Mediterranean diet is fast emerging to be one of the most preferred diet in the health circles. As the name suggests, this popular diet is typically followed in the Mediterranean countries. It is characterized by high consumption of plant-base foods, grains, vegetables, nuts and olive oil and limits the consumption of protein and unhealthy fats. This sort of a diet is known to be heart-healthy, boosts brain power and has also been linked to reduced incidence of cancer. According to a latest study, the diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts may reduce the risk of frailty in older individuals,
For the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta- analysis of four published studies. In the course of their analysis, they examined associations between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and development of frailty in older individuals.
The study included analysis of 5,789 people over 60 living in France, Spain, Italy, and China.
“Nutrition is thought to play a crucial role in developing frailty and we found that the Mediterranean diet may help older individuals maintain muscle strength, activity, weight, and energy levels,” said Kate Walters, from the University College London (UCL) in the UK.A diet revolving around plant- based foods and low to moderate amounts of fish and poultry helps keep people healthy and independent as they age, concluded the study.
“People who followed a Mediterranean diet the most were overall less than half as likely to become frail over a nearly four-year period compared with those who followed it the least,” said Walters.
The findings also revealed that the diet emphasizing on low to moderate amounts of wine is low in saturated fat and sugar and has been associated with multiple health benefits, like lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, overall cancer incidence, as well as prolonged survival.
As people age, frailty becomes a common phenomenon. Frail older adults may often feel low in energy and have weight loss and weak muscle strength. This age induced frailty may make them suffer from various health concerns, including falls, fractures, hospitalisation, nursing home placement, disability, dementia, and premature death.
“Our study supports the growing body of evidence on the potential health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, in our case for potentially helping older people to stay well as they age,” said Gotaro Kojima from the UCL.
(With inputs PTI)