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Sophia Loren likes to ‘eat pasta and drink wine’ – Her secrets to longevity

The Italian, Oscar award-winning actress has starred in Hollywood since the 1950s. Yet, the grandmother has confessed she doesn’t “believe” her age at times (88), adding that she “feels 20”. In the 2021 interview with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Sophia expressed her positive outlook on life.

Saying that she likes “savouring the little things” and pushes “away negativity”, could her optimistic nature be one way Sophia stays youthful?

It could be, if research is anything to go by, as scientists noted that more optimist women lived, on average, 14.9 percent longer than their more pessimistic peers.

Another factor that could play a huge part in Sophia’s healthy ageing is her diet.

Talking to Elle Australia, Sophia shared she follows the classic Mediterranean diet, which consists of fresh vegetables and pasta.

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“I’d rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size zero,” she famously said.

The Mediterranean diet

The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, within the NHS Trust, elaborated on what makes up a Mediterranean diet.

“A Mediterranean diet focuses on plant foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and pulses, [such as] beans, chickpeas and lentils,” the health body notes.

“The diet includes moderate amounts of lean proteins like fish and chicken and low-fat dairy foods.”

And “olive oil is used to replace other oils and fats in the diet”.

Adhering to the Mediterranean diet could lead to numerous benefits, from weight loss to better health.

“Plants are naturally lower in calories and high in fibre, which helps you feel fuller for longer,” the NHS says, explaining how the diet can lead to weight loss.

Furthermore, by replacing the saturated fats mostly found in meat and dairy with healthier fats, found in nuts and oil, the risk of having a heart attack is reduced.

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Substituting unhealthy fats for healthier fats is key in lowering cholesterol levels, which also reduces the risk of a life-threatening stroke.

A diet rich in plant foods could also prevent type 2 diabetes, reduce blood pressure readings, and lower the risk of certain cancers.

More specifically, eating a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of bowel, breast, prostate, stomach, bladder, and lung cancer.

There’s also a “lower risk of developing dementia”, the health body adds, in addition to:

  • Better sleep
  • Better digestion
  • Improved mood.

Perhaps it’s because of Sophia’s healthy diet that she can still work beyond retirement age.

In the UK, the retirement age is 66, but Sophia was still making films at the age of 86.

Starring in The Life Ahead (2020), Sophia portrayed a Holocaust survivor who forms an unlikely friendship with a street kid after he robs her.

The drama adds onto Sophia’s long list of works, which includes Two Women (1960), Arabesque (1966), and A Special Day (1977).

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