Mediterranean diet could be the answer to obesity and cardiovascular disease

The Mediterranean diet has appeared in the news again, as leading doctors have said that following the diet which is rich in fruit and nuts, may be more effective at reducing obesity and associated health risks, than the current NHS advice.
Doctors writing in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ) said that following the Mediterranean diet was a very quick way to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Official NHS guidelines currently say to monitor calorie intake in order to maintain a healthy weight. But the editors of PMJ argue that a focus on the types of food eaten is likely to be more beneficial than just reducing the amount eaten.
Instead of the general advice to ‘eat less and move more’ regarding food intake and exercise, ‘eat right and move more’ may be more beneficial.
The Mediterranean diet is based around vegetables, nuts, olive oil and fruit, and the scientific evidence for the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is, according to Doctor Aseem Malhotra, overwhelming.
The authors of the study, including Malhotra, Professor Terence Stephenson, and Doctor Mahiben Maruthappu who holds a senior role within the NHS, all feel that it would be more responsible to tell people to concentrate on eating nutritious foods that our bodies’ require, rather than just reducing overall food intake.
“It’s going to have an impact on their health very quickly,” said Dr Malhotra, speaking about severely overweight patients who are at risk of cardiovascular disease. “We know the traditional Mediterranean diet, which is higher in fat, proven from randomised trials, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke even within months of implementation.”
We could see a shift in the advice given to people by the NHS, if the authors of this study are heard. It could impact the way the country views dieting and weight loss, and lead to a healthier population.

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