Rethinking Healthcare

Eat like Sophia Loren and live longer

Posting in Science

The moderate alcohol intake represented 23.5% of the health benefits, the study concluded, followed by the low meat consumption and high veggie intake, at around 16%. And the study was not a one-shot -- it was done over 8 years.

"Everything you see I owe to pasta."

It's one of my favorite quotes from the actress Sophia Loren, native of Naples, film star, and follower of the Mediterranean Diet. (Picture from the blog of T.P. Saye.)

The British Medical Journal has been taking a look at that diet, which features a lot of vegetables, olive oil, pasta, along with red wine at dinner, and they give it two thumbs up.

What's getting the world's attention, however, is the ingredient they said made the biggest difference in longevity.

It's the wine.

Hey, read the abstract:

The dominant components of the Mediterranean diet score as a predictor of lower mortality are moderate consumption of ethanol, low consumption of meat and meat products, and high consumption of vegetables, fruits and nuts, olive oil, and legumes.  

The moderate alcohol intake represented 23.5% of the health benefits, the study concluded, followed by the low meat consumption and high veggie intake, at around 16%. And the study was not a one-shot -- it was done over 8 years.

Note, please, they suggested moderate alcohol consumption. Some bruschetta (heavy on the tomatoes), a nice pasta with maybe a little meat in the sauce, some olives on the side, roasted zucchini, and a fine chianti for two. The exercise following is even good for your heart.

I'd like that meal if it killed me. But it doesn't. You get lucky every which way. Science!

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Dana Blankenhorn

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Dana Blankenhorn has written for the Chicago Tribune, Advertising Age's "NetMarketing" supplement and founded the Interactive Age Daily for CMP Media. He holds degrees from Rice and Northwestern universities. He is based in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure