Here's another reason why you should try the Mediterranean diet. According to a study featured on TIME, substituting red meat with proteins from beans and fish and foregoing saturated oils for olive oil may not only add years to your life, but also protect you from many chronic diseases.

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital studied survey data from 10,670 women in their late 50s and early 60s and found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet by eating fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, and olive oil, and consuming little red meat and the occasional red wine, were found to be healthier than those who didn't.

In fact, those who followed the diet were 40 percent more likely to live past the age of 70 in good health, and protected from conditions such as heart disease, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes.

The kinds of food included in the Mediterranean diet have been known to fight bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. They also provide antioxidants that help stop inflammation.

So if you want to be and stay healthy, start eating more fruits, veggies, grains, and fish while you're young. Do this and you may yet to enjoy a long and good life with little fear of the consequences of aging.

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(Photo by Scott Veg via Flickr Creative Commons)

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