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Polymeal Diet takes page from Okinawa Diet?

December 17, 2004

A newly published paper in The British Medical Journal outlines the long term health benefits of the "Polymeal": a proposed non-pharmaceutical alternative to a "Polypill", a combination of drugs taken in one dose to cut heart disease, which was proposed in 2003.

The Polymeal diet comprises fish, eaten four times a week; wine, amounting to 15 centilitres a day; dark chocolate (100g a day); fruit and vegetables (400g a day); garlic (2.7g a day) and almonds (68g a day).

Using a computer model of the American adult population, the scientists that came up with the Polymeal calculated the risk of heart disease would fall by 76 per cent, women would live five years longer on average and the life expectancy for men would rise by 6.6 years compared to those who did not follow the diet.

Their projections are based on previous research which identifies the success of specific foods in lowering blood pressure.

We asked Dr. Bradley Willcox, co-author of the , his opinion of this study.

Dr. Willcox:

"This is a very interesting study that supports the powerful potential impact of diet on longevity. This is consistent with what we see in the Okinawa Diet, where Okinawans are at 82% lower risk for heart disease than Americans, live about 5 years longer on average and have four times as many people over the age of one hundred. On average, Okinawans eat fish (80 grams per day), drink alcohol in moderation (1-2 drinks per day), eat seven servings per day of fruit and vegetables (394 grams per day)".

"While the Okinawans are not huge consumers of almonds or chocolate, they do enjoy garlic, soy foods (such as tofu, miso soup), jasmine tea, and healthy oils such as a canola/soy oil blend that is popular all over Japan. Add to that a variety of spices that jazz up any dish, such as turmeric and a variety of chilies and other peppers and you have a delicious way to eat yourself toward a healthy heart and long life".

"Nuchi gusui (food is medicine !). In Okinawa, it just happens to be tasty medicine!"