The association between diet and longevity continues to be strengthened through research. There are many different dietary approaches that help erect barriers against chronic diseases, such as heart disease, but one appears to trump all others. A Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to provide a host of health benefits that add up to a longer life.
Researchers in a study published in the Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism conducted a review into the existing literature on a Mediterranean-style diet to ascertain the extent to which this popular dietary approach extends life expectancy.
They cited a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies published from 1966 to 2008 (which included more than 1.5 million subjects) which showed that a strict adherence to the Mediterranean diet “is associated with a significant improvement in health status, as seen by a significant reduction in overall mortality (nine percent), mortality from cardiovascular diseases (nine percent), incidence of or mortality from cancer (six percent), and incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (13 percent)”.
Given its impact on chronic disease, it is little wonder that, together with a healthy lifestyle, it can prolong life expectancy.
“Several researchers have tried to understand how the Mediterranean diet could contribute to the achievement of a healthy ageing,” noted the review researchers.