Whilst, there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to dietary changes, this particular diet has received a lot of attention recently.
Living in Gozo, Malta I have enjoyed many Mediterranean delights (at times, too much!) and decided to look into this lifestyle further.
High fat diets have received a bad wrap over the years, therefore this study focused on the affects of a high-fat Mediterranean diet on body-weight and waist circumference on overweight or obese who are at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Over a five year period, 7447 people (who had type 2 diabetes or three of more cardiovascular risk factors) were studied in 11 hospitals in Spain.
They were separated into three groups; a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts, and a control diet.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet focuses on:
- Primarily fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Nuts, seeds, beans and legumes
- Herbs & spices
- Olives and olive oil
- Fish & seafood.
- Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt
- Sweets, pastries and red meat.
- A dash of red wine – bonus!
After five years they discovered that a “long-term intervention of unrestricted-calorie, high-vegetable-fat Mediterranean diet was associated with decreases in body-weight and less gain in central adiposity compared with a control diet.”
Personally, I have mainly a vegetable and fruit based diet and have increased my intake of local olive oil, fresh fish and seafood, nuts and fresh eggs.
At the same time, I have also significantly decreased my meat intake to only a couple of times per week.
This has all happened accidentally, as I’ve adapted to what retailers can offer on the island.
I do however, avoid grains, legumes and dairy (due to intolerances).
Through eating this way and focusing less on calories and more on vegetables and good fats, I’ve been able to lose weight and gain more energy.
Whilst this lifestyle is not entirely suitable for everyone, the study reinforces that including healthy fats in your diet does have its benefits.
Diet Related Stories