Diet’s role in aging gracefully

I have a friend whose grandfather is 98 years old. He still walks every day and attends dances at his senior’s complex with his 83 year old girlfriend. He is lucid, contented, and quick to laugh. I’ve wondered what his secret is. Is it diet? Is it a firm sense of humour? Or perhaps plain old genetics are at work?

Perhaps it’s a vegetarian diet.

According to current research, lifelong vegetarians visit the hospital 22 percent less than meat-eaters and spend less time receiving medical treatment when they do land there. They also suffer 20 percent less premature mortality from all causes, compared to their meat-eating counterparts.

Two cases seem to prove that vegetarians live longer: Madame Calment claimed that the keys to long life were three things: olive oil, port wine, and chocolate. When she died, the woman then accepted to be the oldest person in the world was a vegetarian. In addition, 117-year old Canadian Madame Febronie Meilleur was a vegetarian. But when she died, the oldest living person title got passed to a 117-year old American women who hated vegetables and insisted on eating chocolate, chips, pretzels and sweets.

My viewpoints tend to change as I age, but today I believe that a sense of humour and a life full of happy mediums might be key to a long, graceful life. And I hope I can live to 117 and still eat lots of chocolate.

Author by Kristin Scott