Lose weight: According to scientists, Mediterranean diet protects against "overeating"

Lose weight: According to scientists, Mediterranean diet protects against

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Comparison of Mediterranean and Western diets: surprising results

In a study with monkeys, US scientists compared the Mediterranean diet with the western one. The results were surprising: It turned out that the so-called Mediterranean diet prevents overeating.

The healthy Mediterranean cuisine

Experts repeatedly emphasize the advantages of a healthy Mediterranean diet. Italian, Spanish or Greek dishes are not only extremely tasty, but often also have a positive impact on our health due to the ingredients. Scientific studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack and can even protect against dementia and depression. In addition, according to experts, this diet is the most successful diet for losing weight. This may also be due to the fact that it prevents overeating.

Maintain normal weight

Researchers at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem (North Carolina) found in a scientific study with non-human primates that the Mediterranean diet prevents overeating.

The study, comparing the Mediterranean to the Western diet, showed that the monkeys who were on a Mediterranean diet did not want to eat all the food available to them and maintained a normal weight.

"For comparison: the animals with a Western diet ate far more than they needed and gained weight," explained study director Prof. Carol A. Shively from the Wake Forest School of Medicine in a message published by the specialist magazine "EurekAlert!" .

The study results were published in the journal "Obesity".

Proteins and fats mainly from vegetable sources

This was the first pre-clinical study, according to Shively, to measure the effects of long-term Western diet versus Mediterranean diet on obesity-related diseases under controlled experimental conditions.

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Previous research into the effects of this diet on calorie intake was largely based on studies with people who relied on self-reported food intake, which is often unreliable, or studies on rodents who received a non-human diet.

In the current study, great monkeys were given either Mediterranean or Western food for 38 months (which corresponds to about nine years in humans).

In the former, the proteins and fats came mainly from vegetable sources, in the latter mainly from animal sources. However, the two diets contained comparable amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

The 38 female monkeys in the two groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted throughout the study.

The communication admits that the small number of animals examined is a weak point in the study, but the results are convincing.

Consume healthier foods

"We found that the Mediterranean diet group actually consumed fewer calories, less body weight, and less body fat than the western group," said Shively.

As the report says, the results provide the first experimental evidence that a Mediterranean diet protects against excessive consumption, obesity, and prediabetes compared to a Western diet.

According to the experts, the Mediterranean diet also protects against non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD). This can cause liver cancer and cirrhosis. Obesity is a major cause of NAFLD.

“The composition of the diet is an extremely important contribution to public health in the United States. Unfortunately, those who are at greatest risk of obesity and associated costly chronic illnesses also have the poorest nutritional quality, ”said Shively.

"Western nutrition has been developed and promoted by companies that want us to eat their food," said the scientist. So the food would be produced "very tasty", so that we consume too much of it.

The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, allows people to enjoy their food and not to overeat.

“We hope that our results will encourage people to eat healthier foods that are fun and improve human health.

JoJo effect shows cardiac damage

Another study showed that the dreaded yo-yo effect can permanently damage the heart. It is all the more important to achieve weight loss not by dieting, but by changing your lifestyle and diet. However, the investigation was initially only able to examine and determine this phenomenon in patients without cardiovascular diseases. There is therefore no data to extend this statement to all non-patients.

Researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Barcelona, ​​on the other hand, found in a heart study that a Mediterranean diet with olive oil protects against heart disease and has a positive effect on HDL cholesterol. You can find more on the subject of diet in our “Losing weight” section.

Mediterranean diet: number 1 on the diet list

In 2019, the Mediterranean diet of 41 diets was chosen as the healthiest nutritional concept. Other European studies also rated this form of nutrition as positive. For more information read: This diet is the most successful due to its Mediterranean nutritional concept.

An example of what a Mediterranean diet could look like

When talking about a Mediterranean diet, however, most people don't know what a specific eating plan might look like. This example shows what you can eat and above all how much:

  • breakfast: 170 grams of Greek yogurt with 60 grams of strawberries and 1 teaspoon of honey, with a slice of whole grain bread with half a mashed avocado.
  • Having lunch: Greek whole grain pita filled with 2 tablespoons of hummus, 120 grams of fresh vegetables and 2 tomato slices, with a cup of minestrone soup and an orange for dessert. Water with freshly squeezed lemon juice is suitable as a drink.
  • Snack for in between: 15 grams of almonds and 15 grams of peanuts.
  • dinner: Salad from 1/2 cup arugula, 1/2 cup baby spinach, 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette dressing, 85 grams of salmon, 1 teaspoon of tarragon and 1 teaspoon of mustard, 1/2 cup of couscous, 1/2 cup of zucchini and 4 Asparagus stalks.
  • dessert: Grapes and 120 grams of lemon sorbet. (sb, ad)

Author and source information

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