The 2001 movie "Frailty," co-starring Matthew McConaughey as a serial killer, was the directorial debut for Bill Paxton. While the horrifying tale registered only a 78 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it was 100 percent right about one thing: Frailty -- the loss of muscle strength and grip strength, a slow walking speed, loss of 10 pounds in the past year and a low level of physical activity -- can devastate you. It's much too common among older adults and is associated with greater risk of becoming ill, falling, requiring hospitalization and an increased risk of dying in the next three years.
But you can fight -- and bite -- back. Turns out, according to a major review of published studies, the Mediterranean diet protects against frailty.
Looking at 5,789 seniors in four studies conducted in France, Spain, Italy and China, researchers from University College London found that folks who were the greatest consumers of a Mediterranean diet were less than half as likely to become frail over a four-year period as folks who strayed the furthest from that diet.
Choose a diet that eliminates highly processed foods and emphasizes plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables, 100 percent whole grains, legumes and nuts. You also want to consume healthy oils like extra-virgin olive oil, and use animal protein (mainly fish) as a side dish. That will protect your cardiovascular system, help control your weight, keep your brain clear and allow you to stay physically active and strong as you age. Buon appetito!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2018 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.