In all centuries and on all continents, people have searched for the secret of longevity. The focus of many health experts today is on the foods that we continue to eat or stop eating to prolong our lives.

If you’re a carb lover, here’s some good news: Eating carbs can help you live longer, according to recent studies. We were very impressed by the news and can’t wait to try the “longevity diet.”

Eating Some Carbs Will Help You Live Longer

Eating Carbohydrates May Explain The Incredibly High Life Expectancy Of People From Japan

Why Eating Carbs Could Actually Help You Live Longer

It seems incredible, but Okinawa has 68 centenarians per 100,000 inhabitants, more than 3 times the number found in the United States. Okinawans live a long time, even by the standards of Japan, a place is known for its high life expectancy. Okinawan people are 40% more likely to live to be 100 than people in other parts of the country.

In trying to discover the secret of longevity of the Okinawans, the scientists analyzed their habits and lifestyle, diet, and genes. They found that, after being isolated throughout history, these extraordinary people developed a unique genetic profile that protects cells from aging and related diseases. But genes don’t answer all of these questions.

Why Eating Carbs Could Actually Help You Live Longer

To learn more about the healthy diet and lifestyle of Okinawans, scientists have been conducting the Okinawan Centennial Study, or OCS, since 1975. By 2016, the OCS had studied nearly 1,000 centenarians of Okinawa prefectures and the results of the study were simply astonishing.

Despite living longer, Okinawans were found to be able to delay typical age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia. It may seem surprising, but researchers have found that Okinawans eat a diet high in carbohydrates, which could be a sign of longevity.

The 10:1 “Okinawan Ratio” Of Carbs To Protein May Be The Secret To A Long And Healthy Life

Why Eating Carbs Could Actually Help You Live Longer
© LGjr-RG, PacificCoastNews / EAST NEWS

If you’ve ever thought about losing some weight or staying in shape, you’ve probably heard of popular low-carb diets, which are the exact opposite of what Okinawans are doing. In fact, the carb to protein ratio typical of their diet is 10:1.

Surprisingly, the tests in humans and animals suggest that a diet poor in protein and rich in carbohydrates can cause physiological responses, protecting us from diseases related to the aforementioned above. However, it’s not just about eating carbs, it’s also about eating them wisely.

Being Particular About How Much You Eat Is Crucial

Why Eating Carbs Could Actually Help You Live Longer

Unlike the rest of Asia, the basic diet in Okinawa is not rice, but sweet potatoes. They also eat fish, pork, and other types of meat, and many soy products. Although these foods are high in carbohydrates, Okinawans are picky about the amount of food they eat and restrict their calories.

Also, they eat a lot of green and yellow vegetables; bitter melon is one of their favorites. So now we can say that the Okinawan’s secret to longevity lies in the combination of a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet, and calorie restriction.

The exact mechanisms that allow a high carbohydrate diet to slow down the aging process are still being investigated. But while we still have a lot to discover, similar studies around the world show similar results.

Other long-lived populations, such as the Kitavans on a small island in Papua New Guinea and the Tsimane in South America, tend to follow a low-protein, high-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet.

Rather than claim that we should all eat more carbohydrates, these studies suggest that we should not go to extremes and inadvertently exclude vital ingredients from our diet, whether they be protein or carbohydrates.

Listen to your body when you diet, maintain a healthy lifestyle and get medical exams; this is probably the key to a long and happy life.

Why Eating Carbs Could Actually Help You Live Longer
© Eat Pray Love / Sony Pictures

Is your diet low or high in carbohydrates? Do you think changing your eating plan can help you live a longer, happier life? Let us know what you think in the comment section!