The Obesity Made Simple Blog

Mediterranean Diet

Oct 07, 2022
Why to recommend the Mediterranean Diet

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The traditional foods of Greece, Italy, and other nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea are the foundation of the Mediterranean diet, which is an eating plan.

The basis of diet is composed primarily of plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. The primary source of additional fat is olive oil.

Examples of diet are dairy, chicken, fish, and other seafood which are permitted in moderation. Only sweets and red meat are consumed in small quantities.

Choosing healthy fats over harmful ones

  • The main source of additional fat in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. Low-density lipoprotein (or "bad") cholesterol and total cholesterol are both decreased by the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fat is also present in nuts and seeds.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids, including sardines, herring, and mackerel

People who try the Mediterranean diet lose on average between 9-22 pounds after a year on it. People following a low-carb diet only lost about 6-11 pounds after one year.

Researchers at Stanford Medicine conducted a new study contrasting the ketogenic diet to the Mediterranean diet with respect to blood sugar levels, cardiometabolic risk factors, weight loss, nutrient intake, and adherence.

The results were the following:

  • Similar reductions in HbA1c levels were observed in the ketogenic and Mediterranean diet groups (9 percent points for ketogenic diet  and 7 percentage points for Mediterranean)
  • Improvements in fasting insulin and glucose, HDL cholesterol, and the liver enzyme ALT were comparable between the ketogenic and Mediterranean diets, as was weight reduction (8% on keto and 7% on Mediterranean).

The Mediterranean diet is an example of a low-carb, moderate-fat eating plan that places an emphasis on foods like vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, olive oil, and fish.

Mediterranean Diet helps to decrease Diabetes

According to Christopher Gardner, PhD, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor, professor of medicine, and the director of nutrition at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and lead author of the study, explains that "the main issue in diabetes is the inability to manage your blood glucose," and that a person’s diet has the greatest impact on blood glucose.

The American Diabetes Association recommends the Mediterranean diet and other low-carb diets for the management or prevention of diabetes, particularly if they limit the consumption of added sugars and refined grains while increasing the consumption of non-starchy vegetables.

Findings published on May 31 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effectiveness of two diets in lowering blood sugar and promoting weight loss. Both diets were well-received, but the ketogenic diet was found to be lower in several nutrients, particularly fiber, and to be more challenging to follow over the long term.

The Mediterranean Diet is preferred by many individuals because of the health benefits and significant contribution to the loss of weight.

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