The Healthiest People in the World… and How they Got that Way

Marjory just got back from a big adventure. She went to the Copper Canyon in Mexico to meet the Tarahumara Native American people. They’re world-renowned for their long distance running capabilities.

And they claim that their running abilities peak at age 64!

So… Marjory went down there to interview them and find out what they’re eating.

In the spirit of Marjory’s adventures to learn more about traditional cultures and their diets, I thought this infographic would fit in nicely. It takes a look at 5 of the healthiest nations in the world, defined by their long life expectancy and low infant mortality rates. I couldn’t help but notice the little factoid about New Zealand… Check it out:


To read more about the Tarahumara people of Mexico, check out this article Marjory wrote last summer: At What Age Does The Human Body Peak In Athletic Performance?.

Thanks to nutriliving.com for the infographic. You can see the original post here: The World’s Oldest People.

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  • Julia Pace says:

    I appreciate this article and adding the information gleaned from the research of Dan Buettner and his books on The Blue Zones (https://www.bluezones.com/about-blue-zones/) would make it more complete. People studied in the Blue Zones have a very high percentage of people living to over 100 years old. They follow all the suggestions in your article but their diet is plant/starch based – some, but very little animal protein in most groups.

    1. Michael Ford says:

      Thanks Julia – Good input. Marjory has been really interested in Dan B’s work – and we actually have someone working on article about it right now… Stay tuned!

  • Aimee says:

    I find it hard to believe that Finnish people in general “rarely eat meat” (what happened to reindeer?) and while seafood makes sense, I can’t imagine tofu being that popular there. Tofu also isn’t even that healthy because it’s made with unfermented soy. All the healthy soy products like miso are fermented and traditionally consumed in small amounts as a condiment, not as a significant protein source.

    I also noticed that the five countries mentioned either don’t have militaries or are usually neutral. Maybe the lack of violence contributes to a higher life expectancy?

    1. Michael Ford says:

      Looks like your intuition about Finnish people eating meat was correct. Interesting observation about life expectancy & military status too.

  • My 50 cent says:

    I am finnish person from Finland and the fact upon about finnish people not eating meat is just false. Meat is the main protein souce in Finland, altought fish is high too and used to be even higher. Only a minority vegetarians eat a much tofu.

    1. Michael Ford says:

      Hi 50 – Thanks for the correction. I looked up the sources from this graphic, thinking, “if they put that info in here, surely they cited a source…” But, nope. You can track it back to a 2008 Forbes article that says “Fruit and vegetable intake more than doubled since then” (30 years ago). But it doesn’t say anything at all about meat. Thanks for setting us straight. Michael

  • What are we defining here as “healthy”? Life expectancy? I would think quality of life would be far more important than quantity of life.

    With that said, exercise with weights and cardio, balanced with a healthy nutrition plan (I hate using the word diet) would be great as well.

    I have also talked to nutritionists and dietitians in the past, the fresher the food, the healthier it may be and of course eating “bad” foods in moderation helps. Lay off the chips right?

    Thanks for the infographic! A lot of great information on there.

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