A Mediterranean Diet Can Reduce Mortality In Women

mediterranean-diet-nutritionThe following is a guest article.

According to an eight-year long study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, a moderate consumption of alcohol, and a Mediterranean diet consisting of vegetables, nuts, fruits, and legumes is a good way to reduce the incidence of mortality due to coronary heart disease and strokes in women.

What should women who want to live longer do?

One possible solution is to adopt a Mediterranean diet. This diet consists mostly of consumption of legumes (beans, lentils), fruits and vegetables. It includes animal products in moderation, giving precedence to fish over meat and white meat over red. Red meat should be restricted to once a month. The Mediterranean diet provides additional health benefits by using olive oil and nuts for fat calories, and it promotes drinking red wine in moderation.

The study listed above was conducted by Dr. Trichopoulou, who enlisted the help of 22,000 Greek patients who were in good health at the beginning of the study. Each patient filled in a comprehensive questionnaire that assigned a score according to adherence to the diet. After 8 years, patients who had faithfully respected the Mediterranean diet saw a decrease of 25% in their mortality risk compared with those who had strayed from the diet.

More precisely, the risks of dying from a heart attack were reduced by 33%. It was not possible to determine whether one particular ingredient or aspect of the diet was more influential than the others.

Professor Hu who contributed to this study explains that he has established, since the 50’s, that Greek women and men have lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, strokes and cancer, and live longer. He also states that this is probably due to food choices.

Other studies in several countries have resulted in the same findings. Figures vary slightly from study to study but they generally establish that with a good adherence to a Mediterranean diet, women can reduce their risks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease by 13%, cardiovascular disease and strokes by 9%, and cancer by 6%.

All the studies accentuate the need for younger women and men to cultivate good culinary and eating habits as a normal lifestyle.

About the author
Valery Fortie is the National Awareness Coordinator of the Mediterraneanbook.com association. Founded in 2004, It’s a non commercial website created to preserve Italian Healthy Eating Traditions and inform people about healthy eating to achieve normal blood pressure and live longer and better.

10/25/09 21:00 VF

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.