` Mediterranean Diet Can Help You Live 'Better'

Health

Mediterranean Diet Can Help You Live 'Better'

Jun. 6, 2012
By Elena Paravantes

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Want to have a bet­ter qual­ity of life? Try fol­low­ing the Mediter­ranean diet.

Accord­ing to Span­ish researchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Las Pal­mas de Gran Canaria and Uni­ver­sity of Navarra, adher­ence to a Mediter­ranean style diet rich in olive oil, fruits, veg­eta­bles and fish is asso­ci­ated with bet­ter men­tal and phys­i­cal health.

The researchers ana­lyzed infor­ma­tion from 11,000 col­lege grad­u­ates who were par­tic­i­pants in the SUN Project (Seguimiento Uni­ver­si­dad de Navarra), an ongo­ing, cohort study car­ried out to iden­tify dietary deter­mi­nants of hyper­ten­sion, dia­betes, obe­sity and coro­nary heart dis­ease, among other con­di­tions.

For the study that was pub­lished in the Euro­pean Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion, the researchers used a food fre­quency ques­tion­naire and other sur­veys to assess self-per­ceived qual­ity of life. The results showed that the more closely par­tic­i­pants fol­lowed the Mediter­ranean diet, the higher they scored on the qual­ity of life ques­tion­naires in terms of phys­i­cal and men­tal well-being.

The researchers note that there have been numer­ous stud­ies show­ing that the Mediter­ranean diet may not only pro­tect against chronic dis­ease, by reduc­ing inflam­ma­tory sta­tus, but also pro­vide bet­ter con­trol to indi­vid­u­als who already have these dis­eases. And they add that there are many stud­ies that asso­ciate the Mediter­ranean diet with bet­ter men­tal heath sta­tus as well.

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While we know that olive oil, one of the main com­po­nents of the Mediter­ranean diet, has also been asso­ci­ated with improved phys­i­cal and men­tal health, it is impor­tant to note that nutri­tion epi­demi­ol­o­gists are now focus­ing on dietary pat­terns rather than sin­gle foods or com­po­nents, and how these com­po­nents inter­act with each other.



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