Mediterranean dieters maintain weight loss for six years

In its “Booster Shots” blog, the Los Angeles Times reports that “moderately obese people who ate the Mediterranean diet lost more weight than groups of people who followed either a low-fat or a low-carbohydrate diet, researchers reported” in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

According to the article, “the Mediterranean group weighed almost seven pounds less than they weighed six years earlier.” The blog describes that the “Mediterranean diet is one based on the eating habits of people who live in that part of the world – high in produce, and including olive oil and fish.”

MedPage Today reports that “moderately obese patients who participated in a 2-year diet intervention – especially those on a low-carbohydrate or Mediterranean diet were able to maintain at least some weight loss and a lower lipid profile through 6 years, researchers found.”

The article details that “those who followed a low-carbohydrate diet lost a 1.7 kg (3.7 lbs.) and those who ate a Mediterranean diet lost 3.1 kg (6.8 lbs.) from their baseline weight (P=0.01 for both), according to Dan Schwarzfuchs, MD, of the Nuclear Research Center Negev in Dimona, Israel, and colleagues.”

According to MedPage Today, the researchers also found that “triglycerides also went down significantly (P=0.02 for those on the low-carb diet and P=0.03 for those on the Mediterranean diet), as did total cholesterol (P=0.02 and P=0.001) at 6 months from baseline.”

WebMD describes that “a Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes, healthy fats like olive oil, and moderate amounts of alcohol.” The diet “is also low in sweets, meats, and saturated fats like butter.” The article notes that “four years after the study officially ended, 67% of participants were still on their eating plan, 11% had switched to another a type of diet, and 22% were not dieting at all.”

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