Mediterranean diet may slow aging process, study shows

A new study reveals that following the popular Mediterranean diet may not only be good for the waistline, but also add to the average life expectancy.

The study says adhering to the Mediterranean diet, which consists of fish, nuts, vegetables, olive oil and red wine, may extend a part of DNA called telomeres, which help to prevent aging from taking its toll on cells.

Telomeres are the caps on the end of chromosomes, often compared to the ends of shoelaces. Their length is a marker of aging. With time, they get shorter, but the Mediterranean diet keeps them intact.

Researchers followed nearly 5,000 nurses in a long-term study. Those who observed the Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres, which could translate to living 4.5 years longer.

The diet is also linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.

Good Morning America contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.