Mediterranean diet 'lengthens life by up to 15 years, researchers claim
by The Daily Mail
Those who follow a Mediterranean diet combined with exercise, not smoking and keeping to a healthy weight could live
up to 15 years longer, researchers say.
The ten-year study by the University of Maastricht followed 120,000 men and women who were aged 55 to 69 in 1986.
A Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, olive oil, fruit, nuts, fish and whole grains, and low in meat and alcohol.
The effect is strongest in women, who can live an extra 15 years compared to the least healthy people, while healthy men can enjoy eight years more.
Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands said keeping to the four healthy lifestyle factors can 'substantially reduce' the risk of an early death.
Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers calculated a 'healthy lifestyle score' based on smoking, exercise, weight and diet and followed the group until 1996.
Researchers found that combining the diet with exercise, keeping to a healthy weight and not smoking dramatically cut the risk of dying young.