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Mendez, Michelle A. & Newman, Anne B. (2018). Can a Mediterranean Diet Pattern Slow Aging?. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 73(3), 315-317. PMCID: PMC6279126


To identify potential secrets for longevity, we interviewed some of the long-term survivors of the Cardiovascular Health Study. One woman, 93 years of age, told us that her secret was her vegan diet. Surprised to hear of a 93-year old vegan, we asked, “How long have you been on this diet?” She replied, “Well, it has been over a year, and I never felt better in my life!” Obviously this could not be the secret to her longevity, but we appreciated her intent to live as well as possible. While everyone agrees that diet is important to health, an ideal dietary pattern is seldom adhered to. Increasingly, the Mediterranean Diet has become a healthy eating standard. Ancel Keyes first noted the association between dietary patterns in Mediterranean regions and lower rates of heart disease the Seven Countries Study in 1958 (1). Subsequently, research focused on specific macronutrients, especially dietary fats, to determine which were most important for health (2). These studies, and the resulting emphasis on low-fat diets, led to a shift in dietary patterns that replaced fats with predominantly refined carbohydrates (3). More recently, emphasis has been placed on examining the role of diet in health as a composite of multiple nutrients and foods. We eat foods, not nutrients, and the combination of foods may be more synergistically powerful for health than any specific food or nutrient (4,5).


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Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences


Mendez, Michelle A.
Newman, Anne B.