We need to stop it, stop trying to apply clearly mismatched tools to this problem and reconsider our whole approach.
The other one is environmental efficiency. While I don't buy that a vegan diet is the most sustainable diet -- there are sustainable agro-ecology systems that include meat by necessity to make them work, and the vegan diet relies heavily on certain monocrops that massively damage the planet in their own right -- it does seem pretty clear that we cannot continue to consume meat at the rate it is consumed in the western diet and stay sustainable.
The other thing is that it's a really broad guideline, not a specific prescription. As a broad guideline for health and sustainability for those living in western culture, it seems pretty reasonable.
1. We really have a lot to learn about food and biology.
2. Not all carbs are created equally. We may even need whole, new classifications of carbs beyond fiber/starch/etc (just my suspicion though). this is where Keto/meat and fat diets get results. Replacing processed carbs with nearly anything may be an improvement. Doesn’t make nearly anything healthy.
3. Different people digest different foods differently for varied reasons.
The more obvious and probably more important factor, that doesn't apply to the average first world eater is there are very few of those that have a diet consisting predominantly of meat. Most meat eaters today still have significant portion of their calories coming from refined carbs and they usually avoid fatty meat, which is a staple for those cultures you mentioned.
Not saying I agree (I haven't looked, but surely "all" is an exaggeration...), but if you don't trust the researchers to know what they are doing this could easily be due to bias or including mcdonalds/etc as "meat". Ie, eating less fast food is correlated with not eating meat.
>"The other one is environmental efficiency. While I don't buy that a vegan diet is the most sustainable"
This has nothing to do with health.
Are you an agricultural scientist? How do you know that? How do you know the quality and purity of the soil from which the food grows and the aquifiers which hydrate it didn't affect the nutritional quality of the food itself? I think such impacts have already been observed.
Ok, I should have spoken more carefully. First, I believe that literally every single thing we can observe is correlated with every other thing (although this correlation may be weak/negligible). So there is nothing that has nothing to do with any other thing.
>"How do you know the quality and purity of the soil from which the food grows and the aquifiers which hydrate it didn't affect the nutritional quality of the food itself? I think such impacts have already been observed."
Definitely, there seems to have been a great amount of vitamin/mineral depletion. Usually this is chalked up to intensively farming (high-carb) grains (rice, wheat, corn) that really no animal should be eating much of:
For example, lets pretend for a moment that the worst sort of ecologically disastrous forms of industrial farming happened to produce the most healthy and nutritious food; it's conceivable GMO could well spark that debate not unlike that. Do you make a single statement saying to eat good organic food to stay healthy without also making the statement you're compromising the health portion in balance with ecological concerns?
I think making a simple health statement without also being fully clear about also making an environment statement also erodes trust if found out.
One may argue that the statistics is biased towards people from cities where doctors have a better chance of diagnosing the causes of dearth and where people eat much more processed meat than in rural areas, but then the average lifespan in Mongolia has been increasing despite people moving to the cities. In addition there is a small population of ethnic Russian who moved to Mongolia 100 years ago after the revolution. They show the same patterns of deceases.
Disclaimer - I am vegan for ethical reasons.
>"Cerebrovascular diseases, ischemic heart diseases, perinatal deaths, influenza/pneumonia/asthma and tuberculosis were the leading causes of AM in the past eight years in Mongolia. The AMR [amenable mortality rate] was higher in remote western provinces with harsh weather conditions, high poverty rates, lack of human resources for health, and poor infrastructure."
I wonder if this is the point of much of the smoke blown into nutrition research by Big Food. People get so confused they think wtf, if the big brains can't figure it out, how am I supposed to. I'll just buy that, it's cheap and tasty.
In his book "Sapiens", Yuval Harari talks about how we literally drove into extinction something like 90% of the biggest animals on Earth. And that wasn't because we competed with them for the juiciest grass fields.
Absolutely not. We do know enough about malnutrition to say that this statement is false.
It has also been demonstrated that "zero carb" diets have all sorts of short-term desirable outcomes, such as weight loss or controlling diabetes. Your "don't eat too much, mostly plants" diet fails here.
