Elderly live longer if they switch to a Mediterranean diet: study

Cairo – September 11 (SEE): A recent research found that older people can live longer and in better health by taking up the Mediterranean diet.

According to the research, even in later life if one changes to a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, olive oil and fish cuts the risk of mortality by 25%.The diet is also low in meat, dairy and alcohol.

The positive trend has also been seen with regards to deaths from heart disease and strokes, a leading cause of death in older people.

Scientists in Italy looked at the relationship between the country’s traditional diet and mortality in 5,000 over-65s.

The results, published in the British Journal Of Nutrition, “clearly indicate” that a Mediterranean-style diet is an “authentic life-saving shield”.

Study author Marialaura Bonaccio, of the Neuromed Institute in Isernia, said: “Our research focused on a population over 65 years old.


Professor Marialaura Bonaccio


“We already knew the Mediterranean diet is able to reduce the risk of mortality in the general population.

“Now data clearly shows that a traditional Mediterranean-like diet – rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, pulses, olive oil and cereals, while also being low in meat and dairy products, with moderate wine consumption during meals – is associated with a 25% reduction of allcause mortality. The effect remains if we consider cardiovascular mortality.”

Department head Professor Giovanni de Gaetano added: “In a few years, people over 65 will represent about a quarter of Europeans.

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