Mediterranean diet: the healthiest way to live!

Two new studies confirm the health benefits of eating the Mediterranean way. In a study in today's Journal of the American Medical Association, mortality rates were 65% lower among elderly people who combined a so-called Mediterranean diet with 30 minutes of daily exercise, moderate drinking and no tobacco use.

Although experts say there is no single Mediterranean &to=' target=_blank>diet, doctors say cuisines from these regions favor olive oil rather than butter and include lots of legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, fish, vegetables and potatoes but little meat and dairy.

People with the syndrome are fat around the middle, have high blood pressure and cholesterol deposits in their arteries, and do not properly process glucose. After two years, 44% of those on the Mediterranean diet still had features of metabolic syndrome, compared with 86% of others, reports the USA Today.

According to the Newsday, the study of women looked at more than 16,000 participants, ages 70 to 81, in the Nurses' Health Study. It found those who regularly reported engaging in physical activity, even walking a mere 1 1/2 hours a week, had a higher level of cognitive function and less cognitive decline after 10 years.

The study of 2,257 Japanese-American men in Hawaii found that those who walked less than a quarter of a mile per day were nearly twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease, compared with men who walked more than two miles a day.

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