The Secret Behind Italian Longevity

Up until the 1970s, Brits long outlived Italians; however, in a turn of events over the past few decades, Italians have started to outlive Englishmen by an average of 18 months. Now, think about this: despite indulging in large meals (pasta, pizza, and others), Italy does not have a problem with obesity. Despite a 23% per cent of Italians smoking on average - higher than that of the United Kingdom - Italy comes in second place in Europe with the longest life expectancy. So, how do they stay healthier than Brits and how can Brits adopt that lifestyle in busy and bustling cities like London?

It’s all in the diet. It is nothing new that the Mediterranean diet hosts multiple health benefits such as a decrease in cancer and health disease risk, and of course, an increase in longevity. In fact, experts suggest that doctors in Britain should stop prescribing drugs and start prescribing the adoption of an Italian lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet does not only rely on good foods - olive oil does wonder for the body -, but also on relaxation, good sleeping patterns and enough exercise.

Adopting the Mediterranean Diet in Britain

Popular British dishes have a higher concentration of animal fats than those in Italy. Italian food consists of plenty of salads, fresh fish and a variety of fruits and vegetables, added to the necessary carbs of pasta and the healthy version of pizza. Many Brits like to blame the NHS for their health problems, but experts have pinpointed that Brits tend to wait longer to seek medical assistance. Besides, the Italian healthcare system is in decay and unreliable - unfortunately, it was modeled after the National Health Service in the UK.

When it comes to alcohol consumption, Brits pulled the shorter straw. The British community tends more towards binge drinking, whereas Italians drink plenty of wine - which also boasts health benefits -, and they drink moderately. At least more so than Brits. So now that so many British-led studies have figured out one of the many secrets to Italian longevity, how are they hoping Brits adapt to it? The answer is simple: lifestyle medicine. The idea is to teach British doctors that not all problems go away with a painkiller or any other pill, but sometimes, it starts with what you had for breakfast. Could this work in the long run? Only time will tell.