The Spanish stay young at any age. When I was in Barcelona, Spain a few years ago, I was sitting at a restaurant overlooking the Las Rambla and was amazed to see so many people walking down the street who were slim and trim. At a typical Walmart in the U.S., people of all ages use scooters and canes to get around the store. I didn’t see a single scooter or cane the entire time I was in Spain.
How the Spanish stay young has a lot to do with the food they eat
If you walk through the La Boqueria market in Barcelona, there are over 900 vendors displaying the freshest and most beautiful food you’ve ever seen. Spaniards eat and drink wine all day long in cafes, parks and in their homes. Their lifestyle is laid back and social. However, their restaurants don’t open until about 9 pm and we’re constantly being told never to eat after 6 pm. I guess that myth is debunked!
La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona
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Staying young is all about making lifestyle choices
The Spanish stay young partly because they eat a Mediterranean Diet, touted as one of the healthiest diets in the world. It’s also one of the most pleasurable. That’s because it isn’t about deprivation. You don’t hear people harping, “Don’t eat wheat.” “Stay away from alcohol,” “No dairy” “No meat.”
Bread in Spain is not served with butter or margarine, but instead with olive oil. You don’t see bottled salad dressings, soft drinks, or fast food restaurants, except for a few catering to American and English tourists.
When you can enjoy an amazing café au lait at a train station, why hang out in Starbucks?
They drink mineral water, delicious coffee, and, of course, wine.
One of their most special treats is a cup of thick liquid chocolate. Yum!
Changes you can make to stay young like the Spanish:
- eat fresh, flavorful whole food
- enjoy fruits and vegetables ripened on the vine
- eat portions served in small plates. The Spanish eat small meals called Tapas
- savor your food in a slow relaxed manner with friends.
- Don’t sit idle. In Spain, you don’t see gyms on every street corner where people sweat and feel the burn. Instead, Spaniards walk everywhere, make love, dance and socialize.
- Drink red wine in moderation. 1-2 glasses per day
In other destinations in the world where people live the longest, you will find they follow similar rules. Most eat small portions of animal/fish protein (about 8-10% of the meal) with the main portion being fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
The Spanish stay young because they eat well, walk everywhere and take the time to relax. Eat and live like a Spaniard and you’ll stay young at any age.
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What lifestyle changes do you need to make to stay young like the Spanish? Please leave a comment below.