Blue Zones Review

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

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Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest is a book and diet plan based on several other countries all over the world where the percentage of people who are over 100 years old is much higher than here in the United States. These people are much more active even in their old age, and by following their lead, Americans can extend their lives and improve the overall quality. The book was written by a National Geographic Explorer, named Dan Buettner.

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In his book, Buettner focuses on four key areas of the country, known as Blue Zones, where people’s dietary intake and lifestyles have impacted how long and how well they live. By applying these in our diets and lifestyles, we can hopefully see the same results.

In Okinawa, Japan: mostly brown rice and soy based products are consumed. They eat until 80% full, which keeps calories in line. Pork is the meat of choice, though rarely consumed, and when eaten, is eaten in small amounts.

In a region of Costa Rica: the healthiest people were found. They focus on eating: squash, mango, papaya, beans, rice, corn, eggs, and oranges. Their water is very high in minerals, and they make sure to drink plenty of it.

In Sardinia, an island off the coast of Italy: one village of 2500 people has 7 people over 100 years old. The US has 1 for every 5000! They eat a diet primarily of whole grains, beans, produce, goat cheese, and wine. They save meat for Sundays, or for special occasions.

In Loma Linda, California: A group of Seventh Day Adventists who eat a vegetarian diet have outlived much of the population. They focus on eating plenty of produce, oats, water, and nuts.

All four of these areas have a strong work ethic. They also place a strong importance on family and community, so they have support and stress levels are much lower. They also have a strong spiritual connection and believe system.

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  • Exercise is recommended and highly encouraged.
  • Healthy eating is encouraged.


  • No meal plan is included because the author believes it could be rigid and hard to follow with the fast pace of America.
  • The recommendations the book makes are not specific, and vague.


We definitely think this book is on to something. While we understand the rigidity of a meal plan, we also see many people who need the structure to make it work for them. We don’t like how unclear and non-specific the recommendations are, as most people enjoy having the guesswork taken out for them.

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