It’s Never too Late to Improve Your Diet
A recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that following a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern was associated with a longer life. This association has been seen before, but this research, along with a meta-analysis of similar studies conducted by the authors, looked specifically at individuals aged 65 years and older.
The study analyzed data on 5,200 older adults for an average of eight years. Their reported dietary intake was scored on a scale of zero to nine for how well it met criteria for a Mediterranean diet. Higher diet scores were associated with a lower risk of death during the eight-year study period. In the meta-analysis, which pooled information from three studies to look at a total of more than 11,500 participants, a one-point increase in diet score was associated with a five percent lower risk of dying during the study period.
The authors concluded that older adults who already eat a Mediterranean-style diet, which emphasizes plant foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains) along with seafood, olive oil, and some red wine, should continue to do so—and people who do not follow this dietary pattern could potentially prolong their lives by starting.