Women who adhere to the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes the consumption of healthy fats, are 40 percent more likely to live past age 70, Medical Daily reports.
In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston used questionnaires to ask 10,670 women in their late 50s or 60s about their health, dietary habits and physical well-being. This initial phase of the study was conducted between 1984 and 1986.
Fifteen years later, the researchers contacted the same group of women and administered follow-up questionnaires, in addition to checking up on their mental and physical well-being. Overall, the researchers discovered that women who had adhered to the Mediterranean diet were more likely to have lived past age 70. Additionally, these women were also less likely to have developed conditions like Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and diabetes.
According to the American Heart Association, people on the Mediterranean diet typically consume over half of their calories from healthy monounsaturated fats, usually found in olive oil.
"The Mediterranean diet is characterized by greater intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fish; lower intake of red and processed meats; moderate intake of alcohol; higher amounts of monounsaturated fats, mostly provided by olive oil from Mediterranean countries; and lower amounts of saturated fats,” lead researcher Dr. Cecilia Samieri told HealthDay.