According to the Medical Daily, women who follow a Mediterranean diet that is composed of healthy fats, are forty percent more likely to live above the age of seventy.
The study was conducted by the researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and the report was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The researchers acquired more than ten thousand women who were in the age group of fifty to sixty. They prepared forms to obtain information regarding their physical health, eating habits, and overall health. The first part of the study was done for two years, starting from the year 1984 to 1986.
After fifteen years, the team of researchers got in touch with the same group of women to examine their physical and mental health. It was found that women who were strictly following the Mediterranean diet increased their probability of living over seventy years of age. Moreover, these women were at a reduced risk of developing other life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
The researcher of the study, Dr. Cecilia Samieri, says that the Mediterranean diet is healthy because people following the diet should receive more than half of the calories from healthy monosaturated fats, which are present in olive oil. Other features of this diet include consuming lots of vegetables, fish, legumes, fruits, and whole grains. People should avoid eating, or limit their consumption of, processed or red meat. Consumption of alcohol should also be restricted.
The study was not done on men. However, Samieri said that earlier studies done on diet and health have found no gender differences. Thus, the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for men should be similar. She further stated that it is still important to prove this assumption. Samieri also said that they have not studied the effect of how long someone should be on this diet, but it is best to include it as early as possible.
Samieri said that including an overall healthy diet rather than including healthy individual foods has greater effect on health. There are many studies done in the past that also indicate the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet for long-term health.
Samieri concluded that there are many limitations to the study, and the major one is that the researchers have only based their findings on the two food questionnaires during the study.
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