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The Okinawa Program: How the World's Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health--And How You Can Too

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  348 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
“If Americans lived more like the Okinawans, 80 percent of the nation’s coronary care units, one-third of the cancer wards, and a lot of the nursing homes would be shut down.” —From The Okinawa Program

The Okinawa Program, authored by a team of internationally renowned experts, is based on the landmark scientifically documented twenty-five-year Okinawa Centenarian Study, a
Paperback, 496 pages
Published March 12th 2002 by Harmony (first published 2001)
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Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: japanese, cookbook, health
I actually read the book, "The Okinawa Way: How to Improve your Health and Longevity Dramatically" by Bradley Wilcox. It appears not to be listed with Amazon at present. I found it to be a remarkable book and a great resource for healthy recipes for healthy eating. It is incredible how lifespan appears to be so much longer in parts of Japan where the Okinawa method of eating has been followed.
More important than the few recipes that I will try out is the better understanding of the chemistry of food. I read all about cell damaging free radicals and now understand how they are generated primarily by metabolizing food for energy- if you eat less food, you generate fewer free radicals. Lower free radical production minimizes potential damage to cellular machinery such as DNA. I have just started hearing more about caloric density which refers to the number of calories in a specific of a ...more
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, japan, medicine
After living in Japan for 2 years, I didn't need convincing that the Japanese lifestyle and diet was far healthier. I guess I bought it to give ammunition to my argument. The only issue I have with the diet is that it is virtully impossilbe to follow it where I live now. The foods it recommends are not really to be found, or are tremendously expensive. Nevertheless, I agreed with what it was saying. Good book, no diet bs here. I can attest to the fact that the food it recommends is delicious and ...more
Sep 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to live longer!
Shelves: diet, own_it, loaned_out
The Okinawan people are among the longeset living in the world. They have the highest percentage of (active) centenarians. The book can be used as a weight loss guide, but this diet is really for anyone who wants to be lean and live longer. I followed the diet strictly for 4 weeks and, while it was as labor intensive as any points system diet to track the foods eaten, I was NEVER hungry. It is clear that the American diet is way off base, given the levels of obesity and disease that exist in thi ...more
Apr 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
Very interesting look at Eastern cuisine as a healthy model for healthy living. It looks closely at the Okinawa population of Japan and the keys to their remarkable cenitarian population. Looking at lifestyle factors such as stress, interpersonal relationships and general activity level paired with diet, it is easy to see how these factors have produced a large portion of the Okinawa population that lives to be over 100 years old.
Nicolas Pujol
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very significant work on populations over a lifetime. A rare gem.
Diane B
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Canadian researchers share the science behind longevity. The authors were early proponents of forgoing meat proteins and eating more plants and grain, and there are some good recipes. It's not just about diet though - also solid evidence that exercise, meditation, and finding meaning in your life add years.
The main idea is eating foods that have a low Caloric Density (CD). The Okinawa diet consists of mainly soy products & other legumes and vegetables. Sweet potatoes are the main carb of choice. Multi-grains and fruit are also consumed in small quantities. Fruits are more likely eaten cooked in their unriped version, liked cooked green (unripe) papaya along with other vegetables. The less ripe a fruit the lower it scores on the glycemic index. The diet is low in fat and protein is largely obta ...more
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sophies
I think I started this book in chapters 10 years ago. It is what the title suggests a program based on the Okinawan lifestyle. It makes huge claims though based in part on the results of a long-standing result project bring together 2 Canadian researchers and a Japanese researcher.

What did I learn from this book? I already knew the dietary issues lower calories, less animal fats, more Omega 3 and flavenoid foods. Also the lifestyle issues of exercise, stress responses, and mental health optimis
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am excited about my move to Okinawa, maybe if I immerse myself in their culture I can become healthy :)
I am not surprised by the studies, they have a very healthy approach to life, both physically and spiritually and the west could learn a lot from their culture. Do I see that happening? Not really, the west is too happy with our fast pace living and our commercialism but in an ideal world....
While I don't subscribe to the belief that reading a book about a culture and how they live a long lif
Laura Craner
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
I feel like a bit of a cheater posting this one because I didn't actually finish it. I read probably half of it. Out of order. In random chunks. Reading this book created the weird experience of being bored and feeling extremely guilty at the same time. The good: I think the basic advice of this book (more veggies, less meat, less salt, more ambient exercise) is fabulous. The bad: so much research it's difficult to keep all the facts straight and the particulars of the program are very difficult ...more
Joel McCracken
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book embodies my views on health: eat right for health. Weight loss is secondary, a side effect. It covers the whats and whys of healthy eating, and delves into other areas of life that need attending to for health, such as exercise, spirituality, and relaxation.

I highly recommend this book.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Okinawa fascinates me. It is the most "together" place I know. This book analyzes what it is about Okinawa that lets people live long, mellow, physically fit and spiritually sound lives. What's more, I found plenty of practical ways to bring my own lifestyle in synch with these healthy models.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strictly-health
Lots of good information about diet, nutrition, and lifestyle. Mostly stuff I already knew, but a slightly different perspective. Reminded me a bit of The China Study, though not to the extreme. Some good recipes as well.
Sep 25, 2012 added it
Based on the lifestyle of the elder generation of Okinawans, this book is one of the results of a twenty-five year study. Highly readable, informative, and very much not a fad diet, based around lifestyle change over dropping the current bogeyman from your diet. Highly recommended.
Ed Ball
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-and-dieting
I've made several trips to Okinawa while in the Navy, so I naturally had a personal interest into their revelation that others may refer to as their "fountain of youth!"

Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2005, japan
good book - good advice; healthy living tips
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Excellent eating plan and guide to total wellness.
Oct 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only diet book I'll ever own. I pick this up and dip into it often and the recipes are family staples.
Scott Miller
A lot of misleading info in this book about the Okinawan diet, which is a lot more meat-heavy than these authors want to admit, given their vegetarian agenda.
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
still as inspiring/informative as the first time I read it! Truly makes you consider life style choices/changes!
Alex Malozemoff
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tremendously important. This is the real scoop on how to eat for best health! Coupled with Campbell's the China Study, this will change your life!
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health, learning
Really interesting read on how lifestyle factors can affect health.
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Want to live longer? Read this book.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, health
Very informative if a bit lengthy. Good scientific study. Genes aren't everything. Diet and exercise are important plus a good social network and a positive outlook on life.
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are many meal options in this diet, vegan, lacto-ovo and omnivorous.
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japanese
Still working on this one, but love it.
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Super-interesting account of the lifestyle practices that contribute to the happiness and longevity of residents of Okinawa. What a beautiful culture they have.
John King
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
Interesting, but lacks empirical evidence, too observational.
Janet Lancaster
May 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was awhile ago so I can't recall.
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