An analysis of studies looking at nearly 6,000 older adults found a connection between eating a Mediterranean-style diet and avoiding frailty. Marked by weakness, weight loss, and low energy, frailty increases the risk of disability, falls and injuries, moving to a nursing home, and even an early death. Over a four-year period, people who followed a Mediterranean diet most closely were half as likely to become frail, compared with those who followed it the least. As with all population studies, it’s important to remember that this one doesn’t prove that it was diet that led to the benefits, although the researchers did rule out many other potential causes, like exercise habits, alcohol intake, and existing illness. Given the many other benefits linked to eating Mediterranean — heart and brain health, for starters — we highly recommend this appetizing way of eating. That means putting plant foods like veggies, legumes, whole grains, and fruit front and center on your shopping list.
“About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals.” Dr. Lisa Young