Ikaria is another “Blue Zone” mountainous island. It is one of the many Greek islands in the Aegean Sea but closer to mainland Turkey than Athens, Greece. Since we are talking about Greece, over half the dietary calories of the island’s long-standing senior residents come from fats, primarily olive oil and feta cheese.
We may not realize that when we use oils for cooking, the temperature of the cooking pan will oxidize oils and become less healthy for us to consume. Microwaving foods also will oxidize the oils. Do you recall seeing your grandparents storing butter in the china cabinet and not in the refrigerator? Butter is a fat that does not oxidize at room temperature. Dr. Joel Wallach talks about eating a stick per day to keep the doctor away. Healthy fats in moderation (e.g., butter, feta cheese, olive oil) are part of a good diet but try to avoid exposing to high cooking temperatures.
Blue Zone Ikaria, Greece
Ikarian Diet: Potatoes and vegetables from nearby gardens (eggplant, asparagus, black-eyed peas) are steamed to make stews. Meat, poultry and fish (sardines and anchovies) are added. Their preference for coffee is strong. Sweets include a spoonful of Ikarian honey (dark, thick and rich) taken in the morning and again before dinner.
Primary Potable Water Source: Rainfall tumbles down the ravines and there are over 65 springs on the island.
Read more about the 2019 Long Jet Year: Secrets of Longevity monthly series here.
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