There are diets and there are diets. And then there is the Mediterranean diet!

Validation has come for the diet once again with a new study showing that the high-fat Mediterranean diet does not cause people to gain weight. The study, conducted by scientists at University of Barcelone, Spain, and published in The Lancet, followed more than 7,000 overweight adults aged between 55 and 80 years, backs earlier research that the high-fat Mediterranean diet may help people control their weight and waist size. The study was conducted by Predimed and monitored the men for five years.weight loss

For the study, the group was divided into three groups: the first could have an unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil; the second could enjoy an unrestricted-calorie Mediterranean diet with additional nuts, and the third embraced a low-fat diet. No groups showed major weight loss but the people who consumed extra olive oil lost almost two pounds on average. The group that ate more nuts showed the smallest increase in waist circumference, which comes with increasing age.

The research scientists have said: “The fat content of foods and diets is simply not a useful metric to judge long-term harms or benefits. Energy density and total caloric contents can be similarly misleading. Rather, modern scientific evidence supports an emphasis on eating more calories from fruits, nuts, vegetables, beans, fish, yoghurt, phenolic-rich vegetable oils, and minimally processed whole grains; and fewer calories from highly processed foods rich in starch, sugar, salt, or trans-fat.”

This isn’t the first study to show that the Mediterranean diet is the best for people keen to lose weight. That doesn’t mean gorging on high-fat foods. Try these tips and you’ll see how you can gain – by losing weight – from the Mediterranean diet!chicken salad

  • Make olive oil the primary source of fat. When it comes to cooking, try canola oil.
  • Your three main meals can include three servings per day of whole grained pasta, bread or cereals.
  • Beans are an important component of the Mediterranean diet. Have them thrice a week at least.
  • Forget red meat and chicken; go for at least two servings of fish every week.
  • Ensure that you have fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal.
  • Crack open a bottle of bubbly in the evening but limit consumption to a glass of red wine a day.
  • Use varied herbs and spices to add taste and flavour to your food instead of ODing on fat and salt.
  • If you need to snack, opt for nuts. Also, add them to your food: sprinkle almonds into oatmeal, toss walnuts over salads or have peanut butter with a fruit!
  • Ban all dairy products. Butter, milk, cheese, curd and yes, even ice cream!diet

Combine your diet with a regular dose of exercise, be it walking, swimming, spinning, cycling or aqua aerobics, and lose that extra weight!

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Written by Neha Jain

Neha Jain

She may have multiple degrees to back her expertise, but Neha Jain believes there’s nothing complex about nutrition. There is no magic formula for a healthy diet – the trick lies in balancing a variety of food groups and ensuring you’re eating the right portion size. With an MSc in Food and Nutrition from Delhi University and diplomas in naturopathy and yogic sciences, Neha is also a certified diabetes educator with extensive experience in endocrinological disorders and weight reduction, having worked with renowned endocrinologist Dr Ambrish Mithal in Delhi. Her goal is to help people find easy ways to make healthy choices, and believes HealthifyMe has simplified her task with its technology. Neha’s made the right choices for her family – she’s helped her husband control his high cholesterol levels and borderline diabetes by changing the meal plan at home, and introducing him to regular exercise – and now she’s hoping to ‘healthify’ you too.

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