Pioppi diet: the secret of a long life?

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Pioppi, a small town in southern Italy, gave its name to a Mediterranean diet, which many consider a “super-healthy” diet. In the southern regions of Italy, they have been eating similarly since ancient times, which gives the inhabitants of Pioppi a life expectancy of 10 years longer than average. That way, it doesn’t hurt to get to know the details of their eating habits better.

The small fishing village called Pioppi lies south of Naples, with a population of just under 300 people. It has been inhabited for centuries they live especially long, and most importantly, in good health! Although the people of other Mediterranean villages lead a similar lifestyle and make use of the geographical conditions in their diet, Pioppi and his diet became famous thanks to the American scientist Ancel Keys.

The nutritionist moved there after his retirement and died at the age of 100 (his wife, Margaret, at the age of 97)… Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra based his later studies on his investigations into the Mediterranean diet, whose conviction is that many health problems can be avoided by following southern Italian cuisine and changing lifestyle. So, among others diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer

The secret of a long life

The people of Pioppi made no effort to stay young and in good shape for a long time. Simply they live and eat in harmony with nature. The idyllic environment of the beach promotes well-being and mood, and the countryside offers plenty of fruit and vegetables, not forgetting olive oil. If these elements are not always part of our daily diet, the Pioppi diet can encourage us to eat like the people there, in order to preserve our lines and delay aging. Here are the main components of the diet and the rules for their consumption, which are recommended to be followed. hoping for a long life!

10 recommended rules of the Pioppi diet

Let’s draw inspiration from the diet of Italian fishermen, preferably using our local/domestic vegetables and fruits, according to our own taste. This is the best way to use this diet long term.

1. Fresh vegetables: in abundance, for every meal

It cannot be emphasized enough that vegetables should not be an “accompaniment” to meals, but should make up half of them. The “hit cards” of vegetables are that they are light, rich in fiber, which makes them filling, and they also promote intestinal transit. They are rich in trace elements (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants), which are essential for the health and protection of our body. All vegetables are good, which are available seasonally and have not been “traveled” a lot, which harms vitamins, among other things. Organic nature (free from pesticides) is of course to be preferred.

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2. Meat: quality poultry twice a week

It is now known that excessive meat consumption (mainly red meat) promotes several serious diseases, e.g. the development of cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer and diabetes. Meat, which is rich in acidifying and saturated fatty acids, should not be included in our daily menu, and even less should every meal contain some type of meat. As the residents of Pioppi do, save the meat for larger occasions, or eat it a maximum of 2 times a week. And even then, choose quality: preferably non-genetically modified meat from small farms, free-range animals… As for red meat, it is advisable to eat it no more than 2-3 times a month.

3. Fish: regularly, 3-4 times a week

Fish provides as much protein as meat, but without saturated fats. The lean varieties (cod, pike, perch, trout…) are light and filling at the same time. Fatty fish

(carp, sardine, anchovy, eel…) contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have a significant positive physiological effect. Thus, e.g. they protect against cardiovascular diseases and promote good brain function. Of course, when choosing fish, we need to adapt to the local conditions (in terms of the ratio of sea and river fish), and we probably need to increase our current consumption.

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4. Bread and pasta: at least once a day

Pioppi does not use white flour or (ultra) processed cereals. Their easy-to-digest and filling sourdough artisan bread and homemade pasta (made from whole grain flour) form the basis of their diet. It is believed that the more complete a product is, the more worthwhile it is to consume and the longer it provides energy. Thus, their products made from whole grain flour and various cereal dishes (e.g. made from buckwheat, barley) are on the table every day.

5. Legumes: preferably daily

Chickpeas, lentils, and beans are often on the menu of the people of Pioppi.

Combined with cereals, they offer a good alternative to meat, as they contain high-quality protein, energy-giving carbohydrates, satiating fibers, and many minerals. They are almost perfect foods, favorites of dietitians.

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6. Sheep and goat milk products: once a day

The inhabitants of the Mediterranean region do not consume much milk, but rather more products made from sheep’s and goat’s milk (mainly yogurt and fresh cheese). They contain little lactose, so even people with lactose intolerance can tolerate them better. The region provides favorable conditions for small farms specializing in sheep and goat breeding, which is why these dairy products are popular there. People following the Pioppi diet are also advised to buy it regularly, even if it is sometimes more difficult…

7. Olive oil: daily, with every meal

Olive oil is the mainstay of nutrition in Pioppi. This valuable vegetable oil is rich in, among other things, monounsaturated fatty acids, which are excellent in protecting against cardiovascular diseases. It also has a significant polyphenol content, which is an antioxidant that slows down the aging process of cells and reduces the risk of developing cancer. (In addition, due to its 100% lipid content, a maximum of 1-2 soup spoons is recommended for each meal.)

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8. Fruit: the indispensable dessert of meals

Another characteristic of the Pioppi diet is the avoidance of sugar and sugary products. The only exception, on special occasions, is a little honey in yogurt or homemade cakes. By the way, fruit also plays the role of sweets. This is an example to follow, because fruits are low in calories, and the absorption of fruit sugar is moderated by the fiber content. Fruits are also rich in vitamins and antioxidants – preferably seasonally and fresh!

9. Oil seeds: a small handful, once a day

Unsalted oily seeds are recommended, which can include walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds… They are rich in proteins, fibers, “good” fats (unsaturated fatty acids) and minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium…) and many other nutrients. They are also a good complement to a vegetarian diet. But mostly due to their high calorie content, a handful is enough for the daily menu.

10. Red wine: occasionally, or at most once a day

The red wine of the people of Pioppi is famous far and wide, which is rich in antioxidant polyphenols (high tannin content). However, wine also contains alcohol, which, among other disadvantages, is “empty calories” – so excessive wine consumption is extremely harmful. Red wine should therefore be consumed in moderation: no more than one glass per day.

Source: Galen

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