On the Table in Sardinia: Red Wine, Bread and Cheese

The Mediterranean diet may help prolong life by 6 years, says long life expert.

ByABC News via logo
October 20, 2009, 7:58 PM

Oct. 21, 2009— -- Could a diet of cheese, bread and wine be the secret to longevity?

For the people of Sardinia, it just might be, says Dan Buettner, a National Geographic magazine writer and Emmy award-winning documentarian.

Buettner, the noted author of "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest," says certain aspects of the Sardinian diet seem to make a difference, adding about six years to life expectancy.

For one thing, the people of Sardinia -- the Italian island located in the Mediterranean -- drink very dark red wine.

"This is so dark that the Italians call it vino nero, which means 'black wine,'" Buettner told "Good Morning America." "And another thing we've just learned ... it's so important to drink your wine with the meal."

That's because combining the Mediterranean diet with the dark wine creates antioxidants that scrub the arteries, Buettner said.

Not surprisingly, Buettner encourages the consumption of nuts, fruits and vegetables, and discourages a lot of meat.

"Meat is a once-a-week celebration," he said. "Not something you heap on your plate several times a day."