Green Mediterranean diet cuts more visceral fat than healthy diet. Image Source: IANS News

New York, Aug 19 : Those following a plant-based diet with limited added salts and sugars, adequate rest, exercise and socialisation were found to have a 29 per cent lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 28 per cent lower risk of cancer mortality compared to others who were non-adherent to this lifestyle, a new research has said.

In a study of adults in the UK, those who adhered closely to a Mediterranean lifestyle had lower risk of all-cause and cancer mortality.

The researchers analysed the habits of 110,799 members of the UK Biobank cohort, a population-based study across England, Wales, and Scotland using the Mediterranean Lifestyle (MEDLIFE) index, which is derived from a lifestyle questionnaire and diet assessments.

The study by the Autonomous University of Madrid (AUM) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings "suggests that it's possible for non-Mediterranean populations to adopt the Mediterranean diet using locally available products and to adopt the overall Mediterranean lifestyle within their own cultural contexts," said lead author Mercedes Sotos Prieto.

"We're seeing the transferability of the lifestyle and its positive effects on health," added Prieto, adjunct assistant professor of environmental health at Harvard Chan School.

Participants in the study, who were between the ages of 40 and 75, provided information about their lifestyle according to the three categories the index measures -- Mediterranean food consumption; Mediterranean dietary habits' and 'physical activity, rest, and social habits and conviviality'.

Among the study population, 4,247 died from all causes; 2,401 from cancer; and 731 from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers observed an inverse association between adherence to the Mediterranean lifestyle and risk of mortality.

Adherence to each MEDLIFE category independently was associated with lower all-cause and cancer mortality risk.

The "physical activity, rest, and social habits and conviviality" category was most strongly associated with these lowered risks, and additionally was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, said the researchers.

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