A Mediterranean Diet Linked to 23% Lower Mortality Risk in Women

Mediterranean diet Greek food

Sticking to a Mediterranean diet could significantly reduce your risk of premature death, a new study suggests. Researchers found that women who consistently followed this eating pattern were 23% less likely to die from any cause over a 25-year period compared to those who didn't.

**The study, published in JAMA Network Open, followed over 25,000 initially healthy U.S. women for up to 25 years. ** The research team, led by Dr. Samia Mora from Brigham and Women's Hospital, discovered that the benefits of the Mediterranean diet extended to both cancer and cardiovascular disease, the two leading causes of death among women (and men) in the U.S.

But what makes this diet so powerful? The study suggests several factors contribute to the Mediterranean diet's life-extending benefits:

  • Positive Biological Changes: The researchers observed improvements in biomarkers related to metabolism, inflammation, and insulin resistance among women adhering to the diet.
  • Focus on Plant-Based Foods: This eating pattern emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, all rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
  • Healthy Fats: Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, is a staple in the Mediterranean diet and provides heart-healthy fats.
  • Moderate Consumption: The diet encourages moderate intake of fish, poultry, dairy, and eggs while limiting red meat, processed foods, added sugars, and unhealthy fats.

"Our research shows that even modest improvements in metabolic risk factors, through dietary changes, can lead to significant long-term health benefits," explained lead author Dr. Shafqat Ahmad. This highlights the importance of promoting healthy eating habits for a longer, healthier life.

It's important to note that this study focused on middle-aged and older, predominantly white, well-educated women. Further research is needed to determine if these benefits extend to other populations.

Overall, the findings reinforce the Mediterranean diet's potential for boosting longevity. By focusing on whole, minimally processed foods, healthy fats, and a balanced lifestyle, this eating pattern provides a delicious and achievable path toward better health and a longer lifespan.

Original Research: Open access.
Mediterranean Diet Adherence and Risk of All-Cause Mortality in Women” by Samia Mora et al. JAMA Network Open

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