How to live longer: Best diet to increase life expectancy – what oil should you use?

Long life expectancy can be achieved through some simple lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, regularly exercising, and arguably one of the most important ones, eating a healthy diet. But with so many “healthy” diets to choose from, which one has been proven best? Over the last few years the Mediterranean diet has been shown to be beneficial to boosting longevity. Research published in 2018 suggested eating a diet inspired by the eating habits of Greece, Southern Italy and Spain could lower the risk of frailty in old age. The Mediterranean diet comprises of lots of legumes, fish, fruits and vegetables.

But when it comes to an essential of cooking and many meals, oil, which one is considered best in the Mediterranean diet?

Olive oil is a major component of the Mediterranean diet, and while it shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts, it’s been found to hold a host of health benefits.

French scientists found olive oil could prevent stroke in older people. 

The team found old people who regularly used olive oil for cooking, salad or with bread had a 41 per cent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who need consumed it.

A study carried out by researchers from Barcelona in Spain found a key mechanism by which virgin olive oil protects the body against breast cancer. 

And olive oil has also been found to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

A Japanese study published in the Medical Science Monitor showed LDL (bad) cholesterol concentrations fell in 28 outpatients who took olive oil supplements once a day for six weeks. 

Olive oil’s benefits have been found to come from its monounsaturated fats and its high vitamin E content.

Extra virgin olive oil is the best choice for maximum health benefits.

It’s the purest and best enjoyed raw, while virgin and pure olive oils are less expensive and have a lower smoke point so are good for cooking with.

But how much olive oil a day should you be eating?

In their book titled ‘Eat Better Live Longer’, Dr Sarah Brewer and Ms Juliette Kellow recommend one tablespoon a day. /life-style/health/990256/how-to-live-longer-olive-oil

They warn: “It’s high in calories – a tablespoon has 100 calories – so be aware of this.”

Another diet has also been recommended to increase life expectancy – new research this month has added to mounting evidence eating a plant-based diet can help people live longer

The research found eating more plant based foods can contribute to a healthy heart and cardiovascular system and reduce the risk of cardiovascular death.

Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the study examined data from 12,168 middle aged people who had enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, and the participants were followed between 1987 and 2016.

The researchers in the latest study used four diet indexes, and the findings revealed participants who had the highest intake of plant based foods were 16 per cent less likely to have a cardiovascular condition, such as heart attack, stroke or heart failure, than adults who consumed the smallest amount of plant based foods.

High plant food consumers were 25 per cent less likely to die from any cause and had a 32 per cent lower is of during from a cardiovascular condition.

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