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Mediterranean Diet Adds Years to Your Life
Medical News Today ^ | 08 Apr 2005

Posted on 04/09/2005 12:06:48 AM PDT by nickcarraway

The Mediterranean diet is associated with longer life expectancy among elderly Europeans, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

The Mediterranean diet is characterised by a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and cereals; a moderate to high intake of fish; a low intake of saturated fats, but high intake of unsaturated fats, particularly olive oil; a low intake of dairy products and meat; and a modest intake of alcohol, mostly as wine.

Current evidence suggests that such a diet may be beneficial to health.

The study involved over 74,000 healthy men and women, aged 60 or more, living in nine European countries. Information on diet, lifestyle, medical history, smoking, physical activity levels, and other relevant factors was recorded. Adherence to a modified Mediterranean diet was measured using a recognised scoring scale.

A higher dietary score was associated with a lower overall death rate. A two point increase corresponded to an 8% reduction in mortality, while a three or four point increase was associated with a reduction of total mortality by 11% or 14% respectively.

So, for example, a healthy man aged 60 who adheres well to the diet (dietary score of 6-9) can expect to live about one year longer than a man of the same age who does not adhere to the diet.

The association was strongest in Greece and Spain, probably because people in these countries follow a genuinely Mediterranean diet, say the authors.

Adherence to a Mediterranean type diet, which relies on plant foods and unsaturated fats, is associated with a significantly longer life expectancy, and may be particularly appropriate for elderly people, who represent a rapidly increasing group in Europe, they conclude.

Online First (Modified Mediterranean diet and survival: EPIC-elderly prospective cohort study) bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/rapidpdf/bmj.38415.644155.8F


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: health; mediterraneandiet

1 posted on 04/09/2005 12:06:49 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

A low intake of meat?


2 posted on 04/09/2005 12:17:48 AM PDT by econ_grad
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To: nickcarraway
So, for example, a healthy man aged 60 who adheres well to the diet (dietary score of 6-9) can expect to live about one year longer than a man of the same age who does not adhere to the diet.

Sounds like that'll be the longest year of his life, too!

3 posted on 04/09/2005 3:20:28 AM PDT by The Duke
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To: econ_grad

Yes hard as that is to admit on FR.


4 posted on 04/09/2005 3:26:42 AM PDT by cyborg (Feel the FReeper Love)
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To: nickcarraway

Don't forget to smoke, preferably two or three packs a day.


5 posted on 04/09/2005 3:30:30 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

Salmon and wine?....It sounds better than McNumbnuts.....


6 posted on 04/09/2005 3:40:48 AM PDT by Route101
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To: nickcarraway

... Not to mention that they walk or bike everywhere they go!


7 posted on 04/09/2005 4:01:38 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: cyborg

I don't know why a general conservative outlook seems to be coupled with a hate vegetables outlook.

Most of my friends are not only *very* conservative but many are vegetarian.


8 posted on 04/09/2005 8:21:19 AM PDT by little jeremiah (Resisting evil is our duty or we are as responsible as those promoting it.)
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To: nickcarraway

9 posted on 04/09/2005 8:24:45 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: little jeremiah
I think it has to do with where you live. Dietary habits are culturally ingrained, regardless of ethnicity or religion. I personally keep close to the Med diet, eating soy products (legumes) whenever I can, but occasionally having fish or chicken a couple of times a week. I love red wine. In LA, it's easy to do as there are vegetarians among almost all ethnicities, so you have a huge selection of vegetarian foods. In fact, there is a Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant and tofu factory just 5 minutes from my house.
But just outside of LA where many of my co-workers live, they think that if you don't eat meat, you're unamerican, even the Democrats among them. Even my folks, who came from the meat eating capital of Chicago, thinks that it's crazy to eat tofu. They're in very poor health and feel like crap most of the time. My boss, who loves meat, finally had to admit she felt like crap after eating meat, and now orders chicken breast instead of meat, and fruit instead of fries.
10 posted on 04/09/2005 10:44:35 AM PDT by LA Conservative (Peace Kills)
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To: LA Conservative

Fish and chicken are meat.


11 posted on 04/09/2005 10:46:33 AM PDT by dfwgator (Minutemen: Just doing the jobs that American politicians won't do.)
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To: dfwgator

I meant meat to imply red meat. Fish and chicken breast, while having similar cholesteral levels as meat, are much lower in fat, especially saturated fat. But if you are a strict vegetarian, then yes, they would both be considered meat.


12 posted on 04/09/2005 10:53:22 AM PDT by LA Conservative (Peace Kills)
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To: little jeremiah

--Most of my friends are not only *very* conservative but many are vegetarian.--

I saw some guys shooting watermelons on TV, they must be vegetarians. Beats killing it with a knife, like most chefs do.


13 posted on 04/09/2005 10:57:43 AM PDT by Loud Mime (Liberals believe in their good; a good that is void of honesty and character)
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To: Loud Mime

Were they shooting the watermelons with potato guns?


