Over 50? It’s Not Too Late to Undo a Lifetime Of Bad Food Choices

HealthLine – Even if you’re in your golden years, it’s never too late to consider changing your diet.

“We already knew that the Mediterranean diet is able to reduce the risk of mortality in the general population, but we did not know whether it would be the same specifically for elderly people,” said Italian researcher Marialaura Bonaccio, Ph.D.

But it does appear to do exactly that.

Bonaccio and her team found that adherence to a Mediterranean diet resulted in a 25 percent lower risk of mortality of all-cause death in a large sample of elderly individuals.

Additionally, they found that the closer individuals followed the diet, the greater the health payoff …

Elderly people who adhered more closely to the diet had better cardiovascular health, and their risk of death from cardiovascular disease was reduced.

A single point increase using the Mediterranean diet scale was associated with a five percent reduction in risk of death.

“The Mediterranean diet lowers overall mortality risk in a dose-response, progressive way. In other words, the more you follow the Mediterranean diet, the greater the gain in terms of mortality risk reduction,” said Bonaccio.

The traditional Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and legumes; primarily unrefined grains; a high intake of monounsaturated fat (from extra virgin olive oil); a moderately high intake of fish; low consumption of red meat, poultry, and sugar; moderate dairy consumption — typically cheese and yogurt; and a moderate intake of ethanol (in the form of wine).

However, because the diet is consumed by different peoples and cultures throughout the Mediterranean region, there is a significant variety in the individual components of the diet that are consumed.

What’s clear is that despite these differences, there is a general benefit to the diet that is greater than the sum of its individual parts … Read more at HealthLine. 

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