(Natural News) People with metabolic syndrome may want to consider adhering to a Mediterranean diet, a widely known low-calorie diet. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that following a low-calorie Mediterranean diet, in combination with regular physical activity, is more effective in helping in weight loss and improving cardiovascular risk in the long run, compared to low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets.
Carried out by researchers from the Human Nutrition Unit at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, together with 23 other research groups in the PREDIMED-Plus study, the study looked at the changes in body weight, fat accumulation, and various cardiovascular risk factors of 626 overweight or obese people with metabolic syndrome after one year of adhering to a Mediterranean diet and engaging in daily physical activity. (Related: Mediterranean diet can reverse metabolic disorder, lower risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease.)
The results of the study revealed that following a low-calorie Mediterranean diet and engaging in daily physical activity effectively resulted in significant weight loss. One year after the intervention, about 34 percent of the participants following the diet together with daily exercise exhibited at least five percent weight loss. In addition, they experienced improvements in glucose metabolism and certain inflammatory markers, compared to those who did not follow the diet; this is particularly beneficial for participants with diabetes or at risk of diabetes in terms of blood sugar control.
On top of these, the researchers found that weight loss was maintained over time as the greatest weight loss has been recorded even after 12 months of intervention. Earlier studies have proven that diets low in fat and carbohydrates were effective in weight loss and cardiovascular risk improvements, but these benefits tend to diminish after a year.
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The Mediterranean diet is the best diet for 2019, according to experts
The Mediterranean diet is typically composed of many vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, bread, herbs, spices, fish, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil, some poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt, and little to no red meat. In this diet, sugary drinks, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils, and other highly processed foods are avoided. While it is effective in weight loss, it wasn’t intended to be a weight loss meal plan. It’s just what people in countries like Italy and Greece used to eat back in the 1960s. Researchers observed that people from these countries were significantly healthy and had a low risk of many lifestyle diseases compared to Americans.
Recently, a panel of health experts ranked 41 different diets, and out of these diets, the Mediterranean diet stood out. According to the U.S. News & World Report, it is the best diet because it is easy to follow, safe, nutritious, effective for weight loss, and notable for protecting against lifestyle-related diseases.
As mentioned earlier, the Mediterranean diet effectively keeps the heart healthy, prevents diabetes, and promotes healthy weight and metabolism. Because of these improvements, it is also associated with prolonged life span.
In addition to these health benefits, the Mediterranean diet has been reported to lower the risk of various types of cancers, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and gastric cancer. Scientists attribute this cancer-protective effect to the diet’s higher consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The Mediterranean diet is also good for the brain. Researchers have reported that it may slow down or lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and depression, which can be due to its high intake of carotenoid antioxidants.
Lastly, this type of diet is good for the gut because of the high intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These serve as food for the good gut bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Read more news stories and studies on preventing obesity through diet by going to FightObesity.news.