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Mediterranean diet

Choosing a Mediterranean diet increases odds of living to an old age by more than 40 percent

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 by: John Phillip
Tags: Mediterranean diet, longevity, disease prevention

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(NaturalNews) It may come as no big surprise to many followers of natural health practices that eating a diet largely void of sugar, refined and processed carbohydrates and protein sources as well as hydrogenated fats can help to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent many chronic diseases. The fact that this wisdom is finally being touted by mainstream researchers, known primarily for heralding "junk science" that pushes the interests of Big Pharma and mega-giant food concerns, is a welcome sign. The well known Mediterranean diet provides a plethora of vegetables, fruits and monounsaturated fats that have repeatedly been shown to fight most chronic diseases ranging from diabetes and dementia to stroke and cardiovascular disorders.

A research group from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, publishing in the Annals of Internal Medicine, has found that middle-aged women who follow a Mediterranean diet may increase their lifespan and avoid physical or cognitive impairments and chronic illnesses in older age. The Mediterranean diet mainly consists of high amounts of plant foods, beans, nuts, cereals and seeds, fish, poultry and olive oil as the main sources of dietary fat.

Overall healthy eating pattern from a Mediterranean diet shown to extend healthy lifespan

To set up this study, researchers examined the diet and medical records of 10,000 women participating in the Nurse's Health Study, aged between their late 50s and early 60s. The women were followed for a period of 15 years and were free of major chronic diseases at the outset of the study. The participants provided details about diet and health in the form of an initial questionnaire with periodic updates during the course of the study.

Lead study author, Dr. Cecelia Samieri, commented, "We found that greater quality of diet at midlife was strongly associated with increased odds of good health and well-being among individuals surviving to older ages. These data may have an especially important role in promoting a healthy diet. Maintaining physical, cognitive, and mental health with aging may provide a more powerful incentive for dietary change than simply prolonging life or avoiding any single chronic disease." The scientists concluded that those who closely followed the Mediterranean diet were more likely to live past age 70 without heart disease, diabetes or other chronic diseases. They also were more likely to be classified as "healthy-agers" than those who didn't follow the diets closely or at all.

Although the study followed only women, researchers indicated that there was no reason to believe that the same results would not convey to men following the diet as well. Extensive research from prior studies has come to the same conclusion. Interestingly, there is no particular component of the Mediterranean diet that can be ascribed to the longevity results, but the overall healthy diet pattern has been demonstrated to have a greater impact than any individual food.

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About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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