Red wine, rustic bread dipped in olive oil and herbs, freshly grilled fish, greek salad with feta cheese and olives, creamy yogurt with fruit and honey…getting hungry yet?? These foods are not only delicious, but they could help you live longer. People living in Mediterranean areas (Greece, Turkey, Southern Italy, Southern France, Israel, etc) have historically low levels of chronic disease as well as a high life expectancy. Research has indicated that the following dietary habits contribute to the longevity associated with living in the Mediterranean:
- Emphasis on plant based food – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
- Lots of fresh, seasonal produce – tomato, cucumber, eggplant, peppers, onions, olives, berries, apple, grapes, figs, avocados, etc.
- Olive oil as main fat source, use butter sparingly.
- Daily consumption cheese and yogurt (low-fat is preferable)
- Weekly consumption of fish, seafood, poultry, and eggs.
- Choose fruit based desserts more often than rich cake or pastries.
- Eat red meat sparingly – only a few times per month.
- Regular physical activity.
- Moderate consumption of wine.