What Is The Blue Zone Diet And Is It Good For Weight Loss?

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Is The Blue Zone Diet Effective For Weight Loss?

New diets appear on a regular basis, each with its own specialty. Keto, for example, emphasizes fat intake while limiting carbohydrates, whereas flexitarian emphasizes plant-based eating with minimal place for meat. One of the latest diets on the street, the Blue Zone diet, focuses on helping you live longer.

The Blue Zones are geographical areas where people live the longest. According to Dan Buettner, who pioneered the notion and published The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People, these locations include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica's Nicoya, Greece's Icaria, and California's Loma Linda are three of the most beautiful places in the world. He analyzed the eating patterns of the citizens of various cities and discovered a pattern: They consumed a lot of plants and whole foods.

Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet, points out that the diet has numerous health-promoting aspects. "A diet like this is largely plant-based," she continues, "so it's full of antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables." "Antioxidant-rich foods contain anti-inflammatory characteristics that may help to lower the risk of a variety of chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer." This sort of diet also severely restricts items that might cause inflammation in the body, such as added sugar and saturated fats, which are known to raise the risk of chronic illness."

Is it possible to lose weight by following the Blue Zone diet?

The Blue Zone diet contains a few general recommendations that you should stick to:


  • Only eat meat five times every month.
  • Make your diet plant-based to the tune of 95% to 100%.
  • Reduce your intake of dairy products.
  • Each day, limit yourself to 28 grams (or seven teaspoons) of additional sugar.
  • Each week, eat no more than three eggs.
  • Three times a week, eat less than three ounces of fish.
  • A daily snack of one to two handfuls of almonds is recommended.
  • Seven glasses of water every day are recommended (have coffee, tea, and wine in moderation).
  • 12 to 1 cup of beans each day is recommended.
  • Fill your plate with entire foods that are single-ingredient, raw, cooked, ground, or fermented.

According to Karen Ansel, RDN, author of Healthy in a Hurry, these practices can help you lose weight. "Because it's plant-based, it's packed with nutrients like beans, nutritious grains, fruits, and vegetables that are connected to a better body weight." "Another benefit of the diet is that it encourages you to eat until you're almost full, rather than stuffed, which naturally aids portion management," she says.


What distinguishes the Blue Zone diet from the Mediterranean diet?

According to Keatley, the Blue Zone diet's founders gathered elements from a variety of Blue Zone groups, one of which is near the Mediterranean Sea. He continues, "They focus on plant-based diets because that's what the people of Loma Linda, California, eat, and they eat some fish because that's what the Okinawan villages eat." "While the Greek and Sardinian tribes drink many glasses of wine each week, wines are limited in the diet." As a consequence, it integrates characteristics of Mediterranean food while pushing it toward a vegan lifestyle rather than a pescatarian one."

According to Gans, the Mediterranean diet is a "far more inclusive diet plan that includes all food categories." For example, while the Blue Zones diet restricts some of these items, it allows chicken, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and all legumes.


Both the Mediterranean and Blue Zone diets have a lot of benefits, so either one would be a great choice, according to Ansel. It all boils down to whatever option is most suitable for you. The Mediterranean diet may be a better option for you if you enjoy a little more dairy, eggs, and chicken in your diet. "It might also be a wonderful transition diet if you want to follow the Blue Zone plan in the long run but aren't quite ready to go 95 percent plant-based yet," she adds.


So, what can and can't you eat on the Blue Zone diet?

Following the Blue Zone diet's instructions can help you eat the proper meals, but the plan expressly recommends certain items, such as the ones below.


  • Beans are a legume (lentils, black beans, garbanzo, white beans, soybeans)
  • Whole wheat or sourdough bread
  • Greens with plenty of leaves (spinach, kale, beet and turnip tops, chard, and collards)
  • Fruits and vegetables that are in season
  • Grain (whole)
  • Olive oil is a kind of oil that comes from
  • Sweet potatoes and yams
  • Pistachios (pistachio, almond, Brazil nuts, peanuts, cashews, walnuts)
  • Seeds
  • Milk from goats and sheep

The foods listed below should be avoided.


Sugar that has been added

  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Fish

While the Blue Zone diet emphasizes plant-based meals, it isn't strictly vegan because it includes fish, eggs, and animal products. The Blue Zone diet may, however, be made vegan.


What does it mean to eat in the Blue Zone?

To get you started, here's an example three-day food plan and some dishes.

Breakfast on Day 1: Tofu scrambled with spinach, tomato, and whole wheat bread

Salad with chickpeas, goat cheese, and edamame, mixed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for lunch

Almonds with a clementine as a snack

Dinner: quinoa and roasted vegetables with broiled fish


Day 2

Whole grain bread with nut butter and berries for breakfast

Soup with potatoes and leeks for lunch, with a salad on the side

Handful of peanuts as a snack

Dinner: Vegetables in a polenta bowl


3rd day

Coconut yogurt with berries and pumpkin seeds for breakfast

Soup of white beans from Italy for lunch

Handful of mixed nuts as a snack

Sloppy Joes with lentils and roasted okra for dinner


Are there any drawbacks to adhering to this diet?

It all depends on how you approach it, and Keatley underlines the need of maintaining a healthy balance. "Just because something is plant-based, vegetarian, or vegan does not imply it is always and in infinite quantities beneficial for you," he argues. "To maintain a healthy weight and lean body mass, a mix of high-energy carbs such whole grains, beans, and legumes should be balanced with other micronutrients."


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