The Age-Better Diet

Live a longer life and lower your risk of health problems with the Mediterranean diet.

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John Stamos may have the diet of his Greek ancestors to thank for his ability to seemingly get younger with each passing year. The Mediterranean diet – best known for its inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables, minimally processed whole grains, heart-healthy fats from nuts, seeds and olive oil, moderate amounts of fish, and low amounts of meat – was the subject of discussion in a recent issue of The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. Here are some of the key findings that suggest this way of eating may help delay aging. 

REINFORCE YOUR DNA: A 2016 study included in the issue noted that, because of its high levels of anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fats, the Mediterranean diet can help reduce telomere shortening in patients with coronary heart disease. (The shortening of telomeres, which are stretches of DNA located on the ends of each chromosome, is associated with aging and an increased risk of chronic diseases.) 

STAY SPRY: Another study concluded that French adults who followed a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet exhibited more markers of physical, mental and physiological healthy aging, and a piece of Spanish research found that older adults who ate Mediterranean-style had less physical impairment than those who didn’t. 

GO AHEAD, EAT UP: One article cautioned that more studies are needed to determine exactly how the diet helps to reduce the risk of rampant health issues, including breast cancer and heart disease. Still, the research indicates that this culinary style can help you live healthier for longer.

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