Barcelona: The Mediterranean diet can be given credit to lower mortality in adults over 65. As this an all-star dieting plan comes packed with heart-healthy olive oil, omega-3-filled fish and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, it improves blood vessel function, lowers inflammation and reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer.
And now, even science has found reasons to switch over to this style of eating, as following a strict Mediterranean diet can help prolong your life-even if you don’t start eating a Mediterranean diet until later.
New research published in the ‘BCM Medicine Journal’, shows that adhering to the Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk of all-cause death by as much as 25 percent.
This is one of the main conclusions of a study led by Cristina Andres-Lacueva, head of the Research Group on Biomarkers and Nutritional & Food Metabolomics of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences of the University of Barcelona (UB) and the CIBER on Fragility and Healthy Ageing (CIBERFES), also formed by the Food Innovation Network of Catalonia (XIA).
The paper had been carried out in collaboration with the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) of the United States. According to the conclusions, the analysis of dietary biomarkers in plasma and urine can contribute to the individualized food assessment for old people.
The study is based on the InCHIANTI project, conducted in the region of the Italian Tuscany, a study that has been carried out during twenty years in a total of 642 participants (56 per cent women) aged over 65 or more and which enabled researchers to obtain complete data on food biomarkers.
To draw their conclusion, researchers assessed one point for each of nine food groups each participant ate at a healthy level daily, focusing on important foods within the Mediterranean diet pattern. (So, for example, a person who ate the recommended amount of vegetables, for someone of their gender and weight, would receive one point; if they fell short on veggies, that was a zero score for that component. On the flip side, if their intake of a food deemed detrimental to the diet, like red meat, stayed under a certain level, that was a point too.) A score of nine meant that person was eating the best-quality Mediterranean diet. For every one-point increase in a person’s score, that person enjoyed a lower risk of premature death, the researchers found. Which means that even if eating a full Mediterranean diet isn’t appealing, every little bit helps-whether it’s choosing whole grains at lunch or an extra serving of vegetables at dinner.
How much lower? For every point, they lowered their risk of premature death by 5 percent.
Luckily, the Mediterranean diet is easy-and delicious-to follow. It focuses on lean meats and fish, nuts, plant oils, and plenty of fruits and veggies. If you want to dip your toes in the proverbial water of this diet, follow a 7-day Mediterranean meal plan to get started.
And if you’re ready to commit to the Mediterranean diet-and potentially a longer life- try 30 days worth of Mediterranean meals.