According to Swedish researchers from the University of Gothenburg, individuals who follow a Mediterranean type diet rich in vegetables, fish, and wholegrain cereals while limiting animal products such as meat and milk, live longer.
The researchers studied the diet of elderly Swedes and its effect on their health for over 40 years. The study, called H70, compared 70 year olds who followed a Mediterranean diet with 70 year olds who followed a Westernized type diet, consuming more meat and animal products.
The results of the study published in the Journal AGE, showed that individuals who followed a Mediterranean diet had a 20 percent chance of living longer. According to Gianluca Tognon, one of the researchers, and a scientist at the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, this corresponds to an extra 2-3 years.
Three other studies that have not been published yet support these results, and were carried out in Sweden, Denmark and on children.
This study not only shows that a Mediterranean style diet can prolong life, but that it can be beneficial to people from all parts of the world.