Do you eat as much as you like and do not gain weight? Sounds too good to be true.
But in a study published in the April 23 issue of the journal Obesity scientists from the Wake Forest School of Medicine found that nonhuman primates on a Mediterranean diet made all of them available not wanting to eat standing food kept a normal weight.
"By comparison, Western diets ate much more than they needed and were gaining weight," said study lead investigator Dr. Carol A. Shively, Professor of Pathology, Wake Forest School of Medicine.
This is the first preclinical study to measure the effects of long-term use of a Western or Mediterranean diet on obesity-related illnesses under controlled experimental conditions.
Previous Impact Research The diet type is based on calorie intake and is largely based on studies of the human population based on self-reported food intake, which is often unreliable, or rodent studies on non-human diets.
The Wake Forest School of Medicine The study was a 38-month prevention study (equivalent to about 9 years for humans). The diets have been formulated to reflect the human diet with protein and fat derived primarily from animal sources in the Western diet, and mainly from plant sources in the Mediterranean diet. However, the two diets contained comparable levels of fat, protein and carbohydrates.
The study included 38 middle-aged women who were randomized to either the Mediterranean diet or the Western diet. Both groups were on basis weight and body fat and were allowed to eat as much as they wanted throughout the study.
"We found that the group with the Mediterranean diet actually consumed fewer calories, less body weight and body weight had less body fat than the western diet," Shively said.
The results provide the first experimental evidence that a Mediterranean diet is protected against consumption, obesity and prediabetes in comparison to a Western diet.
The Mediterranean diet also protected against nonalcoholic fatty liver, known as NAFLD. NAFLD can cause liver cirrhosis and liver cancer and require a transplant. Obesity is one of the main causes of NAFLD. It is expected that one third of adults in this country will contract this disease by 2030, and this is the fastest growing cause of liver transplantation among young adults in the United States.
"Diet composition makes an important contribution to the US Population health, and unfortunately those with the highest risk of obesity and associated costly chronic diseases, also have the worst diets," said Shively.
"The western diet was developed and promoted by companies that want us to eat their food." They make it exceedingly tasty, which means that all our buttons are hit, so we consume too much. A Mediterranean diet should allow people to enjoy their food rather than overeating, which is a problem in this country.
Encourage people to eat healthier foods that are fun, and to improve human health.
One weakness of the study was the modest sample size.
Use of metabolomics to evaluate the effects of diets
Study: Mediterranean diet stops overeating (2019, 23 April)
accessed April 23, 2019
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