Sardinian diet may be key to longevity

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Abbey Normal, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    NEW YORK -- There's an old Sardinian saying, "A Kent' Annos," which means "may you live to be 100."

    That's not so rare in Sardinia. The large, mountainous island in the Mediterranean, which is part of Italy, has one of the world's highest percentages of people over 100.

    At least 220 of Sardinia's current population of around 1.6 million have reached 100, twice the average in the rest of the world. Sardinian men and women share this longevity equally; globally, women centenarians outnumber men about 4 to 1. Scientists believe Sardinian men share a genetic trait passed from father to son that makes them less likely than the general population to die from heart disease or stroke.

    "Scientists think about Sardinia like it was Atlantis," chef Raffael Solinas commented. Solinas, a Sardinian who is only 37 and operates two restaurants in New York City, feels the longevity is genetic "because there were not so many outsiders."

    Sardinia is 120 miles from the Italian peninsula and for centuries islanders tended to live in the mountains to protect themselves from invaders who preyed on their shores, so there was little intermarrying with non-natives. The island is full of prehistoric ruins and even human remains dating from 150,000 B.C.

    While researchers look for genetic clues to such long life, the people of Sardinia like to attribute this phenomenon to their unpolluted air, lack of stress, and the terrific food.

    The Sardinian diet, like most Mediterranean diets, includes fresh fish and game as well as seasonal produce. And they don't use butter in their cooking, Solinas pointed out.

    Talking about favorite ingredients at an interview in Osteria del Sole, one of his restaurants in downtown Manhattan, he says he thinks the artichokes (carciofi) grown on Sardinia are different from those grown elsewhere.

    "The outside is greener and it's whiter inside. It gets black unless you put it in lemon water." On Sardinia, "we eat them all the time in winter, from February until April."

    According to Solinas, fresh fish practically swim into the cooking pots. Sardines are especially plentiful "because tuna chase them through the Atlantic right to the shores of Sardinia," said Solinas, who is from the northwest region of the island.

    (Despite the similar name, Sardinia was not named after the sardines in its waters -- it may have been the other way around; a Greek word for "fish" is the root of both words.)

    Goat and sheep breeding are economic mainstays on the island, and a respected variety of cheese, Sardinian pecorino (pecorino sarda), is made here from sheep's milk...

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    http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050921/LIFE05/509200362/1005/NEWS
     
  2. speederdoc
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    speederdoc Member

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    Haha, I was wondering if they ate a lot of sardines there. :)

    Interesting post.
     
  3. archangel
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    archangel Guest

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    and they eat lotsa sardines in red sauce(tomatoe) and drink lotsa red wine...both are known anti free radicals as well as the artichoke...love em all!
     
  4. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    Hey. Racism and red wine. The key to long life? I'm placing my bets as we speak.
     
  5. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    Well... it wasn't for my friend's grandparents, they were both murdered at Auschwitz by the Nazis.... because they committed the crime of being Jewish. I wonder if you would feel the same way if members of your family suffered the same fate because of their race.

    It's too bad that an intelligent guy like you chooses to embrace such a revolting set of beliefs.

    I think that if you actually had to, you'd find that people of different races are just like you and I. They have the same problems, the same concerns.

    Yes, I don't believe in "affirmative action" (I believe in a meritocracy, people should be hired and promoted on their ability to do the job and nothing more) and the race card is played way too often by jerks like Jesse Jackson. But bad policy does not justify racism, anti-Semitism.

    I remember rooming with some guys back in college who thought my parents were something akin to bottom feeders because they spoke in broken English. Needless to say, we didn't get along and didn't room together for very long.

    Back to the topic at hand.... my grandfather, "Nonno Nicola", lived with us as I was growing up.... he ate little meat, lots of "greens" (as in turnip greens) with lots of garlic and olive oil, lots and lots of fruit and walked everywhere.... I swear he would have walked to the moon if he could have figured out a way to do it! Anyway... he was rarely sick, never had arthritis, didn't suffer from the maladies that most people his age had and he died at the age of 92 back in 1994 (OK, by today's standards, not so remarkable)... I remember him splitting logs at the age of 80.....
     
  6. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    I'm still hoping that sushi is found to be the key to eternal life.....:)
     
  7. archangel
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    archangel Guest

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    Not quite sure about sushi...tried it several years ago at a buddies house...kept looking at the raw fish and frowned..he kept saying try it you will like it...after about six beers I said okay..then asked for a sauce to dip it in...he pointed to some horseradish siting alongside the plate of 'raw fish'..
    I gave it a go...and said damn this is good the hot sauce compliments it...he laughed and said yeah and it kills the worms! Well needless to say I lost the lot and that was the last time I ate raw fish.... :puke3:
     

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