02.03.2024

Living a Mediterranean lifestyle with good friends, food and rest could cut the odds of premature death by 29%

Living a Mediterranean lifestyle with good food, friends and enough rest may cut your odds of premature death by 29 percent. It has long been known that a Mediterranean diet is healthy because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, but a new study suggests Britons can live longer by also copying other habits of people in countries such as Italy and Spain.

Researchers questioned 110,799 people in the UK, aged 40 to 75, about their diet and lifestyle.

A Mediterranean lifestyle was defined as getting six to eight hours of sleep, socialising with friends and family, not sitting around for too long, exercising, doing sports with other people and taking naps.

The Mediterranean diet included lots of fruit, vegetables, seafood and nuts, and had a limited salt intake.

A new study suggests Britons can live longer by also copying other habits of people in the Mediterranean (Stock)

A new study suggests Britons can live longer by also copying other habits of people in the Mediterranean (Stock)

The Mediterranean diet included lots of fruit, vegetables, seafood and nuts, and had a limited salt intake

The Mediterranean diet included lots of fruit, vegetables, seafood and nuts, and had a limited salt intake

The study’s senior author, Dr Mercedes Sotos Prieto, said: ‘It’s possible for non-Mediterranean populations to adopt the Mediterranean diet using locally available products’

The study¿s senior author, Dr Mercedes Sotos Prieto, said: ¿It¿s possible for non-Mediterranean populations to adopt the Mediterranean diet using locally available products'

A Mediterranean lifestyle was defined as getting six to eight hours of sleep, socialising with friends and family, not sitting around for too long, exercising, doing sports with other people and taking naps

A Mediterranean lifestyle was defined as getting six to eight hours of sleep, socialising with friends and family, not sitting around for too long, exercising, doing sports with other people and taking naps

People received a score out of 25 for how much they followed a Mediterranean way of life.

The study, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, then compared these scores among people who died, after tracking their medical records for several years.

Those with the most Mediterranean lifestyle were 29 per cent less likely to die than those with the least Mediterranean way of life, and 28 per cent less likely to die of cancer.

They were also less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

The study’s senior author, Dr Mercedes Sotos Prieto, from the Autonomous University of Madrid and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said: ‘This suggests that it’s possible for non-Mediterranean populations to adopt the Mediterranean diet using locally available products and adopt the overall lifestyle.’

Sadly for fans of a siesta, naps alone were not linked to lower odds of dying. This may be because people who nap in the UK often do so because they are sleep-deprived or in ill health.

Questions asked in the study included whether people socialised and if they drank healthy tea and coffee, avoided sugary drinks, limited snacks and preferred wholegrain foods.

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