The Mediterranean Diet (cont.)
Studies show that calorie-controlled diets rich in plant foods, healthy fats, and lean protein -- like the Mediterranean diet -- are a nutritious formula for weight loss. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a Mediterranean diet was as effective as a low-fat diet for losing weight and also offered some metabolic benefits.
"Research continues to demonstrate that being physically active and eating a nutritious diet of primarily whole foods that are filling and satisfying can enable people to control weight," says cardiologist Arthur Agatston, MD, creator of the South Beach Diet, which is based on the Mediterranean diet model.
Some other perks of living the Mediterranean lifestyle include a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease, says cardiologist Robert Eckel, MD, past president of the American Heart Association.
Mediterranean Diet: What You Can Eat
There is not a single "Mediterranean diet." Instead, it's a dietary pattern of plant foods, monounsaturated fats (mainly olive oil), fish, and limited amounts of animal products.
The basic Mediterranean diet pattern is as follows:
Some tips for embracing the Mediterranean style of eating: