We‘ve been gushing about the Mediterranean diet for the past few chapters, and
it‘s time to learn why. Being a lifestyle, instead of a simple diet, we‘re not look ing
for simple short term benefits, but rather long-term benefits. Not to mention,
any improvements you might see won‘t last. But what are these improvements or
benefits in store for Mediterranean diet practitioners?
Weight loss and the Mediterranean Diet
For many, and perhaps even you, one of the biggest motivators for a dietary
lifestyle change is having a weight loss goal. Exercise helps, but you can only tone
your muscles with it. Real weight loss happens in the kitchen, or on your plate to
be more precise. What you feed yourself does make a huge difference and the
Mediterranean diet is here to help. But let‘s put some research to our cause!
Three studies have really highlighted the Mediterranean lifestyle through their
extensive research process during their examination period. All three studied the
adoption of Mediterranean diet for various types of people.
Study 11 conducted by JAMA, studied the relationship between this lifestyle and
metabolic rate. The results showed a rather significant difference in performance,
especially when compared to a low-fat control group.
Study 2 conducted by Ann Intern Med looked at improved between the
Mediterranean diet and diabetic pat ients who were overweight. This study was
conducted for 4 years straight and showed positive results for Mediterranean
Study 32 was conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine. This was a
battle between three diet: Mediterranean, low-fat and restricted calorie diet. The
result matched those of the previous two; whereby the former diet proved much
more effective than the latter.
It‘s fairly clear that a Mediterranean-style diet does provide a much better
environment for nurturing health and weight loss.
Heart Disease and the Mediterranean Diet
In 2013, PREDIME Study3 made headlines for its spectacular results. This was a
large study with around 7447 at risk patients suffering from heart disease and
cont inued for a period of 5 years. They were three groups:
1. Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin oil
2. Mediterranean diet with added nuts
3. A low fat diet
There was no reduction of calories and no increase of exercise. The result? Both
Mediterranean diet groups reduced the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and death
from cardiovascular diseases. While the olive oil group saw a 30% drop, the nuts
group wasn‘t that far behind with a 28%. What of the control low-fat diet group?
It saw little to no change in risk of heart issues. This extensive study has been a
solid base for the adoption of this lifestyle for heart disease patients. After all, the
results are very encouraging for patients and their families.
Diabetes and the Mediterranean Diet
As with the others, there‘s been significant research when it comes to diabetes
and this diet. We do have an encouraging Ann Intern Med study to support the
incorporation of a Mediterranean style diet for diabetes patients.
That said, in another PREDIMED study, 418 patients who were at risk of
developing type 2 diabetes. Only 10% of the Mediterranean diet group developed
diabetes, whereas 18% of the low-fat group got diabetes. To put matters in
perspectives, the Mediterranean diet helped avoid type 2 diabetes by 52%.
Cancer and the Mediterranean Diet
PREDIMED, in their effort to ensure valid research, has even studied the effects
of Mediterranean nutrition and cancer. This is a disease where causalities are
normally given, especially since diagnosis isn‘t always prompt. To ensure validity,
around 7216 cancer patients were studied.
After the allotted 5 year period, 323 individuals had died; with 81 from heart
related disease, while the rest died from cancer. The group consuming nuts
showed the most significant change with around 16-63% lowered death risks
through this study‘s period.
Alzheimer’s disease and the Mediterranean Diet
As with protecting and helping the heart to function properly, this diet helps to
provide rich nutrients which improve brain function. Those at risk of Alzheimer‘s
can see pretty significant difference in their risks than those who don‘t follow the
However, not all functions can be improved. Alzheimer‘s cannot be reversed, but
JAMA4 has concluded Mediterranean foods can help slow cognitive decline for
older adults and reduce risk of mild cognitive impairment. It even has shown
good signs in reducing pr ogression so those effected by Alzheimer‘s have more
Making healthy choices always pays off, and you can‘t really go wrong with this
diet. It‘s easy to follow and maintain—something we‘re going to explore in the
coming chapters. Making the right choice means starting to pick healthier
alternatives. Let‘s explore how you can take advantage of all these benefits.
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