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The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World's Healthiest People

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,604 ratings  ·  253 reviews
In this groundbreaking book, Dan Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he's identified as "Blue Zones"—those places with the world's longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people, including locations such as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by National Geographic (first published April 7th 2014)
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Emily Crow
So, my three-star rating comes by way of compromise: for myself, personally, this book was probably of two-star caliber (glad I got it thru inter-library loan); but for someone who has been eating the Standard American Diet (or SAD, i.e., lots of processed foods and fast foods), and living the typical high-stress, low-activity lifestyle, this would probably be a four-star book.

It seems, these days, that if I look over the healthy cooking and diet shelves, books fall into two broad categories--v
Ashley Mebert
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great recipes. Not preachy. Used "superfoods" zero times.
Nick Pageant
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Buddy read with Mishy so we can live to be 100 together. We are going to be a very fun couple living on an island in the Mediterranean. According to this book, we will need to be mostly vegan and should probably have some goats to herd. Come see us if you're still alive. We'll serve you a salad and 3oz. of red wine.
Michael Lieberman
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by a "National Geographic" staffer, this brief book examines the diets of five very long-lived populations from Sardinia, Greece, Okinawa, and Central American and U.S. Seventh Day Adventists, all of whom eat primarily plant-based diets with sparing amounts of meat/animal protein, dairy products, and sweets. Buettner suggests that part of their longevity is based on their vegan/vegetarian diets. While the conclusion appears sound, the book is marred by speculation and unsubstantiated ass ...more
Danielle Reese
May 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Some good take-aways, but basic understanding can be had from watching the documentary made, or lectures done by Buettner.

I'm glad that wild greens were recognized for their nutritional significance, and raw forms of milk, as well as lifestyle differences (naps, family style dining, steady movement, etc), but wish more focus would have been put on the gut microbe difference in people around the world due to diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors. It was the obvious thread running through th
Carol Wilson
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Carol by: received free
Very interesting and easy to read but information isn't new to anyone interested in health and nutrition. Did enjoy the various cultures and similarities in healthful eating and living.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was chatting with my doctor about food and she told me about this book, The Blue Zones Solution where the author narrowed down and studied five areas in the world (Italy, Greece, Japan, Costa Rica, and California) that contained the highest concentration of centenarians. His conclusion was that four things these areas had in common were 1) a whole foods, plant-based diet, 2) good stress management techniques, 3) moderate exercise, and 4) good community. I really think at some point, convention ...more
Mar 07, 2015 marked it as to-read
I've just won a copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways. After it's arrived at my doorstep and I've had a chance to read it and formulate my thoughts, I'll post an honest review. Stay tuned!
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first half of this book was a 5-star read for me. I loved when the author took us on journeys to visit someone in each of the five Blue Zones, the areas in the world with the highest concentrations of 100 year old citizens. Their stories were intriguing & filled with good advice on healthy living. The second half of the book was important with practical suggestions but got a little dry.

I’m excited about the 77 Blue Zone recipes at the end of the book. I’m so excited, in fact, that I ordered
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health, non-fiction
What a entertaining read. I just love reading about different cultures, and this book reminded me of the cultural anthropology course that I once took and loved, but this course is made with a twist of lemon. By “twist of lemon” I mean that it is about food, but it is also about how food affects your longevity. The part I really loved though was on how the people lived, and that is where the cultural anthropology came in to play.

The author visits six different cultures that have the same things
Marjorie Elwood
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbook
In addition to the research and justification for the eating habits espoused by this book, there is a helpful list of foods that are healthy and a (very short) list of foods never to eat. Unfortunately, this book - like so many diet books - succumbs to the temptation to use some fairly esoteric ingredients, which removes it from the reality of most of our cooking days.
Margaret Crampton
This is a fascinating very accessible book documenting great research by a multidisciplinary team of experts. They set out to discover why there are only a few diverse places in the world where the population is extremely healthy and has a remarkable number of active folk living well over a hundred years. These are termed the Blue Zones And include: Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Greece and Lima Linda in California. What do these places have in common?
The team set out to analyze this and then to edu
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m giving this 4 stars, not based on content because I did buy the second edition on life lessons for my friends, but because I enjoyed consuming the information in podcast format. It was much more interesting being told than being read.
D. Thrush
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Blue Zones are the places in the world where people live healthfully well into old age, many over 100 years old. They have almost non-existent rates of cancer, heart disease, dementia, all the diseases that impact our quality of life and often kill us. Buettner traveled to these places and studied the oldest residents. There are 2 books. One is “The Blue Zones,” which goes into greater detail about each Blue Zone and the other is this one, “The Blue Zones Solution,” which recaps these details an ...more
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Much more of a diet/health book than the first Blue Zones book. I found this one to be a bit peachier than the older Blue Zones book, but that is to be expected in a health book. Generally, most of the info here is also in the first book with the exception of the recipes - which I haven't tried yet :)

Basically: Eat mostly vegetarian (Beans4LYFE!), move in a natural way throughout your day, surround yourself with good people, and find a purpose in life.
I was pretty excited and then pretty disappointed with this book.

