When you think of Monaco you think of rich bankers with huge yachts in the beautiful French Riviera and the world-famous Monaco Grand Prix. But Monaco is also known for the highest life expectancy in the world. As of 2017, according to the CIA World Factbook, the average life expectancy for the people of Monaco is 89.4. You’ll find the U.S at #43 with an average life expectancy of 80 and many European nations ranking higher.
Sure, the life expectancy in Monaco may be skewed a little bit due to sizeable bank balances and being able to receive the best health care money can buy. But to be able to outlive Americans, where the healthcare system is supposed to be one of the best in the world, by almost a decade has to also do with their lifestyle.
A typical American diet consists of processed meat, pre-packaged foods, fried foods, refined grains, high sugar intake and low in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and poultry. This type of diet has been linked to hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Which means that many Americans are literally eating themselves to death. This kind of diet with a lack of exercise greatly impacts American lives in their later years.
If you ever find yourself going on a trip to Europe, take some time to people watch when you’re out in your community and at the airport before takeoff. You’ll notice a lot of overweight and unhealthy people going about their lives. When you land in Europe compare the people at home to Europeans. You’ll notice that they are in much better shape and tend to be a lot more active. Europeans walk or bike almost everywhere whereas Americans drive. This isn’t necessarily always our fault since American cities are much more spread out, forcing us to drive, but this definitely helps Europeans lead more active lifestyles.
Maybe some of them do eat very unhealthily but because they are always active it doesn’t affect them as much. Or maybe they aren’t as active but eat very healthy. If you do one or the other, you will be healthier than someone who doesn’t do either but to be at your best you need to live an active lifestyle balanced with a healthy diet.
The Monacoian’s eat foods that very closely resembles a Mediterranean diet. They’re eating lots of fresh seafood, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. The diet is low in unhealthy fats and sugar which leads to lower levels of “bad cholesterol”, reduced rates of cancer, and lower incidences of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Their portion sizes are much smaller as well. A good way to help limit your portion sizes is to use smaller plates when cooking at home. This prevents you from over eating since you may feel obligated to finish everything on our plate. (I’m 100% a victim of this)
With rugged cliffs, yearlong mild temperatures, and living on the Mediterranean Monacoian’s like to spend most of their time outside. Whether it is walking, swimming, jogging, playing sports; its part of their culture and is encouraged.
A good start to living a healthier life like the Monacoian’s is to be more active and eat fresh whole foods. Ditch the frozen dinners and fast food on your way home from work and start preparing your meals from scratch. It may take a little longer, but it has tremendous benefits to your health and life in your later years.
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