Harvard Health Letter

A recipe for long life and good health: Mediterranean eating

The ingredients include some wine, some cheese, not too much meat, and fresh fruit for dessert.

When Ancel Keys, the nutrition expert, turned 100, he was asked whether his diet might have contributed to his long life. "Very likely but no proof," quipped Keys, who died in late 2004, about 10 months after reaching the century mark.

We don't know whether it would meet Keys's standards for proof, but there is good evidence that the Mediterranean diet that he identified as being good for the heart may, indeed, help people live longer and avoid not just heart disease but cancer, too.

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