Mediterranean Diet and Aging

VegetablesHave you heard of the Mediterranean diet?

If not, please allow me to give a quick synopsis.

The Mediterranean diet consists of eating mostly fruits, vegetable, poultry, whole grains and select fats. If you picture the typical food pyramid, red meats and sweets are at the top, meaning you should limit those. The base of the pyramid is fruits, veggies, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. The base of the pyramid represents what you should eat the most.

Red wine is also allowed in small amounts, 5oz for women and 10oz for men, per day.

A common misconception in the Mediterranean diet is that bread is not allowed. That is not true. Whole grain bread eaten either plain or dipped in olive oil is definitely included.

Now how does this link to aging?

In a study that followed 4,600 women, women who stuck more closely to a Mediterranean diet were found to have longer telomeres. Telomeres are a biomarker of aging found at the end of each chromosome in the body. Think plastic tip on shoelaces.

The longer the telomere, the longer the longevity. Shorter telomeres are associated with chronic age related diseases and early death.

Are the researchers on to something? Only time will tell, however, there is no doubt that a healthier diet will leave you feeling better.

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