Mediterranean and your Midline: eat more and lose more weight

Today’s blog is based solely on one study, but don’t worry it’s a good one. The Journal of Nutrition wrote about the EPIC-PANACEA study of over 500,000 participants, with 23 centers in 10 European countries. The study set a guideline of diet requirements:

  • high intake of vegetables
  • fruit and nuts
  • routine intake of fish and seafood
  •  lower intake of meat
  • high intake of monounsaturated fat (olives and olive oil)
  • moderate intake of alcohol
  • low intake of dairy

   They used BMI and WC (waist circumference), both of which are usual indicators of obesity (and a large abdomen is associated with greater health, especially heart, risk) and poor health, as there measurements. They found that the Mediterranean diet correlated to better numbers. What else is interesting is that the more closely the participants followed the diet, the more calories they tended to intake. Even more, the total amount of food consumed increased evener greater, the better they followed. They explained this as energy density; calories obtained through food compared to the volume eaten. Their energy density was lower because they were consuming an abundant level of fruits and vegetables. Another key note was that they tended to have greater physical activity levels (men who were less physically active had higher BMI). The bottom line of this study: we can consume more calories, burn off them off with increased physical activity, but still enjoy eating a large amount food because of the low energy density.

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