New Study Links Popular Diet to Lower Risk of Death in Women

Mediterranean diet

In a new study, the Mediterranean diet has been associated with a 23% lower risk of death in women.

Here is a short description of the study:

Key points of the Study:

  • In a new study, women who strictly followed the Mediterranean diet showed a 23% lower risk of death from any cause compared to those who did not follow.
  • Researchers followed over 25,000 women for an average of 24 years, which justifies the validity of their findings.
  • This positive effect is most likely due to better cardiometabolic health, which includes things like cholesterol levels and blood sugar control.
  • This was an observational study, so it can not prove cause and effect. It only shows a strong association between factors.
  • The participants were mostly white women, so the lack of diversity needs further investigation.

The Link Between Mediterranean diet and Longevity:

The Mediterranean diet is about eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and fats like olive oil.

Previously, research has also shown evidence that this type of eating pattern is linked to lower chances of developing diseases like CVDs, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

A recent study was published in JAMA Network Open, it discusses how following the Mediterranean diet might help women live longer.

Researchers at Havard Medical School looked at the link between this diet and the risk of death from any cause in women.

Their results strongly supported the fact that this eating pattern is really healthy for women.

Furthermore, this study explored the potential underlying mechanism for this benefit. They analyzed several cardiometabolic factors, including cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar control.

Their findings suggested that by following the Mediterranean diet a person improves in these areas and reduces his/her mortality risk.

Methodology and analysis:

This study included over 25000 women with an average age of 54 at the start, all were initially healthy.

For over 24.7 years the researchers tracked their dietary habits and health outcomes. During this extended timeframe, 3,879 deaths occurred among the participants.

Their results showed a clear link between higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Those women who stuck to this diet reduced their risk of death by 23% as compared to those who did not follow it properly.

This conclusion shows that following the Mediterranean diet is a powerful tool for promoting long-term health in women.

Limitations and need for further research:

As we mentioned above this study was observational, therefore, even if it shows a clear link between the Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of death, it still does not prove that diet is directly related to the positive effect. We need more research to completely understand how this works.

Nevertheless, the study has helped people realize that the Mediterranean diet can help women live longer.


09 Research-Backed Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Here are 9 research-based benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

  • Reduced Risk of Heart Disease:

Eating olive oil and fish can lower LDL levels which in turn reduces the chances of several CVDs. [ref]

  • Enhanced Brain Health:

Some studies show the positive effects of this diet in protecting memory loss and preventing dementia. Again this is because of the antioxidants coming from fruits and vegetables. [ref]

  • Improved Blood Sugar Control:

As this diet includes whole grains, beans, and healthy fats the blood sugar levels of the consumers rise more slowly. It can reduce the risk of T2DM and help manage it if you already have it. [ref]

  • Weight Management:

This is not considered as a weight loss diet but it focuses on whole foods rather than refined ones and restricts processed items as well. This combination helps with weight loss eventually.. [ref]

  • Anti-inflammatory Properties:

Chronic inflammation is connected to several health issues but the anti-inflammatory properties of the MeD diet can help lower the risk for conditions like arthritis and IBD. [ref]

  • Boosted Eye Health:

Another research has shown that age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of vision loss, could be prevented with the Mediterranean diet.

This diet has antioxidants and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin which are the reason behind this protective effect. [ref]

  • Reduced Cancer Risk:

It can even lower the risk for certain cancers. Because of its focus on fruits and vegetables, it provides a load of antioxidants which are protective compounds needed to keep the immune system healthy. [ref]

  • Improved Gut Health:

As it is full of fiber, whole grains, beans, and fruits, it can help beneficial bacteria thrive in the gut. These microorganisms will promote a healthy digestive system and improve immunity as well. [ref]

  • Mood-Boosting Potential:

Research has shown that this diet can change mood and improve mental health. This effect comes from eating healthy fats, antioxidants, and a balanced nutrient intake. [ref]


The bottom line:

This study has shown another positive effect of the Mediterranean diet. Just by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and healthy fats, and by reducing red meat and processed foods, women can improve their lifespan and health conditions.

If you are interested in following this diet then talk to a registered dietitian or healthcare professional who can help you understand its concept and incorporate it into your daily routine, all while keeping your personal needs and preferences in check.


What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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