What we don't know is the long-term outcomes of that (or any other) diet. Frankly, I'd rather risk a shorter life than continue a life of obesity, which is also associated with higher mortality.
People looking to derive most of their nutritional needs from plant-based food need various kinds of infrastructure around them if some or all of those plants can't be naturally grown nearby. Generally this means transporting them from a hospitable growing environment or making the local environment artificially hospitable.
And carbs is too big of a category. Basically food racism - declaration of a entire population of food as good or bad doesn’t help.
Interestingly, the Okinawans eat a different sweet potato from the one shown. It's appropriately named the Okinawa sweet potato, and it's purple on the inside, due to having a high antioxidant content similar to blueberries.
These are not to be confused with sweet potatoes that are purple on the outside, and often confusingly called Asian sweet potatoes or Japanese sweet potatoes.
If you live near an Asian market, you should try looking for the Okinawa sweet potato (I get mine from a Chinese place near my home in LA). It has a very different taste and texture. I personally like to cut them up, steam them, and throw them into a food processor. They develop an interesting pasty texture which I quite like.
Your second link says that the Okinawan sweet potato is a staple in Hawaiian cuisine. I wonder if there were studies comparing the health profiles of Hawaiian and Okinawan people.
There was one time I made mini sweet potato pies with the Okinawa variety inside a muffin tin, and another time when I made a cheesecake (vegan) that incorporated them. Obviously not healthy, but it was the holidays, hah.
I think in general, tasting them on their own and figuring out what pairs well is your best bet. I think like "typical" (orange) sweet potatoes, they have that sweet-flavor-but-works-really-well-with-savory-foods property.
As for the Asian/Japanese variety: those are my absolute favorite, and I only ever eat them completely plain, on their own. I just cut them up, steam, and eat. So delicious, although I suspect they're not quite as nutritious as the orange variety, but it's usually hard to find information on less well-known cultivars.
Also! I should've mentioned this, but if anyone is searching for the Okinawa variety and can't find them, there's another purple sweet potato called the Stokes Purple sweet potato. I have never seen them in person and have no idea how they taste, but I would bet they're not too different.
I lucked out and my local grocery had Japanese sweet potatoes today.
I just throw in the pieces (about 1-2 bites each in terms of size). Sometimes I pile them up all the way to the top! They're pretty strong, so they don't get squished or anything. Cleanup is super easy.
Alternatively, boiling works just as well. I personally just find steaming to be faster (both in cooking and the retrieval of the food), it uses less water, and it eliminates the possibility of waterlogging them.
* little smoking among population
* strong social bonds → observed to be beneficial to bodily defence against stress
* high engagement in agriculture and fishing jobs → high physical activity
* possible effects of genetics — high presence of FOXO3 gene
* 10-to-1 carbs-to-protein comsumption ratio, like in other particularly-long-lived populations – linked studies support the conclusion, though too early to judge definitively
* sweet potato, rather than rice, is high-consumption food in the Okinawan diet
* most of the diet is vegetables and fruits; meats and fish are rare
* calorie consumption is, on average, 13% lower than general population
* it is suggested that past the age of 65, protein consumption should increase
* studies suggest that plant-based protein intake have a more positive effect on the human organism than meat- and fished-based
* their diet is not the "elixir of youth", as multiple interacting factors may be in play
In the low-carb diet you are mostly replacing calories from carbs with calories from fat. Not sure why they are focused on this carb to protein ratio.
> "The traditional Okinawan diet is therefore dense in the essential vitamins and minerals - including anti-oxidants - but also low in calories.
For this reason, some scientists believe that Okinawans offer more evidence for the life-enhancing virtues of a “calorie restricted” diet."
Well, the benefit of low-carb is that you crave less food so naturally "calorie-restrict" relative to a high carb diet. So if they are accomplishing this another way it all makes sense (they mention some genetic factors in tfa).
I spend a lot of time in Japan and US. In Japan food is simple, unprocessed, healthy. When I come to US and even though I eat well the food feels like glue in my stomach. And everything has horrible carbs in it. Salads? So much sugar I can barely eat them. Meat? Laced with sugar.
