Costa Rica Medical Tourism: Dr. Dudl Interview (Part 4)

  • by crv.staff
  • 18.02.09
  • 12:48 PM UTC


This is Part 4 of our Costa Rica Medical Tourism and wellness interview with Dr. Jim Dudl. You can see the Part 1 of the interview here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

In the earlier interviews, Dr. Dudl talked about the Joint Commissions that review hospitals, both in the US and in Costa Rica, medical tourism and wellness.

In this post we’ll pick up on the topic of general wellness comparisons between the US and Costa Rica.

Q: Why are people in Costa Rica not as fat as the people in the US?

A: It’s interesting, because very close to where La Joya Perfecta is located you will find Costa Rica’s centenarian community.

Q: Like the blue zones, recently seen in the Oprah Winfrey show, where it’s the area where the most centenarians live, the largest concentration of people who are over age 100.

A: And if you really examine their lifestyle, they live in an area that encourages a low fat diet. They focus on beans, which are a high protein, low fat and vegetable fat at that, in addition to rice. So they really do not have a large volume of heavy saturated fats from meats in their diet such as we have had here in the US. And they do not have the sweets that we have in the US, they do have fruits, which are sweet, but they have so much fiber in them that it slows down the absorption.

Q: There is probably a significant difference between the natural sugar and fruit and the processed sugar and sweet.

A: Definitely, and also in the concentrations, so that by the time you eat the fruit with all its fiber, you get full enough that you don’t take in quite as many calories as when you have the processed and you can ingest it extremely fast and over eat.

Q: And how from a physician’s perspective, does that really negatively affect people and translate into this diabetes epidemic that we see here in the US?

A: Because we have really concentrated calories, we can consume 2 or 3 times as many calories without getting full as we used to be able to do. So we can take free sugars, pies, cakes, and juices. A glass or two of juice and you can have 600-800 calories and down it in a second. You can’t do that when you eat regular fruit. It takes longer and it fills you up.

Q: So a small little square of brownie would be 500 calories. And it takes 10 apples to equal the same number of calories as this tiny little square and you would never accidentally eat 10 apples.

A: Exactly, and the double density is when you add fat with it. So when you take the center of the Oreo cookie, it’s pure fat and sugar and that is the worst possible combination for your body.

Q: It is pretty easy to eat an entire bag of chips or an entire box or bag of cookies. You would never eat a huge bale of apples.

A: That’s exactly right.

In the next portion of our interview, we’ll ask Dr. Dudl about how the ‘blue zone’ aspect of Costa Rica can impact wellness for boomers and US vacation homeowners.

If you have questions for Dr. Dudl, please enter them below in the comments section.

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One Response to “Costa Rica Medical Tourism: Dr. Dudl Interview (Part 4)”

  1. [...] Part 4 covers the differences in wellness between folks in the US and Costa Rica [...]

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