Skip to main content

Study sheds light on benefits of Mediterranean diet for seniors

April 23, 2013

The Mediterranean diet has attracted a lot of attention in recent years, and rightfully so. Characterized by high levels of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts and whole grains, the diet may offer a host of healthy aging benefits. While there is plenty anecdotal evidence that suggests you should consider following the Mediterranean diet, relatively little research has been done on the subject, but a recent study sheds light on how you can benefit from making this lifestyle choice.

Published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, the study looked at more than 7,400 participants over the course of five years. The subjects were men and women between 55 and 80 who either had type 2 diabetes or were at risk for coronary heart disease. Researchers found a number of interesting results including that the diet lowered the risk of a condition known as hyperuricemia, which causes other medical issues ranging from chronic kidney disease to gout. 

The results may not come as much of a surprise, given much of the attention paid to the Mediterranean diet. In fact, a separate report from the Mayo Clinic released earlier this year, which analyzed the well-being of more than 1.5 million people, found that it could have an impact on Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer, according to USA Today.

"The Mediterranean diet is extremely healthy - being lower in processed foods and animal fats - and is often based on local produce, wheat products, such as bread, pastry and pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, and olive oil," expert Jim Rakhshani told the publication.

Taken together, the findings suggest the Mediterranean diet may soon become a staple of a healthy lifestyle for seniors