How to live longer: What is the best diet to follow for longevity?

A balanced diet, getting enough physical activity and the right amount of sleep are all keys factors to living a healthy and long life. But when it comes to diet, there are many options promising the ultimate goal of the perfect weight. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the opposing advice however one diet has always remained triumphant and experts all agree that the Mediterranean diet is one of the best diets to follow, not only to look good but to feel good too. Studies regularly show the Mediterranean diet is linked to a longer life, with those who eat this diet their whole lives regularly topping the polls for the oldest people in the world.

Not only is the Mediterranean diet ranked number one best diet overall but it also has proven health benefits and is so simple to adopt

Expert dietitian, Helen Bond

Expert dietitian, Helen Bond discussed some simple food swaps to make to become more healthy, and with May being the International Mediterranean Diet Month, it is the perfect time to shine a light on the diet.

Bond said: “At a time where we are bombarded with an abundance of complex eating plans, from Paleo and Keto to vegan and pescatarian, there’s no surprise that a sense of overwhelming and panic takes over when trying to choose which one to adopt.

“Not only is the Mediterranean diet ranked number one best diet overall but it also has proven health benefits and is so simple to adopt.”

Bond explained the Mediterranean diet features lots of plant-based foods like fruit and veg, whole grains, nuts, and of course olive oil.

The approach recommends fish and other seafood at least twice per week, small quantities of dairy, eggs and chicken, and moderate amount of wine and eating sweets and red meat.

Bond said: “Swap sugar sweetened beverages for orange juice topped up with sparkling water, swap butter for olive oil, swap spaghetti for courgetti, potato wedges for butternut squash wedges, swap shop-bought cereal bars for handful of almonds, salt for fresh herbs and swap ice cream for sorbet.”

Other tips from Bond include:

  • Switch to olive oil
  • Load up your kitchen cupboards with Mediterranean staples
  • Pack in more fruit and veg
  • Open a tin of pulses
  • Reel in the benefits of oily fish

Bond added: “The Mediterranean diet believes it is more a way of eating for life rather than a diet. It is based on sound nutritional concepts and its simplicity is the key to its success.

“The strong focus on whole foods (foods that have undergone no or little processing) benefits heart health, reduces the risk of diabetes and increases longevity.”

Being vigilant with the food you eat and making small changes to your diet could make all the difference to your waist line and your overall health.

A recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report revealed Mediterranean nations are now seeing the highest rates of severe child obesity in Europe.

This is due to the decline of the traditional Mediterranean diet. Going back to the Mediterranean way of eating is key to those wanting to shift some pounds, live a healthy life and ensure longevity.

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