Extend Life with the Mediterranean Diet

A recent review of 12 studies, ranging between 3 and 18 years in length, covering 574,299 subjects was published in the British Medical Journal in September 2008. The studies revealed that the traditional Mediterranean Diet can indeed increase your health, mortality, and life expectancy by substantial figures.

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

Jennifer Murray at Suite101 gives us a good rundown of the basics of what the Mediterranean Diet consists of:

Read more of what Jennifer had to say about what the Mediterranean Diet is over at Suite101.

Study Findings

What then specifically can you achieve by adhering to this diet. The researchers found that you can statistically expect:

"a significant improvement in health status, as seen by a significant reduction in overall mortality (9%), mortality from cardiovascular diseases (9%), incidence of or mortality from cancer (6%), and incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease (13%). These results seem to be clinically relevant for public health, in particular for encouraging a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern for primary prevention of major chronic diseases."

These finding associated with the Mediterranean Diet suggest correlation with smaller and more specific studies previously noted such as eating fish routinely, avoiding over-eating, drinking red wine, among many others. What the diet doesn’t associate with however are findings such as the benefits of eating Beef (specifically) for the Vaccenic Acid or Omega-7 trans-fats and getting regular sleep and exercise.

My Conclusion

Having said that one could easily assume that poor sleep habits and erratic exercise habits are built into this group of studies as they were not controlled for these factors. If you were to further refine the diet to include regular beef (in moderation), exercise, and good sleep habits the results pointing to increased longevity and decreased mortality would probably be even better than reported.

I am a strong proponent of eating everything and this diet doesn’t discriminate much but I feel Beef is a good food and shouldn’t be left out. Just eat it in moderation like you would (should) anything else.

  • British Medical Journal

  • Suite101

Leading Causes of Death

Heart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:

How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels Naturally

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