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Mediterranean diet

Why the Average Physically Inactive Person Should Eat a Mediterranean Diet

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 by: Sarah Aitken
Tags: Mediterranean diet, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) If you are a health conscious person physical activity is part of daily life.  Unless you get injured, most people who regularly perform some physical activity enjoy it because it helps them keep fit and feel great.  Conversely, health conscious people like their fruits and veggies and eat a healthy diet.  But what if you get injured?  Or are starting out a workout routine, having been physically inactive for some time?  According to a recent study  published by the Public Library of Science, the first step would be to eat a Mediterranean diet.

The study, by Bergouignan et al, looked at the effect of physical inactivity on the oxidation of saturated and monounsaturated dietary fatty acids.  The authors hypothesized that a sedentary lifestyle would reduce the ability of the body to use fat as fuel.

How does a sedentary lifestyle affect fat metabolism?

The authors found that at the extreme end of being sedentary, such as being bed ridden, fat metabolism was affected such that the body preferred to store saturated fats, but metabolism of mono-saturated fats were unaffected.  The authors also found that the body preferred to store fat, vice burn it while sedentary, even though the study participants underwent a light weight training regimen using a flywheel ergometer to preserve muscle mass.  The authors also structured the participants' diets.  The participants had a caloric energy intake that maintained an energy balance during ambulatory and bed-rest periods so that they should not have gained weight.  The diet was 30% fat, 15% protein, and 55% carbohydrate based.

For those health conscious people out there who are injured, or bed ridden, the best bet to keep healthy, and your weight in check, is to consume a Mediterranean diet full of mono-saturated fats, and little, if any, saturated fats.  And for those people that may want to lose weight that are inactive before starting on the wonderful journey to a healthy, active and fit life, substituting mono- saturated fat for saturated fat is also the way to go.  A previous  study found that a small, but significant, change in the weight and  fat mass occurred in the subjects who made this small change.  (1)

Mono-saturated fats can be found in olive oil, avocados, and are typically plant-based fats.  These fats are also best consumed raw.  Saturated fats are typically found in animal based products such as meat, diary and eggs.

So if you want to take a week off from your training, got injured, or you are leaving your sedentary lifestyle behind, that great salad with avocadoes, olives, raw nuts, tossed with a raw olive oil vinaigrette, is not only heart healthy, but great for the waistline.  Enjoy!

(1) Piers LS, Walker KZ, Stoney RM, Soares MJ, O'Dea K (2003) Substitution of saturated with monounsaturated fat in a 4-week diet affects body weight and composition of overweight and obese men. Br J Nutr 90

About the author

Sarah is a Chemical and Materials Engineer by education. Through years of focused self-study, she has come to see the benefit of whole food nutrition and allowing the body to heal itself. A Field Center Certified Facilitator, Sarah is passionate about being helpful to others, in any venue, in their quest for a better life.

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