpiece of the meal. Most times for me that is the meal with nothing else. I only have meat bi-weekly and the goat milk every two or three days. The whole problem with people saying that grains are "bad" is that they misunderstand the way people eat them. Do they really think the whole disease epidemic is actually caused by people eating them in non-flour form, in a simple steamed or boiled bowl with no oil or tons of cheese added to them? People don't eat grains like that. Do they really think that all of the people who died from heart disease last year did so because they were going to Whole Foods and stocking up on quinoa and going home and eating a diet of steamed quinoa? When people think of "starch" they think bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crusty pies, pastries, donuts, muffins, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, noodles, and crackers. There are three problems with calling those foods "starch." Firstly, all of those foods (besides pasta and noodles, which are just flour by themselves) are made with lots of fat, in the form of vegetable oils, margarine, or butter, so to call them just "starch" is a misnomer. People call pizza and ice cream "carbs" when in reality pizza and ice cream have more calories coming from fat than they do carbs. Not only does pizza have plenty of cheese on it, the dough is made with vegetable oil. A cannoli and ice cream have more calories coming from their cream/fat content than from their starch/sugar content. Same with chocolate, it has more fat than sugar. Secondly, besides being baked/cooked with oils, margarine, or butter, those foods are also almost always consumed with added fat as well because no one eats those flour products without any fat. People always add oils and cheese/butter to them. You are considered a weirdo if you eat such foods fat-free. So when one is eating those foods, they have to consider the calories/additives/effects from the fat portion of those foods. So that's why I say eating starch in the way I do is unique and that is why there is clinical research on eating it in that way reverses disease such as the work of Dean Ornish who is not vegan by the way. His diet allows fat free dairy and egg whites. I disagree with him on fish oil but I agree with him on keeping the other fats low. Esselstyn also has data reversing heart disease with eating that way too.
     
  15. papaya

    papaya Member

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    thank u so much westide pufa!
     
  16. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    You're welcome! I love papayas by the way and some days I end up having more fruit than starch. Lately I've been filling up on peeled apples and melons.
     
  17. papaya

    papaya Member

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    that's great, we can be bff's cuz i love guava!
     
  18. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. kaybb

    kaybb Member

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    I really learn a lot from these studies and the discussions on what people eat. I would like a thread about what our parents eat and grandparents/relatives....their ages and health conditions. I have relatives living until they are 90. My dad retired at 85! He is still going strong, on no medications. It can be confusing watching what people eat and then watching them be more active and healthier than myself in 50's (with a lot of health problems). PS my dad eats good :)
     
  20. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    :deercorn it's getting interesting.
     
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