Thursday, April 25, 2019

Food: the benefits of the Mediterranean diet finally demonstrated by scientists

The Mediterranean diet  has already proved its benefits. This type of diet makes it possible to reduce mortality from  cardiovascular diseases and to reduce the risk of  Alzheimer's  and Parkinson's diseases . In addition, it would also improve the chances of pregnancy during assisted fertilization.
But what exactly is this diet? It has the specificity of a very important consumption (even at will) of fruits , vegetables , legumes, cereals, herbs, garlic and onion, but also olive oil. It allows moderate consumption of dairy products, eggs and wine, but  low  consumption of fish and meat . A new study, published in the April 23 issue of the journal Obesity , looked at the benefits of the Mediterranean diet on our weight. It was conducted by scientists from the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

A study conducted during 1 and a half years

This is the first preclinical trial to measure the effects of long-term consumption of this Mediterranean diet  on obesity-related diseases. Indeed, the previous studies were based on the human population and were based on the food intake self-reported by participants, so often unreliable, or on rodents with non-human type diets. It was conducted on diet primates similar to ours for 38 months (the equivalent of about 9 years for humans).
The diets have been formulated to closely reflect the human diet. To mimic the Western diet, they composed meals with large amounts of protein and fat (largely derived from animal sources). As for the Mediterranean diet, it consisted mainly of vegetable sources . However, both diets contained comparable proportions of lipids, proteins and carbohydrates.

Result: better control of the diet

The study included 38 middle-aged females, divided into two groups: one consumed the Mediterranean diet, the other Western. All could eat at will. Their weight and body fat were measured throughout the study. "What we found was that the Mediterranean diet group actually ate fewer calories , which resulted in lower body weight and body fat than those who ate the Western diet." , said the study author, Dr. Shively.
The results provide the first experimental evidence that a Mediterranean diet protects against too much food, and therefore against obesity and prediabetes (in comparison to a Western diet). "The composition of this diet can make a crucial contribution to public health, " Shively said. "We hope our results will encourage people to eat healthy foods that are both enjoyable and improve human health." Of course, the weakness of the study is the modest size of the sample. More important future research should be conducted soon.

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