After tracking the data for 15 years, the team found that women who followed a Mediterranean diet were 40 percent more likely to survive to age 70 or over without heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic disesase.
The study, funded by the US National Cancer Institute and the US National Institutes of Health, was published November 5 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
Following a Mediterranean diet means eschewing processed foods in favor of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fish, and eating less red meat. Olive oil is another staple of the diet, and a moderate amount of alcohol, such as a glass of red wine with dinner, is allowed.
The study adds to a mountain of research that has already proven the health-promoting benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Recently, researchers from Universidad de Navarro in Spain found that eating a diet rich in olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables along with wine can reduce your risk for cardiovascular problems. Findings were published in February in the New England Journal of Medicine.