In the land of pasta and pizza, the small Italian village of Pioppi may have uncovered a diet that leads to a long, healthy life.
In his book, The Pioppi Diet: A 21-Day Lifestyle Plan, Dr. Aseem Malhotra divulges the secrets of a village whose average lifespan is “11 years longer”: than America’s. At 89 years, Pioppi has the oldest age expectations of any known location on Earth.
Pioppians also tend to face fewer of the health issues related to aging. In the village, there are far few cases of dementia and type-2 diabetes than the rates that occur globally.
According to Dr. Malhotra, the secret lies in the population’s treatment of carbs and refined sugars. Pioppians buck the stereotype of Italian pasta in favor of a more carb-free fish and olive oil, but fat is not the real enemy—sugar is.
“I read all the research I could and concluded that simple lifestyle changes such as consuming less sugar were more powerful than any medication doctors can prescribe,” Dr. Malhotra said.
Dr. Malhotra’s Pioppian method differs from the Mediterranean diet because it promotes the intake of saturated fats, such as certain oils. The thinking here: increasing the natural intake of fat reduces the amount of carbs that the body stores as fat.
The diet’s emphasis rests on reducing refined carbs, not all carbs. The Dietary Guidelines of America concur with Dr. Malhotra’s findings. Although they recommend a diet composed of 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates, the guidelines caution that refined grains and sugars should be avoided in achieving this diet.
Photo by RitaE, CC-BY
Savannah McCoy is a freelance journalist based in Athens, Georgia. She is an avid sports fan and Game of Thrones junkie. Valar Morghulis.