Skip to comments.Mediterranean Diet Adds Years to Your Life
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
A low intake of meat?
Sounds like that'll be the longest year of his life, too!
Yes hard as that is to admit on FR.
Don't forget to smoke, preferably two or three packs a day.
Salmon and wine?....It sounds better than McNumbnuts.....
... Not to mention that they walk or bike everywhere they go!
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.
Fish and chicken are meat.
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.
--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.
Were they shooting the watermelons with potato guns?
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."
But what's the point if it all goes up in smoke with ONE hot summer.
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.
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.
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.
Lamb is eaten in parts of Italy, although is very rarely seen along the coasts, where seafood (and sometimes pork) is king.
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