I wouldn't mind carbs from vegetables but they get mixed in this sugary garbage and then people come out and say "carbs are good for you" and then you end up fat and unhealthy.
Also, when I eat carbs I simply don't feel so good. Keto has been great so I'm going to stick to it.
I don't mind going off-keto but I won't touch anything with added sugar. Go to Whole Foods and look at kombucha. Why does it need a ton of sugar? It's hard to find one that doesn't. Or that "healthy" cucumber something something kale juice? Ton of sugar. Yuck.
>"There are records of knowledge of sugar among the ancient Greeks and Romans, but only as an imported medicine, and not as a food. For example, the Greek physician Dioscorides in the 1st century (AD) wrote: "There is a kind of coalesced honey called sakcharon [i.e. sugar] found in reeds in India and Eudaimon Arabia [i.e. Yemen] similar in consistency to salt and brittle enough to be broken between the teeth like salt. It is good dissolved in water for the intestines and stomach, and [can be] taken as a drink to help [relieve] a painful bladder and kidneys." Pliny the Elder, a 1st-century (AD) Roman, also described sugar as medicinal: "Sugar is made in Arabia as well, but Indian sugar is better. It is a kind of honey found in cane, white as gum, and it crunches between the teeth. It comes in lumps the size of a hazelnut. Sugar is used only for medical purposes."" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_sugar
It needs to ferment in order to become Kombucha, which requires sugar.
But its the same with everything. Cucumber juice, watermelon juice, this and that, most bottled teas, etc. Sugar, sugar, sugar. Everywhere.
In Japan I can go to convenience store and buy dozens of drinks with no sugar.
Or electrolyte supplements. No sugar versions are much harder to find!
“Studies have shown increased risks of colon, kidney, and stomach cancer among people with higher ingestion of water nitrate and higher meat intake compared with low intakes of both, a dietary pattern that results in increased NOC formation. Other studies have shown modest evidence that higher nitrate intake can increase the risk of thyroid cancer and ovarian cancer among women.”
Nitrates/nitrites are also found in vegetables. Actually, from what I understand vegetables are one of the largest dietary sources of nitrates by far.
In fact, they can have some health benefits. From what I have found, the primary danger of nitrites comes when they go through high heat cooking. This is why nitrites/nitrates in vegetables isn't as big of a concern - you typically do not cook them at very high heat. So heating up bacon in the oven or even medium heat in a pan does not release nitrosamines in the same amount.
I'm not trying to sway you either way, just pointing out there are a lot of factors that study does not take into account and it's much more nuanced than a simple correlation.
"Avoid processed meat; limit red meat and foods high in salt." 
Move to Okinawa, live their life and eat their way and lets see what happens.
Not everything works for everyone. I tried eating vegetarian for almost a year then I got stricter and switched to vegan for 6 months because being a vegetarian wasn't working for me. The worst 18 months of my life. I was eating a well balanced diet, watching vitamins and mineral intake, my hair started falling out, by skin looked horrible. I became a vegetarian because I was 75lbs overweight, with high blood pressure. When eating a calorie restricted vegetarian/vegan diet and lifting weights and doing cardio I managed to gain weight and my blood pressure never improved.
I switched to Keto, my hair recovered, my skin looks fantastic, I have energy I'm sleeping better, my job performance is much better, and without eating a calorie restricted diet I've lost 60lbs in 9 months and my blood pressure is normal, all without exercising. I'm now starting to lift weight again.
People are different. If you don't try to tell me that keto doesn't work for me I won't you that the Okinawian diet doesn't work for them, or that being a vegan/vegetarian doesn't work for you.
Sure, refined carbohydrates (and sugar) are empty calories that are better avoided if you want to lose weight.
Foods rich in fiber like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, whole grains, peas, and beans contain carbohydrates, but are nonetheless healthy foods you should be eating.
Their high-carb diet has nothing to do with Okinawan longevity. Genes are the most important factor.
This article is ridiculous click-bait.
Virtually all articles on longevity and diet are click bait.
It is about what you absorb instead of what you put in mouth.