Mediterranean Diet Can Help You Live Even Longer

August 12, 2013

tomato and bread

It is not new that the Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. But what if you are already old? According to data from the HALE Project (The Healthy Aging: a Longitudinal study in Europe) for individuals aged 70 to 90 years, adherence to a Mediterranean diet and healthful lifestyle is associated with a more than 50% lower rate of all-causes and cause-specific mortality. The study included 1507 apparently healthy men and 832 women, aged 70 to 90 years in 11 European countries and the data gathered was from 1988-2000.

In other words even in old age a Mediterranean style diet along with a bit of wine, some physical activity and no smoking, can help someone live longer compared to people who did not follow this diet along with the other factors. The researchers note that it is particularly important for older persons to adopt diet and lifestyle practices that minimize their risk of death from morbidity and maximize their prospects for healthful aging.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and you can read it in full by clicking here.

Photo for flickr by food thinkers

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4 Comments

  • Reply Karen Bubb, DTR August 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Very attractive site. Would like to continue receiving info. Thanks

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD August 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Karen! You can click on subscribe on the right to get my latest posts.

  • Reply Ari Doumanis August 21, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Although I agree with you I have a proviso that is the quality of the produce, we in the west expect to have access to all produce all year round for example Tomatoes in winter . In Greece they eat what is in season which reduces the amount of additives and chemicals in there diet this point is equally as important if not more so than the diet itself.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD August 21, 2013 at 6:12 am

      Ari, You are right produce is important. Unfortunately here in Greece as well, more and more Greeks are eating out of season fruit and vegetables, because they are available in large super markets-including tomatoes in winter. It appears that the older generations (who still follow the mediterranean diet) are the ones buying in-season produce from the open markets, rather then the younger generations.In the end we must make a conscious decision to eat seasonal, regardless of what is offered in the super markets.

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