What are the weight loss and health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?
The diet and weight loss industry is larger than ever and shows few signs of slowing down. That is despite the fact that every other article written about weight loss refers to “diet” as a word that deserves to be stricken from use. Of course, they don’t really mean that. The goal is to make you believe that all of the other diets out there are harmful and exploitive, except for the one they are about to tell you about.
So, what is the truth? Do diets work? Is the next one destined to fail like all of the others have? Yes. And, no. Diet, as a generic term, means “habitual nourishment”. When we try to manipulate those habits we end up with a specific diet. Whether a particular diet can promote weight loss depends on a multitude of factors. Simply, this means that it can work for some people for at least some period of time. Experience tells us that the vast majority of diets designed for losing weight do not work in the long run for most people.
What can and does work is changing the way we eat. Some people can do that on their own, but most of us can greatly benefit from professional guidance. If weight loss were easy, obesity wouldn’t be growing at the rate it is. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) more than one-third (36.5%) of adults in the U.S. are considered obese. Contrary to what was taught for so long, there is a lot more to weight control than exercise and cutting calories. There may be metabolic issues, like hormonal imbalances, as well as other factors, like environmental toxins and stress that make it difficult, if not impossible, to lose weight. This is where professional help, including in-depth testing and analysis, can make a huge difference.
Consulting with a health and nutritional professional will also help you find the diet that works for you. You may benefit from a monitored quick-loss start that then transitions into a long-term, even lifelong, way of choosing foods that not only contributes to weight control but also overall health. The Mediterranean diet is exactly that kind of diet. Some of the characteristics of this kind of eating include:
- Primary focus on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
- Use of healthy fats, like olive oil and canola oil
- Replacing salt with a variety of herbs and spices
- More fish and poultry and far less red meat
- Reducing alcohol, allowing red wine in moderation
- Plenty of exercise
Studies over the years have shown that following the cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea reduces the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Recent research found that otherwise healthy older adults who followed the Mediterranean diet lowered their risk of dementia by a third. According to the lead author of this research project, Claire McEvoy, of the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine, “Eating a healthy plant-based diet is associated with better cognitive function and around 30% to 35% lower risk of cognitive impairment during aging.”.
At the Southern California Center for Anti-Aging, we know how important nutrition is to health and well-being. Weight control is extremely important but our bodies must be well-nourished in order to function well and keep our immune systems at the ready. Once we have diagnosed your particular case through carefully administered lab tests, we prescribe the diet, or combination of diets, that we know will address your issues.
To learn more about the Mediterranean diet or any of our services, take advantage of our Free Consultation by clicking here to use our convenient online form.