The Mediterranean diet helps to live longer

04 July 2024

The Mediterranean diet features foods from countries around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Spain, Italy, and France. This diet is diverse and plant-based, emphasising fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. It includes moderate amounts of fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and alcohol, with occasional consumption of meats, sweets, and processed foods. Olive oil is the primary fat source.

According to Food Navigator Europe, a study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts explored whether the Mediterranean diet could enhance life expectancy and the reasons behind it. The study tracked the diets of over 25,000 women for 25 years. The findings revealed that those who followed the Mediterranean diet had up to a 23% lower risk of all-cause mortality, with notable benefits for cancer and cardiovascular mortality, which are leading causes of death globally.

The study explored the biological mechanisms, which may explain the diet’s health benefits. Biomarkers of metabolism and inflammation made the largest contribution. Even small improvements in risk factors for metabolic diseases, especially those related to small molecules, inflammation, triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, obesity, and insulin resistance, could lead to significant long-term benefits from following a Mediterranean diet.