Is Monaco and Japan’s Longest Life Expectancy A Result Of The Citizens’ Genetics?
How many times do we blame our genetics for the way we look or eat? How often do we just give in and let go of our goals by saying,” Oh I can never lose weight because everyone in my family is fat”? Or, “I am bound to get diabetes because my parents are diabetic”?
Pretty much all the time. Its easier that way, isn’t it? To not face the mirror and dump it all on genetics.
And how often do we take accountability of our own lifestyle & make deliberate efforts to take precautions for something that probably is gonna be passed on to us genetically? Not much, really.
Well, to burst your self-protective deceptive bubble, scientist suggest that your life-span is determined 20% by your genetics, the rest depends on lifestyle.
According to WHO’s annual statistics reports, Monaco ranks first in the countries with a longest life expectancy & Japan stands at a close second. Monaco has a life expectancy of 89.7 years while Japan happens to have average life expectancy of 84.4 years.
The oldest Man in Japan is 117 years old! And they don’t just thrive, but are quite healthy and active until the end. Although Japan didn’t quite have a history of high life expectancy. Post the World War II, the Japanese life expectancy was the lowest. So it is definitely not their genetics.
Then, what is it that they are doing right, to live a happy and healthy life?
Revealed: The Science Behind The Longest Life Expectancy
Whats common in both these nations is that, their daily diets are low in fats, low in sugar and high in healthy proteins.
Both in Monaco & Japan the meals are centered around seafood. They eat plenty of fish. Fish being a great source of Omega 3, protects them from heart disease, clogged arteries, heart attacks and also reduced age associated cognitive decline.
Other meats may include poultry or eggs, but not so much red meat. Red meat can be termed as a silent killer today, as it is extremely high in saturated fats, bad cholesterol and possibly carcinogenic toxins.
A lot of green vegetable form make it to their plates. As we all know, greens are good for you. They are rich in antioxidants, fibre and lot of phytochemical which are also anti-aging.
Their diet has less of milk, butter & dairy. Japanese particularly do not have much of dairy as majority of them are lactose intolerant. However, Lactose intolerant or not, they do not prefer having any dairy products.
Although non-fat milk is healthy, most people have the full-fat creamy version which is loaded with the artery-clogging saturated fats. So the Japanese save themselves those extra calories and cholesterol.
People from Monaco do have lighter goats cheese in small amounts in their salads, but they are not the fans of butter. They prefer olive oil instead with their toast or as a salad dressing.
Japanese have a lot of Seaweed. Seaweed is high in iodine and other nutrients, which is not found much in other foods. It helps to keep their brain healthy and preserves their memory.
Oh!! And the Japanese love their tea. Now, this pretty much everyone is aware of. They have tons and tons of green tea all day, to keep their gut healthy and maintain a trim waistline. It also helps to prevent cancer, which is a major killer in European countries.
They have very less sugar in their diets. Sugar has a reputation of being ‘the white poison’.
Majority of the diseases from diabetes to high triglycerides to even cancer arise from having a lot of sugar laden foods. They prefer having fresh fruits for desserts.
If at all they do have some sweets, the portion size is really small. As opposed to most of us Indians, or even Americans who have humongous portions of desserts.
That brings me to my next point. Portion control is important even for the main course.
Japanese use smaller bowls or plate to eat their meals.
There is tremendous research being done on how a larger plate makes a person eat more calories unknowingly.
So, maybe just cutting down on the size of your plate may do the trick. (refer to my article about mindful eating)
In fact, the Japanese follow the principle of ‘Hara Hachi Bu’ which means ‘eat until 80% full’.
Monaco people also prefer lingering over a meal for better digestion.
This helps them to realize when they are full and should stop eating. Studies suggest that over-eating uses up a lot of vital life energy and makes you age faster.
What you should know is that it is not just about eating right, but also having a good lifestyle.
What Else Contributes To The Longest Life Expectancy in Monaco and Japan?
Both the countries encourage socializing, making new friends and being surrounded by people. The more you mingle with others, the more you get to learn new stuff.
It keeps you ahead of your game. Being a loner makes you susceptible to depression, reduced vitality, and vigor. Socializing keeps you happy and gives you positive outlook in life.
Japanese employees are encouraged to socialize after work and party with their friends to unwind & let go of their stress. This is a major contributor to good health.
It is just as equally important to exercise. Walking, standing, cycling to work is part of the routine. They do not have to make a conscious effort or go out of their way to exercise. A lot of people at Monaco and Japan prefer public transport over cars to commute. This gives them a chance to be physically active.
Also, the Japanese practice Tai Chi and meditation to attain a mind-body connection and work on their spirituality. It also keeps them flexible and healthy.
So. there you go!
To achieve the longest life expectancy, all it takes is a few friends, little bit of exercise and a good diet to add 5-10 quality years to your life!