, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 691-700
Date: 04 Jul 2012

Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and energy, macro-, and micronutrient intakes in older persons

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Abstract

The Mediterranean-type diet combines several foods and nutrients already individually proposed as potential protective factors against adverse health outcomes, such as cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present study was to describe the association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MeDi) and intake of energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients. The study sample consisted of 1,595 individuals from Bordeaux, France, included in 2001–2002 in the Three-City Study. Adherence to a MeDi (scored as 0 to 9) was computed from a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Total energy intake (EI) and nutrient intake were evaluated on a 24 h recall. Statistical analyses were stratified by gender. Both in men and women, greater MeDi adherence was associated with higher total vegetal protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), notably n − 6 PUFA, and lower total saturated fat intakes, as expressed in percentage of EI. Higher total monounsaturated fat and oleic acid intakes (% EI) were observed with greater MeDi adherence in men. Women with the highest MeDi adherence exhibited a higher mean carbohydrate, polysaccharide, and total n − 3 PUFA intakes (% EI). The consumption of fibers; vitamins B6, C, and E; folate; magnesium; potassium; and iron increased with greater MeDi adherence, both in men and women. However, consumption of calcium significantly decreased with greater MeDi adherence in women, while the ratio of n − 6/n − 3 PUFA precursors increased. This cross-sectional study provides the nutrient-related basis of the Mediterranean-type diet of French elderly community dwellers, which might participate to its well-documented beneficial effects on health.