Women who follow a Mediterranean diet live longer and thrive: study

Now you've got even more good reason to eat a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. A new study finds that middle-aged women who do so may live a healthier, longer life.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston evaluated the diets and medical records of 10,670 women who were in their late 50s or early 60s between 1984 and 1986.

After tracking the data for 15 years, the team found that women who followed a Mediterranean diet were 40 percent more likely to survive to age 70 or over without heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic disesase.

The study, funded by the US National Cancer Institute and the US National Institutes of Health, was published November 5 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Following a Mediterranean diet means eschewing processed foods in favor of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fish, and eating less red meat. Olive oil is another staple of the diet, and a moderate amount of alcohol, such as a glass of red wine with dinner, is allowed.

The study adds to a mountain of research that has already proven the health-promoting benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Recently, researchers from Universidad de Navarro in Spain found that eating a diet rich in olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables along with wine can reduce your risk for cardiovascular problems. Findings were published in February in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Access the new study: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1763229

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