This is one in a series of stories; visit The Daily Meal Special Report: The Quest for Longevity (and What Food Has to Do With It) for more.
It’s something we’ve been told time and time again: If you want to live a long life, make sure that you eat a healthy diet. But judging by the diets of some very, very old people, that may not necessarily be the secret to longevity. We tracked down the self-reported favorite foods and daily diets of 15 of the oldest people who ever lived, and they range from reasonable to bizarre to downright hilarious.
It’s pretty clear that the foods that we eat play a relatively small role in determining our overall longevity. Exercise, overall lifestyle, smoking and drinking habits, and the luck of the draw (genetic and otherwise) also come into play, but obviously if you eat nothing but double bacon cheeseburgers your odds of shuffling off this mortal coil sooner than a health nut are pretty good. Portion control is also important; moderation is key.
For whatever reason, these 15 people just kept on living, some well past 110. Most supercentenarians, as they’re called, are regularly asked if they have any secrets; several of the world’s oldest women have claimed that not getting involved with men had something to do with it. And as for what they ate and drank (or in the case of a couple of these folks, eat and drink), it’s as diverse as the people themselves.