There are few things that dictate whether you will age gracefully more than your day-to-day diet. And, while typical American cuisine is not exactly known for its nutritional value, recent reports have cast an even grimmer light on the amount of sodium and saturated fat-laden meals we consume. As well as knowing the foods to avoid to promote your aging longevity, it's also important to know which items can actually protect your youthful vitality through the years.

In February, a team of Spanish researchers released the results of a large-scale study that compared the effects of consuming a Mediterranean diet versus a "standard low-fat" option on aging longevity. The scientists recruited 7,500 adults who were already at risk for heart disease due to preexisting conditions. Beginning in 2003, the participants were divided into three groups and asked to consume a Mediterranean diet with supplemental olive oil or nuts, or the general low-fat fare.

Five years after the study began, the researchers found that individuals who ate either variety of the Mediterranean diet were substantially less likely – by as much as 30 percent – to develop heart disease.

"This is good news, because we know how to prevent the main cause of deaths – that is cardiovascular disease – with a good diet," said contributing researcher Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez in a Reuters report on the study.

Martinez Gonzalez also noted that there is no sole ingredient in this regional fare that is responsible for this demonstrated benefit. Rather, the fact that this cuisine favors "good" sources of fat over harmful ones and is includes several plant foods both contribute to its anti-aging effects.

For guidance about the lifestyle changes and rejuvenating procedures that can preserve your quality of life as you age, contact the anti-aging medicine specialists at Longevity Centres of America.