The best part of every episode of MTV Cribs (RIP) was when the featured celebrity revealed what was in their fridge. Sometimes it was bottles upon bottles of champagne. Sometimes it was the same foods likely in your own fridge at the time. (Lunchables! Ice-Pops!) It’s similarly entertaining to get a look into healthy kitchens albeit for a slightly different reason: The sheer voyeuristic enjoyment is still there, but there’s also the idea that it could be unlocking a hidden health secret. Author of The Blue Zones Kitchen and longevity expert Dan Buettner discussed his diet and revealed what he stocks his kitchen during a recent conversation with members of Well+Good’s Facebook group Cook With Us.
Buettner has built a career studying the best foods and habits linked to living a long, healthy life. Surely his grocery list reflects his insider intel. But what are the foods he always has stocked in his pantry? Despite traveling around the world to study centenarians, Buettner’s answer isn’t hard-to-find exotic foods—it’s staples found at any grocery store. “For the pantry, beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds,” he says. When it comes to the whole grains, he specifically likes steel cut oats and brown rice, two foods loaded with fiber.
“These foods, along with fruits and veggies, are the staples of the longevity diets of the longest-lived, healthiest people in blue zones regions of the world,” says Buettner. His list of staples shows that eating foods linked to longevity doesn’t require a big food budget or living near a grocery market filled with all the latest-and-greatest products. The key is eating a plant-forward diet and whole grains—all foods you can find no matter where in the world you live.
If this sounds a lot like the Mediterranean diet, you’re right. Here’s what a registered dietitian thinks of this eating plan:
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