If you have read one of the the other blue zone books that describes each of the blue zones then you can skip the first third of this book.

The second third I was most interested in, because it purports to turn several US cities into more-blue-like places. While it highlights some wins I was disappointed that while claiming to focus on environmental issues (lack of walkability, stress, diets, social connection) there was so much mis
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This is one of several books written by Buettner that draw on information he compiled from the "blue zones" the name given to areas with a high concentration of centarians.

He starts the book with a brief history of the various cultures associated with longevity and then attempts to identify common overlapping themes for the purpose of making recommendations to the masses. He ends with some "blue zone" inspired recipes, just in case he's done his job and leaves the reader inspired.

From eating lo
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Mix one part cookbook and one part biography with one part National Geographic advertisement, and you'll get this Blue Zones book. With this in mind, it's hard to determine if a book is the right format.

Yet author Buettner tries to provide value, finding similar patterns between cherry-picked centenarian so we Western readers can see what's wrong with our lifestyle choices. Buettner admits his research is spotty, due in part to language barriers and contradictory advice. But at the same time, t
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Solid book with interesting information
3.5 stars
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Thought provoking for sure. However, the author frequently mentioned ‘studies’ that don’t seem to have a scientific basis just in order for us to trust him. There’s a lot to be said for what he’s trying to do, as I live in one of the communities that he mentions in the book. I liked that he talked about not having to necessarily make conscious healthy changes when your environment around you supports you in your efforts to eat well and exercise
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great info.
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good reminder of all the commonsense lifestyle choices that are also outlined in all I have ever read about the Mediterranean Diet. No fads, no crash diets. Just simple reminders of living a balanced life and eating sensibly.
Leslie Morrison
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A friend picked this out to discuss for book club. I find it absolutely fascinating how a standard American diet is so far removed from the diets of those in the blue zones. The recipes in the book make me wish I didn’t just have a copy from the library.
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
As part of some medical education I'm getting, The Blue Zones was recommended to me. I couldn't find an easily accessible copy of it, but my library did have one of the follow-ups, The Blue Zones Solution on audio. So I gave it a whirl.

There are a couple of aspects to the beginning of this book, he does a quick pass through over some of the "Blue Zones" from his first book (areas with above-normal centenarian population) to extract some co
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been interested in the research from the Blue Zones since reading a few articles about Dan Buettner, and I tore through this book. Some parts get a little repetitive, but in general, it contains simple, common sense wisdom on how to live a long, full life – from people who live past 100 around the world. I especially loved hearing about the large-scale projects they're working on to transform communities in the States. I try to do many of these things already, but I'm definitely inspired to ...more
Julie Jacobi
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 50-in-2015
As others have said, not a lot of new info for people who are already interested in nutrition and health - stay active, eat veggies, lower your stress and surround yourself with friends. However, I really enjoyed the insights into other cultures and appreciated the highly specific and practical suggestions for getting healthier.
NancyKay Wessman
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book's an illuminating, interesting, and easy read -- does not require a one-seating read. Author's research and prose, excellent.
D.j. Lang
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been inspired by Dan Buettner's research into the Blue Zones ever since I first read his articles for National Geographic.

This book goes beyond those National Geographic articles which covered how people in Blue Zones ate and lived. Blue Zones are those areas of the world where the most centenarians live. In The Blue Zones Solution, Buettner revisits those zones in Greece, Japan, Italy, Costa Rica, and, yes, even the United States. In Part Two of the book, his team learned from Finland ho
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a very interesting book. The premise is simple: after searching the world over for the communities of the healthiest people's on earth, Dan Buettner and his team studied why these communities are so healthy, identified patterns of living that are largely responsible for these conditions, and now apply those principles to try to create a revolution in creating healthier families and communities in the United States.

The principles of healthy living that Buettner identified in the Blue Zone
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was okay but I honeslty heard enough just from his interviews. However, dry and lackluster the writing, It is interesting to read the analyzed data from centarians through out the world and what they eat and compare that to the latest trends in dietary health today (like paleo, keto, veganism, etc). The longest living human beings eat mainly plant based with occassional goats milk (no cow dairy), pork maybe once or twice a week (never bacon thoigh or any processed meats) and fish once ...more
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National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner has traveled the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity.

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