How to Eat Like Blue Zones In America with Dan Buettner

Episode 641 55m


When we hear the phrase “Blue Zones,” most of us think of the healthy, long-living populations in places like Greece and Costa Rica. And while the large majority of these communities are indeed abroad (there is only one Blue Zone in the US), there are some hidden traditions that cooks around America have passed from generation to generation that we can embrace to create our own Blue Zone at home. It’s interesting to note that at the same time we’re seeing a huge interest in longevity, we’re seeing a drop in life expectancy for the first time in living history over the last few years. The biggest culprit is our processed food supply. Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dan Buettner and I break down why chronic disease is so rampant in the US, what we can learn from the Blue Zones around the world, and how to bring Blue Zone principles into our own kitchens while embracing American traditions. Dan and I kick off the episode by taking everyone off the hook—it’s not our fault chronic disease is skyrocketing when we live in such a toxic landscape. We discuss how food options, stress, toxins, and a sedentary lifestyle are all contributing to rates of illness. Despite their prevalence, with some mindful steps, we can take back control to make positive changes in our own environments that lead to greater health and longevity outcomes. Cooking at home is a cornerstone of the longevity lifestyle Dan has seen throughout the Blue Zones. He began looking deeper throughout the US and discovered that different populations, like the Hmong elders living in Minnesota and Quakers in New England, have some pretty incredible foodways that we can all incorporate to optimize our health. There is no short-term fix for longevity. While food is an important piece of the puzzle, there are several other important factors we discuss as well. This episode is brought to you by BiOptimizers, InsideTracker, and Rupa Health. Magnesium Breakthrough really stands out from the other magnesium supplements out there. BiOptimizers is offering my community 10% off, so just head over to with code hyman10. InsideTracker is a personalized health and wellness platform like no other. Right now they’re offering my community 20% off at Rupa Health is a place where Functional Medicine practitioners can access more than 2,000 specialty lab tests from over 20 labs like DUTCH, Vibrant America, Genova, and Great Plains. You can check out a free, live demo with a Q&A or create an account at


This episode is brought to you by BiOptimizers, InsideTracker, and Rupa Health. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Why we are seeing a drop in life expectancy


  • Why, if you’re overweight and unhealthy in America, it’s probably not your fault


  • How Dan discovered the Blue Zones and habits of the world’s longest-lived people


  • Cooking and longevity


  • Cuisine of the Gullah/Geechee people


  • Traditional Native American diets


  • Traditional Latin American cuisine


  • Eating well on a budget


  • Dan’s work to make the healthy choice the easy choice


  • The influence of Asian cuisine in America


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Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Introduction: Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Pharmacy. Dan Buettner: If you want to get healthier, don't try to change your behavior because that fails for almost all the people, almost all the time. Shape your ecosystem, shape your environment. Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to the Doctor's Pharmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. That's pharmacy with [inaudible 00:00:21] place for conversations that matter. If you care about living long and living healthfully as you get older, we're going to have a great conversation today with one of my favorite humans, Dan Buettner, who has introduced to us the concept of the blue zones, places where people live very long and very well and don't seem to die these long, painful, expensive deaths, but live long, happy and engaged, connected..

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Ep. 641 - How to Eat Like Blue Zones In America with Dan Buettner