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Following the Mediterranean diet could be linked to health benefits.  What is the Mediterranean diet?  Basically, it's one with plenty of olive oil, grains, fruits, veggies, fish, and lean meats.  The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be linked to a reduced risk for many illnesses including heart disease, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's.  This has been seen in several studies conducted in the past decade.  Researchers examined reports that included a total of more than 1.5 million participants who were given a numerical score.  Basically, that numerical score looked at how closely they followed the Mediterranean diet.  Those who stuck strictly to the diet had a 9% lower risk of death from any cause.  Of course, the key point here is that you don't have to stick exactly to the diet, but a variation which emphasizes similar foods is key.  

By: Brian McDonough, M.D., FAAFP