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A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition recently shows that the Mediterranean Diet can improve longevity and health even when adopted late in life.
The Mediterranean Diet is a diet inspired by the eating habits of people living in the Mediterranean – which includes Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain.
The principal aspects of this diet include high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of non-fish meat products, such as beef.
The study shows that:
“… closer adherence to the Mediterranean Diet was associated with prolonged survival in elderly individuals, suggesting the appropriateness for older persons to adopt/preserve the Mediterranean Diet to maximize their prospects for survival.”
This study was a meta-analysis – which is a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies.
It was based on over 5,000 individuals who were age 65 or older.
Those adhering to the Mediterranean Diet were shown to have a 5% lower risk of death over an 8 year period.
The study also appears to show that better adherence to the diet related to better results.
The bottom line? It’s never too late to start eating healthy – and it’s something you need to stick with over the long term to see the maximum benefit.
1. Mediterranean diet and mortality in the elderly: a prospective cohort study and a meta-analysis.
Bonaccio M, Di Castelnuovo A, Costanzo S, Gialluisi A, Persichillo M, Cerletti C, Donati MB, de Gaetano G, Iacoviello L.