I'm a Doctor and These Are the 5 "Food Secrets" of the Longest-Living People

Find out what healthy eating habits you can incorporate into your daily diet.

The "Blue Zones" have become a hot topic of discussion as we continue to fixate on what we can be doing to live longer. Coined by National Geographic researcher Dan Buettner in the early 2000s, these zones represent the five regions of the world with the highest rates of people who live to be over 100: Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya, Costa Rica.

But if you don't live in one of these places, don't feel like you can't still reap the benefits of their residents' lifestyles. There are many things we can learn from the people who live in the Blue Zones that can help us live longer no matter where we are.

Now, Poonam Desai, MD, a double-board certified physician and longevity expert, reveals how she has been influenced by the diet of these individuals in a TikTok video posted to her account @doctoranddancer.

According to Desai, the world's longest-living people share several specific healthy eating habits that she tries to incorporate into her own daily routine. Read on to find out the five food secrets you should know.

RELATED: 116-Year-Old Woman With No Major Health Issues Reveals Her Longevity Diet.

Fruits and vegetables

woman buying fresh fruit at the grocery store
Jelena Red Riding Hood / Shutterstock

If you've ever been hounded about your fruit and veggie intake, there's probably a good reason. In her TikTok video, Desai shares that the first tip we can take from the world's longest-living people is "maximizing fruits and vegetables" in our diets.

"So really aiming for about five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day," the doctor says.

RELATED: People Who Live to 100 Have These 3 Things in Common, New Research Shows.


peanuts in shell

Next up? Nuts. Desai says she usually has a handful every day.

"I make sure that the nuts are not packed with sugar, salt, and oils," she clarifies.


Assorted legumes in burlap sacks in a row as a full frame background with chickpeas, lentils, soybean and beans

While you're busy with your fruits, veggies, and nuts, don't forget about your beans. Desai says the third food secret from the world's longest-living people involves a cup of these per day.

"Beans are packed with fiber and protein," she explains. The types you should look for include garbanzo beans, pinto beans, black beans, and lentils, according to Desai.

RELATED: People Who Live to 100 Eat the "World's Healthiest Breakfast," Researcher Says.


Bottle pouring virgin olive oil in a bowl close up

You don't need to shy away from incorporating oils into your regular diet either—just make sure that they're healthy oils, according to Desai.

"That includes oils like extra virgin olive oil," the doctor notes.

Processed foods

Closeup image of friends sharing and eating potato chips
Farknot Architect/Shutterstock

The fifth food secret from the world's longest-living people involves what you should be avoiding in your diet: processed foods.

"So when you're hungry, instead of going for the pretzels, chips, cookies, muffins—going for whole foods like broccoli and green beans and whatnot," Desai advises.

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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