14 posted on 04/09/2005 11:00:39 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: nickcarraway; The Duke

It sounds to me like the differences in lifespans are within the margin of error. However, I consider the Med diet to be a good one. My feeling, though, is that followers of diets like this, or Atkins for that matter, which is another good one, are people who go out of their way to lead a healthy life in a variety of ways, so it makes sense that they could live longer than those who don't.

In other words, a more accurate title for the article might be "People Who Follow Unhealthy Diets Lead Shorter Lives."


15 posted on 04/09/2005 11:05:20 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: nickcarraway

But what's the point if it all goes up in smoke with ONE hot summer.


16 posted on 04/09/2005 11:07:21 AM PDT by tertiary01 (How many highly paid "professionals" did it take to kill a powerless disabled dependent woman?)
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To: little jeremiah
"I don't know why a general conservative outlook seems to be coupled with a hate vegetables outlook."

Maybe because PETA and similar groups who get lots of press coverage are notoriously leftist in outlook?

But I agree, some issues shouldn't be left/right issues, even though they are perceived that way.

17 posted on 04/09/2005 11:10:21 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: econ_grad; cyborg

I've enjoyed a similar diet since adulthood and have had no major health problems. Of course, I still have to cut back on the sweets and not go crazy on the bread.


18 posted on 04/09/2005 11:18:00 AM PDT by Clemenza (Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms: The Other Holy Trinity)
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To: Clemenza

I thought Mediterranean cuisine was full of lamb. Where did the author find less meat? I am reminded of the line in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the soon to be groom announced he was a vegetarian and there was absolute silence in the room. Then the aunt said not to worry she will make lamb for him.


19 posted on 04/09/2005 11:48:12 AM PDT by econ_grad
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To: econ_grad
Yes, as well as pork. It all depends on what region. Greeks on both the coast and the interior eat alot of lamb, as do turks and Arabs.

Lamb is eaten in parts of Italy, although is very rarely seen along the coasts, where seafood (and sometimes pork) is king.

20 posted on 04/09/2005 11:51:35 AM PDT by Clemenza (Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms: The Other Holy Trinity)
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To: econ_grad

Meat is a part of the Mediterranean diet, but it's more of a condiment.


21 posted on 04/09/2005 2:27:09 PM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: LA Conservative

Conservative means not having to do things for show, and so that other will people "like" you.

I and my better half do not "look" conservative to a lot of folks. In fact, when we put our Bush/Cheney sign on our gate a number of neighbors who had snubbed us all of a sudden became friendly, because they didn't think people who looked like us could possibly be conservative.

That's just downright silly.


22 posted on 04/09/2005 2:34:57 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Resisting evil is our duty or we are as responsible as those promoting it.)
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To: Sam Cree

Right, and PETA people also think no one should drink milk. They are nutcase weirdos, giving vegetarians like me a bad name.


23 posted on 04/09/2005 2:36:56 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Resisting evil is our duty or we are as responsible as those promoting it.)
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To: Route101

Been on my menu since a 2AM visit to the cardiologist....(I'm sure he got out of bed to save my life)


24 posted on 04/09/2005 2:38:08 PM PDT by litehaus
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To: nickcarraway
Let's see here. If this is correct, Italy and Greece should be populated with a bunch of old, fat farts with bad livers.

Come to think of it....I might resemble just that....

25 posted on 04/09/2005 2:41:40 PM PDT by stboz
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To: Mr Ramsbotham
Don't forget to smoke, preferably two or three packs a day

yes, preferably unfiltered Camels, in keeping with Mediterranean tradition. On a serious note, my great grandmother lived well past 90 on a primarily Mediterranean diet, and she also smoked throughout most of her life.

26 posted on 04/09/2005 2:47:10 PM PDT by Nexus6
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To: little jeremiah
"...don't know why a general conservative outlook seems to be coupled with a hate vegetables outlook."

Because only vegetarians (not all, but some) have ever contended that they know what is best for me, and that I must (be made to if necessary) eat like them or else I will break the law and die, and ruin the planet along the way.

The beef industry, on the other hand just runs ads with pictures of yummy looking steak, and don't try to browbeat me if I feel like fish or something else.

27 posted on 04/09/2005 2:47:55 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack
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To: Clemenza

Yep, skewered, marinated, and grilled lamb is a popular dish, and quite tasty I might add. Another method is to take ground lamb, mix in some chopped onions and green peppers with the meat, and make grilled "lamb-burgers"...yummy.


28 posted on 04/09/2005 2:56:30 PM PDT by Nexus6
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To: nickcarraway

I thought I saw an article just a few weeks ago that said Greece had a 60% obesity rate, the highest in Europe.


29 posted on 04/09/2005 2:57:50 PM PDT by k2blader (If suicide is immoral, then helping it happen, regardless of motivation, is also immoral.)
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To: Clemenza

I have to be careful about eating too much of anything with a carb. Should I ever be able to do any bootypopping successfully I'll know the diet is out of control ;-)


30 posted on 04/10/2005 5:35:04 PM PDT by cyborg (Feel the FReeper Love)
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