Studies reveal longevity may be more related to social equality instead of food
Numerous research endeavors have attempted to compile comprehensive lists for the ingredients in popular diets from different countries deemed to have a variety of miraculous health benefits: the Mediterranean diet, Japanese diet, Nordic diet, etc.
The more studies delve into the relationship between health and specific dietary habits from around the world, the less clear that relationship becomes.
For example, France is known to have citizens who live long lives, among the longest lifespans on the planet. However, the typical French diet is relatively high in foods with saturated fat. Dietitians explain this paradox away with “red wine offers protection!”
However, Canadians and Germans are also known for having long lifespans but traditional dishes from these countries, such as schnitzel or poutine, are not recommended as health foods.
The automatic association between a long life and a certain type of diet is the perception that people are what they are, a fallacy that is present throughout the world, from Asia to America.
For example, in certain areas of Asia, tiger penises are perceived as virility boosters for men if they are consumed. American students identified theoretical tribes as having characteristics based on their diets: they described turtle-eating tribes as skilled swimmers, and boar-eating tribes as aggressive based on no other information aside from diet.
Social conditions may have more to do with long lifespans than what foods are being consumed
New evidence reveals that lifespan differences in various countries can be better understood as being impacted by social conditions as opposed to diet.
Sweden, Norway, and Japan are known for being “equal” nations and also brag the longest lifespans, with Italy, Greece and Spain shortly behind them.
If you take social quality as the reason for the overall good health of citizens within these countries, then it starts to become clear: Canada and Germany may not have the best diet food but they do have low levels of inequality.