Advertisement

Will following the Mediterranean diet help me live longer?

The Mediterranean Diet refers to the dietary patterns found in several areas of the Mediterranean region -- specifically, Crete (a Greek island), other areas of Greece, and southern Italy -- in the early 1960s. Researchers were drawn to these areas because the people living there had very low rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and a very long life expectancy. For example, the natives of Greece had a rate of heart disease that was 90 percent lower than that of Americans at that time.

Researchers found that, compared with the diets of affluent Americans, the diet in Crete was dramatically lower in foods from animal sources, such as meats, eggs, and dairy products, and higher in fat (mostly from olive oil and olives) and inexpensive grains.

Because their diet was plant-based with few processed foods, their intake of heart unhealthy trans fats was negligible. Research continues to support the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet and its association with greater longevity.

Continue Learning about Eating and Society

Eating on the Run Adds Calories
Eating on the Run Adds Calories
When you see a photo of Gisele Bündchen gobbling a slice of pizza before hitting the catwalk or Will Smith spooning lunch into his mouth as he walks d...
Read More
Is high school cafeteria food good for me?
Stefanie Sacks, MSStefanie Sacks, MS
School foodservice is hopefully going to see a healthy Federal overhaul. By and large, what we see i...
More Answers
What are the most important food related issues?
Daphne OzDaphne Oz
Believe it or not, food can be a political issue. In this video, health educator and author Daphne O...
More Answers
Should I Be Worried About Mercury In Fish?
Should I Be Worried About Mercury In Fish?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.