Washington: The Mediterranean diet has been named as one of the healthiest diets, reducing the mortality risk of people over 65 years of age by 25 per cent.
A study by the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of the I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, in Molise, Italy, analysed the relationship between the traditional Mediterranean diet and mortality in a sample of more than 5,000 people over 65 years of age participating in the Moli-Sani Study and followed-up for 8 years.
In addition to data from the Moli-sani Study participants, Italian researchers also analysed other epidemiological studies published in several countries, for a total of 12,000 subjects. Results clearly indicate that the Mediterranean diet is an authentic life-saving shield, able to significantly reduce the risk of mortality in elderly people.
This effect is maintained despite the Mediterranean diet has changed considerably over the years, with pantries full of supermarket products and with a lifestyle very different from the one followed by original Mediterranean farmers.
The foods that, in the context of a Mediterranean-type dietary model, are able to offer greater protection include a high consumption of monounsaturated fats (widely present in extra virgin olive oil) and fish, but also a moderate consumption of alcohol, preferably during meals.
First author of the study, Marialaura Bonaccio said, "The novelty of our research is to have focused our attention on a population over 65 years old. 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. "
The full findings are present in the British Journal of Nutrition.