Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet
Source: Old Ways
According to a recent study funded by the Spanish government’s Instituto de Salud Carols III and others, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014, there are several benefits to following a Mediterranean diet. For instance, in this study of more than 7400 people between the ages of fifty-five and eighty, a Mediterranean diet was associated with lower incidents of major cardiovascular crises. The age group was chosen because of this population segment’s higher risk of cardiovascular disease. In this study, a Mediterranean diet was defined as a diet high in fruits, vegetables, mostly whole grains, olive oil, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, and low in meat, sweets, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt. In this way, a Mediterranean diet is linked with positive life expectancy outcomes.
Moreover, fifty-seven percent of the sample were women, giving a realistic estimate of results with respect to gender equality. The study also notes that, “…the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were 0.70… for the group assigned to a Mediterranean diet… versus the control group (109 events)” (Pubmed). In this way, it is clear that the this study shows a strong positive correlation between a Mediterranean diet and increased life expectancy. What’s more, no diet-related adverse effects were reported from participants, furthering the argument that a Mediterranean diet fosters overall health and well-being.
Interestingly, it did not seem to matter particularly if study participants supplemented their diet with nuts or extra virgin olive oil, and both dietary practices were associated with increased longevity as compared with non-participants.
This study gains additional validity when considering the control sample comprised 108 participants, the quantity of which adds leverage to the contributors’ argument.